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NFL Wild Card – Cowboys vs Bucs Predictions, Picks, Odds

The Dallas Cowboys were one of four NFC teams to post double-digit wins during the regular season finishing with four more victories than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But the playoff format is what it is and the Cowboys will conclude Wild Card weekend with a visit to Tampa on Monday looking to end an eight-game postseason road losing streak. The Boys still had a chance to win the NFC East needing a win in Washington last week. Instead they played like crap losing 26-6 to a third-string quarterback making his first career start. Tampa eased into the playoffs with a losing record, which was a first for Tom Brady.

The NFC Wild Card game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL at 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday, January 16, 2023 and will be televised on ABC and ESPN.

NFL Wild Card – Cowboys vs Bucs Odds

Dallas Cowboys -2.5 ( -139 )

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5 ( +120 )

Over/Under 45.5

Odds Analysis

The way things went this season it only makes sense that the Cowboys are a 2.5-point road favorite. They had the better record cruising to their second straight 12-win season and were rolling offensively before stubbing their toe in the finale. And like every other game on Wild Card weekend this one is a rematch from the regular season. The clubs opened the campaign back in September with the Bucs pulling out a 19-3 victory, their second straight season-opening win over the Boys following the 2021 Thursday night 31-29 thriller. The Bucs are 5-1 ATS in the previous six games with Dallas. Tampa did enough to win the weak NFC South with an 8-9 SU record, but they’ve been a money pit at sportsbooks. They failed to cover the 6-point line in a 30-17 loss to Atlanta in the finale going 1-6 ATS over their final seven games.

Dallas Cowboys

I’m not sure what Dallas was thinking last week getting rolled by the team formerly known as the Redskins, 26-6, as a 7.5-point favorite. In the end it turned out to be a meaningless game, but the fellas didn’t know that at the time making their performance worrisome. And more of a concern is the play of Dak Prescott. He led the team to some big scoring games once returning from injury with the club scoring at least 30 points five times. They finished the regular season averaging 27.5 points to rank fourth. Prescott had 23 TD passes in 12 games, but he also tossed a league-high tying 15 interceptions and he’s coming off arguably the worst game of his career. He was just 14 of 37 for 128 yards against Washington and his interception was returned for a touchdown. He tossed 11 of his picks in the past seven games with at least one in each.

Despite Prescott giving it away, the defense was able to take it away at a higher clip. For the second straight season Dallas led the NFL in takeaways amassing 33. When it works the aggressive style pays off. The turnovers are evidence of that and so is the pass defense. The Boys recorded 54 sacks during the year with Micah Parsons collecting 13.5 and six other players tallying at least four. Getting pressure on Brady to slow the NFL’s second-best passing game is imperative.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Some might think Brady is ripe for the picking. Those same folks have to realize just what the GOAT has done in the postseason. He led the Bucs to a Super Bowl crown in his first season with the team and delivered the club’s first division title in 14 years last season. And despite winning only eight games Brady had a good year. He broke his own NFL record with 490 completions with nearly 4,700 yards and 25 touchdowns doing it all without the threat of a ground game. The Bucs were dead last averaging fewer than 77 rushing yards a game tallying just five rushing scores.

Games can swing on turnovers so it would behoove Brady and his mates to value the football. They did a good job during the season. Brady tossed nine interceptions and the Bucs coughed it up 22 times to finish in the middle of the pack. Their minus-2 turnover margin placed them in a tie for 20th. More than half of their turnovers came over the final six games with at least one each time for a total of 13. They were minus-4 in those games with Brady tossing seven of his nine picks during that span.

Cowboys at Buccaneers Prediction

Last week’s performance was inexcusable and I expect Dallas will have a different outlook on Monday. If they don’t it’ll be another early exit like last season. Despite his advanced age Brady still has something left in the tank, but I like Dallas’ aggressive approach on D to give him problems. And if the Bucs can’t run the football Brady is a sitting duck.

Our Prediction: Bet the Dallas Cowboys -2.5 and UNDER 45.5

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George Newman
George Newman
Covers NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL for George is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy sports fan.

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