The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly won their first division title since 2007 last season, finishing one game behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South. Now that future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees has hung up his cleats, the door is wide open for Tampa Bay to end its lengthy drought this year. The reigning Super Bowl-champion Buccaneers will begin the quest on Thursday, when they host the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL Kickoff Game.
Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay is a 7.5-point favorite in the latest Cowboys vs. Buccaneers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 51.5. Before making any Buccaneers vs. Cowboys picks, make sure to check out the expert NFL predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six years ago. It went a sizzling 24-14 on top-rated NFL picks last season, returning more than $800. The model also enters the 2021 season on an incredible 120-78 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model also ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick’em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, the model has simulated Buccaneers vs. Cowboys in the NFL Kickoff Game 2021 10,000 times and just revealed its NFL expert picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see its picks. Here are several NFL odds and betting trends for Cowboys vs. Bucs:
- Cowboys vs. Buccaneers spread: Tampa Bay -7.5
- Cowboys vs. Buccaneers over-under: 51.5 points
- Cowboys vs. Buccaneers money line: Dallas +310, Tampa Bay -400
- DAL: Cowboys were a league-worst 5-11 against the spread last season
- TB: Buccaneers were 0-5 ATS in primetime games last year, including playoffs
Featured Game | Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Why the Buccaneers can cover
While Tom Brady and the rest of the offense received most of the accolades last season, the Buccaneers also performed well on the other side of the ball. Tampa Bay was sixth last year in total defense, yielding 327.1 yards per game, and were especially strong against the run, as they ranked first in the league in rushing defense with an average of 80.6 yards allowed. The Buccaneers also finished in the top 10 in scoring defense, as they gave up only 22.2 points per contest.
Among Tampa Bay’s top performers on defense in 2020 was linebacker Devin White, who had 140 tackles in his second NFL season to lead the team and finish fifth in the league. The 23-year-old from LSU, who was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, also registered nine sacks to finish just behind Jason Pierre-Paul (9.5) for first on the club. It was a major improvement by White from his rookie campaign, when he recorded just 2.5 sacks and made 91 tackles.
Why the Cowboys can cover
Prescott’s talents were on full display before he was injured, as he threw for 1,690 yards and nine touchdowns in his first four contests. The 28-year-old entered Week 5 with three straight performances in which he passed for 450 or more yards and became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 400 yards and run for three TDs in the same game when he accomplished the feat against Atlanta in Week 2. Prescott was on pace to shatter the personal best of 4,902 passing yards he set in 2019 before being shelved for the first time in his five-year career.
Prescott has one of the league’s most dangerous receiving duos with which to work in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. The 27-year-old Cooper has registered over 1,000 yards in five of his six seasons in the NFL, including both of his full campaigns with the Cowboys after being acquired from Oakland in 2018. Selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the 22-year-old Lamb fell 65 yards shy of 1,000 in his rookie season, but finished even with Cooper and Michael Gallup for the team lead with five TD catches.
How to make Cowboys vs. Buccaneers picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 59 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. Head to SportsLine to see its NFL picks.
So who wins Buccaneers vs. Cowboys? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see the Cowboys vs. Buccaneers picks, all from the model that has returned almost $7,900 on top-rated NFL picks, and find out.