SNF Week 1: Bucs vs. Cowboys Point Spread Pick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date/Time: Sunday September 11th, 2022. 8:30PM (EST)
Where: AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX
Point Spread: TB -1.5/DAL +1.5 (STOP laying -110 odds! Start saving big money by laying only -105 TODAY at BAS!)
For the 2nd straight year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys will square off in a high-profile season opener. Last year, the Buccaneers pulled out a 31-29 thriller at home for the first NFL game of the season in front of a Thursday Night audience. On Sunday, the Cowboys will look for revenge when they host the Buccaneers inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the first Sunday Night Football game of the season as mere 1.5 point underdogs.
Unlike last year’s contest, expectations are not quite as high for either the Buccaneers or Cowboys this season. While there is still a high ceiling for both franchises, the Cowboys expectations have been simmered by the departure of WR Amari Cooper, OT La’el Collins, injured OT Tyron Smith, and the apparent declining threat of RB Ezekiel Elliott. Meanwhile, Bucs QB Tom Brady returns from the briefest retirement in history, but he is still 45 years old. More importantly, Tampa Bay lost WR Antonio Brown, TE Rob Gronkowski, and WR Chris Godwin is returning from an ACL injury. Needless to say, the Buccaneers do not appear to be as potent offensively as they once were.
With those things in mind, both the Cowboys and Buccaneers have the talent and potential to contend in the NFC if things go their way. Tampa Bay especially still has one of the better defenses in the league, which many people have lost sight of because of the injuries that plagued the group last year. Despite Brady’s age, his decision-making is still as good as ever, so this Tampa Bay team can be good with execution. For Dallas, there are just more question marks. Will Ezekiel Elliott return to prominence? How will Dak Prescott play after a horrendous playoff performance, and how will the defense hold up?
Mike McCarthy’s last chance
Since taking over as the Cowboys Head Coach in 2020, Mike McCarthy is a moderate 18-15 SU in his two seasons in Dallas. Of course, the record is somewhat misleading, considering QB Dak Prescott was lost to a season-ending injury for the bulk of the 2020 season, but last year’s once promising team took an early playoff exit on the chin against the 49ers. To make matters worse, the Cowboys have not done anything to improve McCarthy’s chances of success going into 2022. As noted above, the Cowboys parted ways with Amari Cooper and La’el Collins, which were important pieces to the offense. With Tyron Smith now injured, WR Michael Gallup still on the path to recovery, and question marks swirling around RB Ezekiel Elliott, many would consider this to be the worst the Cowboys’ talent on offense has looked in a long time.
While the Cowboys front office has not helped the team, I’m convinced that Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be out at the end of the year unless the Cowboys win a playoff game. Whether that is fair or not is completely up for debate. However, rest assured McCarthy’s staff is aware of the pressure reigning down on the organization. As a result, I do believe the Cowboys have a lot of incentive to get the year started off in the right direction and would not be surprised to see more aggressive play calling. The problem is that I’m just not convinced it will make a difference.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Analysis
When it comes down to expectations in this intriguing Sunday night opener, I’m focusing on the match-ups in the trenches. The Cowboys want to run the ball more this year with their talented tandem of Elliott and the arguably better Tony Pollard. With so much talent missing upfront, I sincerely question whether the Cowboys will be able to establish any holes on the ground against a healthy Buccaneers defensive front that stymied opponents last season to just 92.5 yards per game on the ground, ranking as the 3rd best run defense in the league.
If the Buccaneers can play well against the run as they should, I’m not sure Prescott has the go-to threats in the passing game to take over this game. WR CeeDee Lamb is a tremendous talent, but every defense now has Lamb in the crosshairs as the only big-time threat the Cowboys have in the passing game. On the other side of the ball, I remain skeptical of the Cowboys’ defense. The large number of forced turnovers saved the Cowboys’ defense last year, but I’m not sure if we can rely on the same amount of turnovers this year. Even with the turnovers, the Cowboys’ defense gave up a ton of yards, and once again, they did nothing over the offseason to correct those concerns. If the Bucs can get RB Leonard Fournette going early in this contest, don’t be surprised to see Brady pick this defense apart in the short-intermediate passing game!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Prediction
As always, I’m looking for paths to victory. The Buccaneers have defensive and offensive paths to victory in this match-up. Meanwhile, I think the Cowboys need a big offensive effort for their best path to victory, but I just don’t like how they match up against this Buccaneers defense. As a result, I’m riding confidently with the Buccaneers to get the job done!
Jay’s Pick: Take Tampa Bay -1.5. Bet your Week One NFL predictions for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit up to $500 by using bonus promo code PREDICTEM at Everygame Sportsbook! They’re the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbook! In business since 1983!