Barring a tie, one NFC South team will need to buck an ugly trend following the result of Thursday night's game between the 0-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 0-1 Carolina Panthers.
Teams that fall into an 0-2 hole to start the season have only made the playoffs 10% of the time, which means the stakes will be surprisingly high in this Week 2 matchup.
Here's everything bettors need to know for Buccaneers-Panthers.
Carolina opened -5, but that didn't last long. The Panthers saw a move to -6.5 almost immediately, and then ticked up to -7 later in the week. After some back-and-forth, the line is holding steady at -6.5 one day before the game.
The total has fluctuated plenty since opening at 51. After an initial drop to 50, it jumped back up to 51, down to 49.5, and back up again to 50.5 before holding firm at 49.5 over the last 24 hours.
The Panthers caught some late sharp money in Week 1, pushing them from a three-point 'dog to +1.5 by the time the line closed. The result was a three-point defeat to the Rams, moving Carolina to a dreadful 2-7 run against the spread (ATS) dating back to last season. Overall, the Panthers have won outright just once in their last nine tries. Head coach Ron Rivera has also been a good fade in recent games as a favorite, losing the last four ATS and three of those outright when giving points.
The Buccaneers were one of the best "over" teams to start the year in 2018, hitting seven of the first eight before closing out the season on a 2-6 run. They kicked off 2019 with a 31-17 loss to the 49ers as 1-point favorites, while also registering another "under." But dating back to the 2016 season, Tampa Bay is on a 13-3-1 run to the "over" when playing away from home and 10-3 as a road underdog.
You won't get anywhere if you're banking on either team's general success when playing in a Thursday prime-time window. The Panthers and Buccaneers have the worst ATS records in the NFC South, combining to go 1-12-1 in this situation. But if you expand the angle a bit, there's more clarity.
Home favorites on Thursday night have lost the last two games outright - Los Angeles (Chargers) over Kansas City last season and Green Bay over Chicago in Week 1 - but they're still running hot of late. Teams in this situation are currently on an 11-3-1 run ATS, putting Carolina in an optimal spot.
The Bucs' road woes are alarming. The franchise hasn't won a road game in its last seven tries and is currently on an 0-12 run straight up on the road following a loss.
Godwin's always been a receiver on most fantasy players' radar given both the offensive scheme and his general talent. He became even more of a hot commodity in the Bucs' offense once DeSean Jackson left the mix, being upgraded to the team's full-time No. 2 receiver alongside Mike Evans. Last week's stat line against the 49ers was a bit underwhelming - three catches for 53 yards - but Godwin led the team in targets. If the Bucs are trailing, they're going to throw the ball, and Godwin should once again be a primary target. He also had one of his best games of the 2018 season against the Panthers when he went off for 101 yards on five catches and a touchdown in Week 13.
Considering how home teams have fared recently in this spot and with the spread on a key number, opening up a teaser with Carolina involved certainly doesn't seem like a terrible idea.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.