Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Buccaneers -5 | Total: 50.5
The Buccaneers (6-3) are almost certainly not as bad as they looked against New Orleans on Sunday night, but that loss, coming on the heels of a narrow win over the Giants the previous week, has taken a great deal of the shine off Tom Brady’s first season in Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers have picked a poor time to be struggling, as the Panthers (3-6) are rounding into shape. While running back Christian McCaffrey is not expected to play on Sunday because of a shoulder injury, the team adjusted in recent weeks to take advantage of the versatility of Curtis Samuel, who excels as a runner and receiver. Pairing Samuel with wide receivers Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore makes the Panthers a team to fear, even for a talented young defense like Tampa Bay’s. Pick: Panthers +5
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m., NBC
Line: Ravens -7 | Total: 43.5
Both teams are coming off wins, but both wins might not sit all that well. The Ravens (6-2) struggled on offense for much of a victory over Indianapolis, while the Patriots (3-5) needed a furious fourth-quarter comeback to beat the winless Jets. There are degrees of struggle, however, and while Baltimore may have been exposed in recent weeks as being a step or two below Kansas City in the A.F.C.’s pecking order, New England is only a few steps above the worst teams in the N.F.L. Pick: Ravens -7
Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m., CBS
Line: Raiders -5 | Total: 51.5
In their last four games, the Raiders (5-3) beat Kansas City, were blown out by Tampa Bay, throttled Cleveland’s high-powered offense and outgunned the Chargers. Not a perfect stretch, but enough to have Las Vegas in line for a playoff spot if the season ended now. The Broncos (3-5) can’t claim the same, but they are at least making things exciting, with 21 points in the fourth quarter in each of the team’s last two games.
To keep up with the Raiders, the Broncos would need to find a way to even out the team’s productivity. Pick: Raiders -5