Dallas Cowboys (0-0) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)
September 9, 2021 8:20 pm EDT
The Line: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5 / Dallas Cowboys +6.5; Over/Under: 52
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football in week 1 NFL action at Raymond James Stadium. The Cowboys enter their second season under coach Mike McCarthy and are considered by oddsmakers to be a dark horse Super Bowl contender. The Buccaneers are fresh off their second Super Bowl in franchise history and enter a third year under coach Bruce Arians.
The Dallas Cowboys have nowhere to go but up after a disappointing 6-10 season that had one of the worst defenses in franchise history. The Cowboys attacked defense hard in the draft and free agency, which includes the addition of Micah Parsons, who is a strong candidate for rookie DPOY honors. The Cowboys also bring in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, which is an instant upgrade over Mike Nolan and should improve that side of the ball. Offensively, the Cowboys are loaded with running back Ezekiel Elliott and possibly the best trio of wide receivers in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Of course, a lot depends on the health of quarterback Dak Prescott and if that shoulder can hold up for 17 games. On paper, the Cowboys look good and should be favored to win the NFC East. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve said this, so the Cowboys are buyer beware until further notice.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off their first title since 2002 and return all 22 starters that made it all possible. The Bucs now have a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champs for the first time since the 2004 Patriots, which were also led by some guy named Tom Brady. The Bucs have their quarterback and a handful of offensive weapons in Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. The Buccaneers finished third in offensive points and seventh in yards, numbers they should be able to build on this season. Defensively, Ndamukong Suh will miss the start of the season, but the Buccaneers have a trio of young studs in Vita Vea, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Devin White. Jason Pierre-Paul has also had no less than seven sacks in each of his last five seasons. It’s not easy to repeat as Super Bowl champs, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have everything in place to give it a serious run.
The Cowboys are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games and 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Buccaneers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The over is 5-2 in Cowboys last 7 games overall. The over is 23-11 in Buccaneers last 34 games overall. The Cowboys are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
The Cowboys are too talented of a team to turn down a free touchdown, regardless of where the game is or who they’re playing. The Cowboys have also covered 12 of their last 17 games in the underdog role, which includes outright wins in three of their last four games. The defending Super Bowl champs have also lost two of the last four season openers, and three of the last four champs that won, the game was decided by seven or less points. As good as the Buccaneers are, the value is with the Cowboys and the free touchdown.