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I like the Carolina Panthers as they visit Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2 for a number of reasons.
First off, Teddy Bridgewater did not look out of place under center in the Teal and Black. In his first career Panthers start, Bridgewater was 22-of-34 for 270 yards and put up 30 points in the loss to the Raiders. He looked poised and organized especially in the teams’ 15-point fourth quarter.
Christian McCaffrey was busy in Week 1 and he will be all season long if the Panthers are to be successful. He carried the ball 23 times for 96 yards and caught three passes versus Las Vegas. Expect the Cats to utilize McCaffrey more in the passing game this weekend. Alvin Kamara had a major impact catching the ball against the Buccaneers’ pass defence in Week 1. McCaffrey (1005 receiving yards in 2019) is a better receiver than Kamara and will undoubtedly be a major factor for Carolina’s offensive game plan.
Brady and the Buccaneers were a popular bet in Week 1 and that went down in flames. Brady is learning a new style of offence, personnel and coaching staff, so it’s fair to say he gets a pass from many because of who he is.
Last week Brady was very un-Brady like, as he threw for 239 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He wasn’t exactly given a gift from the schedule makers to open the season either, though, against the New Orleans Saints. On the other end, Teddy Bridgewater faced the same obstacles (new team, coaching staff) and didn’t seem fazed.
NFL Week 2 Betting Two-minute Drill
The Panthers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven trips to Tampa Bay. The road team in this series is 9-3 (ATS) in the last 12 games. Finally, the under is hitting at 75 percent (6-2) in the last eight games between these division rivals.
Bastl’s Bets: Panthers +9, Under 47.5
Minshew Mania was running wild in Week 1 as the Jaguars surprised the Colts 27-20 in come from behind fashion. Minshew completed an impressive 95% of his passes under new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and looks very comfortable in his sophomore year. This week the Jaguars are on the road in Tennessee where they haven’t played well as of late, 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five games. But the temptation of 9-points and the visitors is too much for me. The Titans are the better team but circle the visitors and this large number.
The Rams were impressive opening night in Los Angeles as they toppled the Cowboys 20-17. With Todd Gurley out of the system the Rams running attack will now be distributed between Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson and rookie Cam Akers, and all three had a good opening in Week 1. The one matchup that seems lopsided is the Eagles offensive line vs. the Rams defensive line. Last weekend the Washington front seven had their way with the line and Carson Wentz, sacking him 8 times, while keeping him on the run for most of the second half. Expect 6-time Pro Bowler, and 2-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald the Rams to feast on this opportunity helping the visitors secure the victory.
Bastl’s Bets: Jaguars +9, Rams -1