Tom Brady had a shaky opening start for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he’ll get an easier test against the Carolina Panthers defense on Sunday. The Panthers were shaky against the run last week against Las Vegas, but still found ways to score points and even led in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay’s offense struggled for long stretches, but it was a strong game for the defense, which will allow the Buccaneers to fend off the Panthers. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Odds Tampa Bay’s defense held the vaunted New Orleans offense to just 271 yards last week, but the Buccaneers had three turnovers that gave the Saints short fields to push out their lead. Tom Brady threw a pair of interceptions in the loss to offset his two touchdown passes and his touchdown rush. The Buccaneers struggled to run the ball against New Orleans, but they should have an easier time against the Panthers, who gave up 4.3 yards per rush to the Raiders As poor as Carolina’s defense played against Las Vegas, the Panthers offense really clicked in its first game with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. Bridgewater completed about 65 percent of his passes and was just shy of 300 yards passing, and Christian McCaffrey scored twice and averaged more than four yards per carry. McCaffrey might be Carolina’s weapon to keep this game close because although Tampa Bay shut down Alvin Kamara’s rushing totals, but it struggled against Kamara in the passing game. The Panthers will certainly try to exploit that by using McCaffrey in a variety of ways against Tampa Bay’s defense. Somehow Tampa Bay is 9.5-point favorites according to the NFL betting sites in New Jersey, but that seems a bit outrageous based on what we saw last week. The sportsbooks were spot on with their points totals at 48.5, but they make it hard to provide NFL betting predictions with such a harsh line. I am going to take the over on Carolina’s points total of 19.5 points for -108 odds, but I’m also going to cheat the spread. I’ll double up on Tampa Bay to win by 1-6 points and 7-12 points, which are being offered at +370 and +440 odds respectively. Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win The New Jersey online sports betting sites are way off on this spread, and it will make for some interesting betting. I don’t think Tampa Bay proved last week that it was 10 points better than Carolina, so we’re stuck with a conundrum. You can take shorter odds to pick the Buccaneers by pushing the line down or you could take longer odds by picking Carolina to win by receiving fewer points. I lean toward the longer odds, so although I’m picking Tampa Bay to win the game, I’d take Carolina plus 7.5 points at +100 odds.