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NFL Week 17 Opening Odds: Buccaneers vs Panthers

Lines are set for the Bucs and Panthers - a game that could decide the NFC South champion

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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers are ready for their second meeting of the year - and it could decide the winner of the NFC South. If the Bucs win, they win the division and stamp their ticket to the playoffs. If the Panthers win, they will be 2-0 against the Bucs and in the driver’s seat to win the South for the first time since 2015. The Panthers won the first matchup between the two 21-3 after firing Matt Rhule and trading Christian McCaffrey just a few days prior.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Tampa Bay is the 3-point home favorite against Carolina.

Point spread: Bucs -3
Point total: 40.5
Moneyline: Bucs -170, Panthers +145

After an ugly Christmas night game where the Bucs managed to put together 13-unanswered points after falling behind 16-6, they are now just one game away from .500 while the Panthers are one game back of Tampa Bay and currently holding the tie-breaker.

There is are a few scenarios in which the Bucs can make the playoffs even with a loss on Sunday, but certainly they - and the fans - would prefer to lock up the division with a decisive win against a division opponent.

The Bucs and Panthers will kickoff at Raymond James Stadium at 1:00 p.m. ET with the game being broadcast on FOX. Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, and Erin Andrews will be on the call.

For more on this and all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers check out James Yarcho and David Harrison on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!