The 2013 NFL season has been a nightmare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Through six games, they are one of two teams that still haven’t picked up their first win, and things may get worse before they get any better.
In Week Eight, the Buccaneers begin the slate of games when they host the Carolina Panthers. If Tampa Bay can’t pull out the victory, they might stay winless for a while. According to playoffstatus.com, only two NFC teams have a more difficult strength of schedule for their remaining games. The Bucs still have to play the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, all of whom could be favored by double-digits.
The Panthers have played very well over the last few weeks, but they are only 3-3. The Buccaneers have fared better at home, losing by an average of 5.3 points per game, compared to 9.7 on the road. The Panthers are 1-2 away from their home stadium.
Despite their struggles on the road, the Panthers are six-point favorites, according to most Las Vegas casinos. They have covered the betting line in their three victories, all of which have come in convincing fashion. Tampa’s two-point loss in Week Two was the only time they covered a point spread this year.
Most of the 2013 "Thursday Night Football" games have not been played at a high level, likely due to the short rest for both teams. They haven’t been very competitive either, with only two being decided by less than 10 points. Still, that hasn’t stopped the NFL from discussing adding a second game to Thursday nights in the future.
Thursday marks the first time that either team will play on national TV. The NFL Network will broadcast the contest, and viewers can watch the game for free with live look-ins on nfl.com/tnf.