The 2021 NFL season begins on Thursday, Sept. 9 with a high-profile matchup in the NFC. The reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin their title defense in the 2021 NFL Kickoff Game, led by Tom Brady and a roster that remains loaded. Tampa Bay hosts the Dallas Cowboys , keyed by Dak Prescott and overflowing with talent on the offensive side. Both teams face lofty expectations this season, though Dallas will look to remove the sour taste of an 0-4 preseason mark.
Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET in Tampa Bay. Caesars Sportsbook lists Tampa Bay as a 7.5-point home favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 50.5 in the latest Buccaneers vs. Cowboys odds. Before making any Cowboys vs. Buccaneers picks, make sure to check out the expert NFL predictions from SportsLine NFL expert R.J. White .
White, a Fantasy and gambling editor for CBS Sports and SportsLine, ended the 2020 season on an 80-59 run on all NFL picks , returning more than $1,400 during that span. That success is no surprise, as White has cashed huge twice in the world’s most prestigious football handicapping competition, the Las Vegas SuperContest. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, White has set his sights on Buccaneers vs. Cowboys in the NFL Kickoff Game 2021 and just revealed his NFL expert picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks . Here are several NFL odds and betting trends for Cowboys vs. Bucs:
- Buccaneers vs. Cowboys spread: Tampa Bay -7.5
- Buccaneers vs. Cowboys over-under: 50.5 points
- Buccaneers vs. Cowboys money line: Dallas +310, Tampa Bay -400
- DAL: Cowboys finished 5-11 against the spread in 2020
- TB: Bucs were 12-8 against the spread last season
Why the Cowboys can cover
Dallas struggled last season, both in the standings and against the spread, but there is reason for optimism in 2021. Offensively, the Cowboys project to be very strong, particularly with the return of Prescott. Dallas was on a league-best scoring pace (32.6 points per game) with Prescott in the lineup last season, and the team’s starting quarterback is on track to play in the opener. Prescott was on a 16-game pace for more than 6,000 total yards and nearly 40 touchdowns in 2020, and his presence changes the game for Dallas.
Defensively, Dallas has work to do, but the Cowboys finished the 2020 season strong, allowing only 20 points per game in the final four contests. The Cowboys also added talent with former Falcons Pro Bowler Keanu Neal and No. 12 overall pick Micah Parsons , both of whom should make an immediate impact against Tampa Bay.
Why the Buccaneers can cover
Tampa Bay’s offseason was virtually unprecedented, as the Bucs brought back every starter from a Super Bowl team. Given the challenge of that in the salary cap era, expectations are potentially even higher than one might expect for the Bucs, but they have the talent to live up to them. Tampa Bay didn’t just sweep through the playoffs, the Bucs also won their final eight games overall, including the dominant win over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Much of that victory could be traced to a dominant defensive front, but Tampa Bay also has a potent offense, led by Brady and a bevy of talented skill players.
The Bucs finished No. 3 in scoring offense a year ago, averaging nearly 31 points per game, and scored on 47.8 percent of their offensive possessions. Tampa Bay put up 2.72 points per drive, a top-five mark in the league, and finished with the No. 7 total offense in generating more than 6,100 total yards. Through the air, Brady left his mark by leading Tampa Bay to the No. 2 unit in both passing yards (4,626) and passing touchdowns (42).
How to make Buccaneers vs. Cowboys picks
White is leaning under on the point total, and he’s also discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing that pick and the rest of his NFL expert picks at SportsLine .
So who wins Buccaneers vs. Cowboys? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see R.J. White’s Cowboys vs. Buccaneers pick and analysis, all from the NFL expert who finished last season on an 80-59 heater on NFL picks , and find out.
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