2005 Season NFL Football Past Picks
November 06, 2005
This pick was released to clients on July 25, 2012 at 7:03PM ET.
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Sunday 11/06 01:00 PM Eastern
3 units on Tampa Bay +1.5 (-110) (risk 3 to return 5.73) RESULT: LOSS
Contrarian pick here that sets up very nicely. These two teams are almost EXACTLY mirror images of themselves. The Panthers have seemed like world-beaters lately. Superstar receiver Steve Smith has been grabbing headlines left and right and Carolina has been winning in convincing fashion. Many pegged them as a Super Bowl team preseason and now that they are winning again, lots of people's initial intuition was right (at least in their minds). After a 1-2 start, they have won 4 straight, the last one a 38-13 drubbing of Minnesota. So, lots of action on the Panthers. Meanwhile, Tampa's the exact opposite. They start 4-0 and have gone 1-2 in their last three. Their last game was the exact opposite of Carolina's. The Bucs lost outright as a 10.5 point favorite to the lowly San Francisco 49ers. That was an ugly, ugly loss folks. As such, we see Tampa Bay as a home underdog in this one. Love it! Sure, Chris Simms looked awful and the rest of the team seemed to sleepwalk through last week's game. They just weren't up for that game, facing the doormat of the league. They were looking forward to this key divisional game! As such, they were caught off guard. That's the kind of loss that pisses a team off. It evokes buried feelings of pride. Tampa Bay is going to come back with a vengeance in this one. They know they can't afford to drop 3 of 4, especially to the team tied for the division lead. They are going to leave it all on the field in this one. There was a glimmer of hope with Simms last week as went 21-34 for 264 yards. It was mistakes (three turnovers) that hurt him and his team. Not too unexpected in his first outing. I expect him, with another week under his belt and the first live game out of the way, to perform better this week. He'll be facing a Carolina defense ranked 26th in the league. Tampa Bay has the defense to keep Smith in check this week. Tampa has allowed just 230 yards per game - good for tops in the league. Underdogs in a divisional game coming off an upset loss hit at about 70% ATS. A wounded animal in desperate need of a win with a great defense. Tampa for three stars.