NFL Wild Card: Monday, January 16th at 7:15 pm CST
The final game in this year’s Wild Card round features the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Dallas Cowboys. This Monday night showdown looks to be one of the most entertaining matchups of the first round.
Both of these teams have long histories of success in the postseason, albeit at different stages. In what could be a defining moment for the future NFL career of QB Tom Brady, Dallas, and Tampa Bay are going to leave it all on the field.
Tom Brady and the Bucs will look to take down Dak Prescott and the ‘Boys. It will be interesting to see if Brady has another playoff run in him.
The Bucs won the weak NFC South despite their inconsistent play. Granted, the Bucs faced the injury bug throughout the year. However, it seems the Bucs have gotten healthy at the right time of the season.
At 12-5, the Cowboys finished with a much better record than the Bucs at 8-9. The Cowboys have been consistent all season. However, a troubling Week 18 loss at the hands of the Washington Commanders has led to some question marks. Dallas has rushed for 151 yards over their last two contests. This trend must change if Dallas is to advance to the next round.
On the defensive side, Tampa and Dallas feature underrated defenses. Tampa’s rush defense has allowed a little over 120 rushing yards per game, and Dallas’ defense allowed the tenth fewest passing yards during the regular season.
The Bucs will look to stifle Dallas’s running game, while Dallas will look to stuff Brady’s aerial assault. Tampa’s offensive line has looked shaky at times.
So, it might be easy to assume the Cowboys will blitz Brady early and often. While it’s hard to bet against Tom Brady, Dallas should top Tampa Bay in a close contest.
For Tampa Bay, receivers Julio Jones and Mike Evans missed practice time. Evans is expected to play, while Jones is still a question mark.
Dallas reported injuries to several defensive players, including CB Carlton Davis III, OLB Carl Nassib, and T Donovan Smith. Nevertheless, these injuries should not derail the Cowboys’ defense.
Here are Action247’s current betting lines on this Monday Night wild card matchup:
Moneyline: Dallas (-149) / Tampa Bay (+125)
Dallas is the moneyline favorite, as their offensive and defensive combination may be too much, especially given Tampa’s inconsistent play.
But with Tom Brady at the helm, Tampa could be a good option for bettors seeking an upset. Tampa has a healthy offensive corps, giving Brady plenty of weapons.
Spread: Dallas -3 (-105) / Tampa Bay +3 (-115)
With Dallas at 2-3 against the spread as the road favorite during this campaign, bettors may need to think twice about the Cowboys covering. However, this matchup looks close, so beating the spread may become challenging.
Over/under: 45.5 (-110)
Expect a tight defensive matchup early on. However, Prescott and the Cowboys have the firepower to blow the game open.
Similarly, Brady will look for ways to carve up the Dallas defense. As a result, this game could become an offensive showdown, especially in the second half. Therefore, the over looks like the safest bet.
Bettors looking for single-game parlays may consider total points and moneyline parlays. Also, Action247 offers various player props to complement this betting market.
This matchup features many marquee names. As a result, bettors looking for interesting props will find several great options.
Here are the most attractive player props at Action247:
- Touchdown scorers: Ezekiel Elliot, anytime (-109), Mike Evans, anytime (+145).
- Passing touchdowns: Dak Prescott O1.5 (-109) / U1.5 (-122), Tom Brady O1.5 (-147) / U1.5 (+111).
- Passing yards: Dark Prescott O243.5 (-115) / U243.5 (-115), Tom Brady O275.5 (-116) / U275.5 (-114).
- Receiving yards: CeeDee Lamb O72.5 (-116) / U72.5 (-115), Mike Evans O63.5 (-114) / U63.5 (-116).
- Rushing yards: Tony Pollard O50.5 (-118) / U50.5 (-112), Leonard Fournette O36.5 (-118) / U36.5 (-114).
Check out Action247’s full list of player props and updated odds. These may change without notice, so check back often.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys Prediction
The sheer firepower on both sides is enough to turn this contest into a run-and-gun affair. While both teams boast tough defensive corps, it’s hard to imagine Tom Brady or Dak Prescott being kept in check for very long.
The safe bet is to assume the Cowboys will pull out the win on the road. However, ageless wonder Tom Brady may still have a miracle or two up his sleeve. Discounting Brady’s heroics would be foolish.
Ultimately, the final Wild Card game should provide excitement from the opening snap. After that, expect a tight game down to the wire.
Outcome: Dallas tops Tampa Bay on the road by less than a touchdown.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.