2004 Season NFL Football Past Picks

November 28, 2004

This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.

28

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Sunday 11/28 01:00 PM Eastern

3 units on Carolina +3 (-110) (risk 3 to return 5.73)  RESULT: win

1 unit on Carolina +130 (moneyline) (risk 1 to return 2.3)  RESULT: win

Yes, another contrarian play on the underdog that I view to be the better team. Everyone seems to be on the Bucs this week. They have certainly come back from the dead behind the legs of Michael Pittman and the arm of Brian Griese. After starting 1-5 SU and 1-4-1 ATS, they've bounced back to 3-1 SU and ATS over their last four games and now have a shot at the playoffs in the weak NFC. While a lot of it is due to Brian Griese who I've written about as being much better than most people give him credit for, a lot also has to do with their schedule. When you face play three home games against Chicago, Kansas City and San Francisco, you'd better go 3-0 or at least 2-1. The single loss over the past month? To Atlanta on the road. Now TB is laying a field goal on the road. Seems fishy to me. Meanwhile, no one seems to have noticed the Panthers' resurrengce. Possibly because it's still on the upswing. I think the leauge will take notice ater they beat the Bucs today. Carolina has gone 3-1 ATS in their last four. They beat up on the Cardinals and 49ers in a big way and kept it close against Oakland and Seattle. Yes, three of those opponents were also bad but I was particularly impressed with the win against an up-and-coming Cardinals squad. The Panthers beat them 35-10 and that showed me something. But, none of these reasons are the primary one I like this game. The biggest one is a bit hidden. Did you know that Carolina owns the best red-zone offense in the league? That's right. They score a TD 69% of the time and put it through the uprights 26% of the time the time they get inside the opponent's 20 yard line. That's 95%, my friends. Conversely, Tampa puts up points just 60% of the time. On defense, Carolina also does a better job in the red zone than Tampa. In what figures to be a tight, closely fought battle, I think this is a huge advantage for the Panthers. We'll go three units (3%) on Carolina +2.5 and another 1-star (1%) on Carolina to pull the upset.

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