2006 Season NFL Football Past Picks
November 13, 2006
This pick was released to clients on July 31, 2012 at 12:26AM ET.
Tampa Bay at Carolina
Monday 11/13 08:30 PM Eastern
2 units on Game Total UNDER 37 -110 (risk 2 to return 3.82) RESULT: WIN
These two teams played to 50 points in week three. So why is this total set at 37? It almost seems like a trap. In that first game, Carolina scored a touchdown on the third offensive play of the game. Carolina jumped out to a 17-0 lead. Three second-half turnovers by the Panthers let Tampa back in it. I don't expect such a quick start again for Carolina or three turnovers by the Panthers. Without the help fo those three turnovers, Tampa's anemic offense would not have managed 24 points. In fact, they have not scored 24 in any other game this season. The closest they came was 23 at home vs. Philadelphia three weeks ago. And that was with the help of 4 Philly turnovers. If you take out these two games, in which they were helped by 7 opponent turnovers, the Bucs have averaged 9.2 points per game! In three road games this year they have scored 27 total points. Even with those other two games included, the Bucs are ranked second to last (just behind Oakland) in points per game. They are bottom 3 in yards per game and dead last in yards per play. Carolina is bottom third in the league in all three of those categories as well. They are averaging just 17.1 points per game. At home? 15.3! Their defense is not as stout as many predicted but again turnovers are to blame. They have turned the ball over 3+ times in three games so far this year. In those games, they allowed an average of 26.7 points per game. In the other five games they have held opponents to just 16.6 points per game! So, if this is a turnover-laden game, this probably goes over the total. If not, it should stay well under the total as Tampa will really struggle to score. We can't predict turnovers - it's not a science. Half of all turnovers, at least, are due to luck. All we can do is assume there will be an "average" number in the game. Carolina is averaging 1.6 per game and forcing 1.1 per game. Tampa is averaging 1.4 per game and forcing 1.1 per game. So, on average, we're looking at about 3 turnovers TOTAL or less in this game. If that happens, this game goes UNDER the total. What about Tampa's poor defense you say? Well, it is ranked 21st - not great but not terrible. And, Carolina will likely try to run the ball in this game against the Bucs defense that is allowing 134 per game on the ground. That type of play will eat up the clock. Evidence of this is the fact that the Panthers are 25-12 UNDER in the last 47 games they've played against poor rushing defenses that allow 130+ yards per game. Fox likes running the ball, especially in division contests. With him as the coach, Carolina is 11-3 UNDER at home in division games. And, the Gruden-led Buccanneers are 23-13 UNDER in road games. In the end, barring unforseen turnovers, we like this game to go UNDER the total.