Buccaneers vs. Panthers 2016, NFL picks and predictions: Experts mainly favor Carolina
Despite no Cam Newton, experts primarily think the Panthers will beat the Buccaneers on Monday.
Cam Newton won't be in action for the Carolina Panthers as they try to recover from a bad four-game start to their season on Monday Night Football against the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Newton is in the league's concussion protocol and has been ruled out for Monday's game, meaning Derek Anderson will get the start at quarterback.
Both the Panthers and Buccaneers are 1-3 on the season, and the NFC South is once again one of the worst divisions in football. Unfortunately for both teams, they are still lagging quite a ways behind the surging Atlanta Falcons, who are now 4-1 after beating the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The Panthers, on paper, are a much better team than the Buccaneers. They won 15 games in the regular season and played in the Super Bowl a year ago. But they have been anything but consistent on either side of the ball this season, and Monday's match could be a lot closer than anybody realizes.
As far as experts are concerned, many are going with the Panthers despite the lack of Newton. Over at CBS Sports, all eight of their experts are picking Carolina over Tampa Bay. At ESPN, all nine of their experts are also picking the Panthers over the Buccaneers.
Here at SB Nation, things start to diverge.
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Six of the nine experts, plus the OddsShark computer, at SB Nation think the Panthers will win it. But unlike CBS Sports and ESPN, three of our experts are picking the Buccaneers. Monday's game will kickoff at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. A stream will be available online at WatchESPN, though it will require login credentials from a television or satellite provider.