The Carolina Panthers visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the Week 8 edition of Thursday Night Football. We preview the early betting odds in hopes of getting a head start with our NFL picks for this mid-week matchup.

The Carolina Panthers picked up a second straight victory in Sunday’s 30-15 triumph over the St. Louis Rams, cashing as a 7 ½-point home favorite. Thursday’s NFL action sends Ron Rivera’s crew south against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who enter with a 0-4 ATS slide.

With the opening odds hot off of the press, lets take a look a the lines before placing our NFL picks for this Week 8 Thursday night battle.

For more information on this week's games, read our Daily NFL Week 8 Betting Odds Report!

Panthers, Newton top Rams

Image previewPanthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 15-of-17 passes in this past weekend’s win, finding wide out Steve Smith for one touchdown. Carolina never trailed in the affair, while notching 21 first downs in its 33 minutes with the ball.

Newton’s backfield mates DeAngelo Williams and Michael Tolbert united to dash for 76 yards on a combined 28 carries, with Tolbert taking in one score. Panthers placekicker Graham Gano hit 3-of-3 field goals, including a 50-yard strike in the fourth quarter.

Carolina’s Mike Mitchell registered one of his side’s four sacks, while finishing with a season-high eight tackles. The contest’s combined 45 points surged above the ‘total’ of 42, lifting the OVER to 3-2 in the Panthers’ last five games.

Bucs edged in Atlanta

Tampa Bay logged a sixth straight loss on the same afternoon, falling as a six-point road dog to the Atlanta Falcons, 31-23. The Buccaneers were held to one touchdown in their four red zone trips, while giving up three sacks in their sizable 38 minutes of possession.

Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon hit wide out Vincent Jackson for 10 catches, including a pair of scoring strikes. Glennon notched 256 passing yards in a 26-for-44 day, while losing one fumble that Atlanta’s Thomas DeCloud returned for an early touchdown.

Tampa Bay’s defense held Atlanta to 291 total yards, including a stingy 18 from the ground (1 YPR). Both squads combined for 20 penalties (204 yards), while the battle’s 54 points jumped OVER the ‘total’ of 43.

Be sure to check out the new article on how to bet the Total for this THursday Night Football Game~

Early betting lifts ‘total

NFL odds first opened Carolina as a six-point road favorite, with the number staying unchanged after initially mixed action. The ‘total’ was first listed at 38 ½, shooting upward to 40 after early sport betting ‘steam’ favored the OVER.

Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin is listed as “questionable,” following a shoulder injury suffered against Atlanta. The Boise State alumn has been the Bucs’ top rusher, marching for 456 yards on 127 carries.

The weather forecast at Raymond James Stadium calls for a clear 70 degrees, with calm winds and a 10 percent chance of rain. Tampa Bay is 1-1 ATS in its two spots as a home dog, while the UNDER is 2-1 through all three of the team’s home contests.

Carolina has a 0-2 spread record in its pair of matchups as a road favorite, outscored against the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals by a combined margin of 46-29. The OVER is 2-1 in the Panthers’ three spots away from home, despite a ‘total’ of 43 ½ or higher set in the trio of duels.

Tampa Bay is 4-2 ATS in its last six meetings with the Panthers, with the OVER going 3-2-1. Last year’s pair of contests saw the Buccaneers cash spread tickets on both occasions, while the UNDER collected in September’s 16-10 home victory.

Look for further reviews of this NFC South Division duel each day on SBR’s NFL betting forum, closing in with picks on both the side and ‘total.’