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Buccaneers vs Panthers Prop Bets: Fade Mike Evans

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Sep 12, 2019 · 7:57 AM PDT

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans and the Buccaneers travel to Carolina to kickoff Week 2 against the Panthers. Photo by Flickr [CC License]
  • Week 2 kicks off with Buccaneers and Panthers on Thursday Night Football
  • Our TNF props were 1-2 last week for -1.12 units
  • Mike Evans profiles as a fade this week, while Christian McCaffrey is in a home run spot

Last week we fell into the trap of assuming rational coaching and our bankroll paid for it. I certainly didn’t expect just six carries for David Montgomery or zero targets for Geronimo Allison, but this is a forward thinking article and we’re ready to bounce back in Week 2 starting with a Mike Evans fade.

Prop #1: Mike Evans Over/Under 84.5 Receiving Yards

Mike Evans Receiving Yards Odds
Over 84.5 +120
Under 84.5 -156

Evans was reportedly suffering from an illness in Week 1 and it showed on the field. The former first round pick caught just two of his five targets for 28 yards, while earning the Bucs lowest offensive grade among receivers by Pro Football Focus. Now he heads to Carolina on a short week to matchup against a Panthers squad he’s underperformed against in three of his last four meetings.

Mike Evans Last 4 Games vs Panthers

Year Targets Receptions Yards
2017 10 5 60
2017 8 6 107
2018 10 1 16
2018 6 4 48

To make matters worse, Carolina’s pass defense looked excellent in Week 1. They held the high powered Rams to just 186 yards through air, and none of their three receivers eclipsed 70 yards. Given Jameis Winston’s well documented struggles, and Evans’ below average catch rate (62.3% in 2018), it seems unlikely that Evans gets the volume he’d need to go over this total.

Pick: Evans under 84.5 receiving yards (-120)

Risk: 1 unit to win 0.64 units

Prop #2: Christian McCaffrey Over/Under 79.5 Rushing Yards

Christian McCaffrey Rushing Yards Odds
Over 79.5 -113
Under 79.5 -113

Christian McCaffrey gashed the Rams for 128 yards on the ground in Week 1 and must be salivating at this prime time matchup. Tampa Bay was PFF’s lowest graded rush defense last season, and they surrendered 100 yards on the ground to 49ers running backs last week.

McCaffrey bulked up over the offseason in anticipation of more carries in 2019 and the Panthers bolstered their offensive line with the addition of Matt Paradis and the return of Daryl Williams. It’s reasonable to project 15-20 carries for CMC Thursday night (he’s averaged 16 per game over his last 10 contests) and with that kind of volume he’s bound to eclipse 79.5 rushing yards.

Pick: McCaffrey over 79.5 rushing yards

Risk: 1 unit to win 0.88 units

Prop #3: Cam Newton Over/Under 1.5 Passing TD

Cam Newton Passing TD Odds
Over 1.5 -113
Under 1.5 -113

Cam Newton failed to record a touchdown pass in Week 1, but the Panthers have an implied team total of 28 points tonight, and it seems likely that at least two scores come through the air. He had at least two touchdown passes in 11 of his 14 starts in 2018, including both contests against the Bucs.

Tampa Bay was a bottom 15 coverage unit in Week 1 after finishing 26th in that metric in 2018. They lack the speed and athleticism to hang with guys like McCaffrey, DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel which bodes well for Cam’s touchdown prospects. The Bucs allowed two touchdown throws to the 49ers 31st ranked passing game in Week 1, and Newton should easily match that output.

Pick: Newton over 1.5 passing TD

Risk: 1 unit to win 0.88 units

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