The Carolina Panthers (1-3) are expected to be without reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton in the Week 5 Monday night matchup when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) as 4.5-point home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Newton is still recovering from a concussion suffered last week and has yet to practice, which means backup Derek Anderson will likely take his place against the Bucs.
Anderson has completed 18-of-24 passes for 175 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions so far this season in relief of Newton, who was crushed at the goal line in a 48-33 road loss to the Atlanta Falcons when he was attempting a two-point conversion.
While Newton was able to score the two-pointer, he left the game immediately afterwards and has been in the NFL’s concussion protocol ever since.
Carolina has lost two in a row as a favorite, and Tampa Bay has dropped three straight, twice as an underdog, with both teams chasing Atlanta atop the NFC South division standings.
The Bucs are coming off consecutive home losses, falling to the Denver Broncos 27-7 as 3.5-point underdogs last Sunday. Despite the three-game losing streak, Tampa Bay remains the only team to defeat the Falcons heading into Week 5 action, winning 31-24 as 2.5-point road underdogs in the season opener back on September 11.
The Panthers have won the past six meetings with the Bucs straight up, going 5-1 against the spread, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. They also own a 14-game winning streak SU versus teams with losing records.
Anderson actually earned two wins over Tampa Bay during the 2014 regular season when Newton was nursing injuries, throwing for 507 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Bucs have gone 1-4 against teh spread in their last five Monday night appearances and are also 2-5 SU in their past seven road games after playing back-to-back home games.
It’s hard to say whether this will be a high-scoring or low-scoring game without Newton because situational trends vary for each team. The over has cashed in five of Carolina’s last seven versus NFC South foes, and the under is 7-3 in Tampa’s past 10 under the same scenario.