Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick and Preview
NFC Wild Card Matchup
Point Spread: Buccaneers +2.5 | Total Points: 45.5
Coming into this week’s NFC matchup vs the Buccaneers, the Cowboys have an above .500 record at 12-5. This week, the Cowboys will look to get back on track, as they lost to the Washington Commanders in an NFC East matchup by a score 26-6. Dallas lost the game, even though they entered the game as a -7.5 point favorite. With an over-under betting line of 40, the two teams fell below that figure as they combined for 32.
Leading into their matchup against Dallas, the Buccaneers have an overall record of 8-9. In week 18, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped their NFC South matchup against the Falcons by a score of 30-17. With the loss, Tampa Bay also failed to cover the spread, as they were 6.0 underdogs. By the end of the game, the teams combined for 47 points, surpassing the betting line of 40.
Cowboys vs Buccaneers History
In the previous matchup between the two teams, the Buccaneers came out on top by a score of 19-3. This matchup took place back in week 1. Not only did the Buccaneers win the game straight up, but they also covered the spread as 2.5-point favorites. The two team’s offense’s combined to score 22 points. This figure was below the over-under betting line of 50.0.
In the last 3 head-to-head matchups, the Buccaneers are averaging 23 points per game, compared to the Cowboys at 19. These figures have led to Tampa Bay posting a record of 2-1. The last 3 times that the Buccaneers have hosted Dallas, they have a record of 1-2. In terms of betting, Tampa Bay holds a recent edge vs the spread, going 3-1-1 in the previous 5 meetings. These games have finished with an average point total of 38, leading to an over-under mark of 1-4.
- Jayron Kearse (Neck) Probable
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Chris Godwin (Knee (ACL) (MCL)) Probable
Keys To Victory: Dallas Cowboys
Quarterback Dak Prescott leads the Cowboys’ offense into Tampa Bay, averaging 27.5 points per game (4th). For the season, Prescott is averaging 238.3 passing yards per game through the air. This figure has him sitting 15th among quarterbacks. Prescott is coming off a 128-passing-yard performance, leading to a passer rating of 45.8. CeeDee Lamb has been targeted 156 times and has caught 68.6% of the passes thrown his way. He comes into the game with a total of 1359 receiving yards.
Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas ground attack could be in line for a good game, as the Buccaneers are 15th in the NFL in rush yards allowed per game. Running back Ezekiel Elliott figures to get a majority of the carries for a unit averaging 135.2 yards per contest in the run game.
Keys To Victory: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This season, the Buccaneers have had their problems on offense, as they are averaging just 18.4 points per game. The team’s lackluster offense has contributed 47.0% of the scoring in their games, leading to an average point differential of -2.7. So far, the Buccaneers have been one of the best passing units in the NFL, averaging 269.8 yards per game through the air. However, if they are going to maintain their usual level of production, they will need to do so against a Cowboys defense that has been strong against the pass. On the season, quarterback Tom Brady has completed 66.8% of his passes for a total of 4694 passing yards. However, he will need to be sharp vs a Dallas secondary that has been good against the pass. So far, the team’s top receiving threat has been Mike Evans, who comes into the game with 1124 receiving yards. For the season, he has been the recipient of 28.0% of the pass attempts to wide receivers.
This season, yards have been hard to come by on the ground for Tampa Bay, as they are currently ranked last in offensive rushing yards per game. But this week’s matchup vs Dallas presents an opportunity to improve this figure, as the Cowboys’ defense is one of the worst units at defending the run. So far, the team’s leading rusher is Leonard Fournette, who is averaging 3.5 yards per attempt. Through 16 games, he has rushed for a total of 668 yards on the ground.
- Dallas is 2-3 ATS in their last 5 games on the road.
- Dallas is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
- Dallas is 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games as the favorite.
- Dallas is 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 games as the underdog.
We like the Cowboys in a very close game. If you can find a line with Bucs +3 however, we would take it. We’re predicting a very close score.