One of the more entertaining matchups this week will feature the Dallas Cowboys (8-6) hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9). Both teams are coming off losses, but their different styles of play could make this a highly competitive game. Given the talent on the Buccaneers’ offense and the Cowboys’ defense, expect his to be one of the better early games on Sunday afternoon.
After a blowout loss last week to the Indianapolis Colts, the Cowboys are looking to bounce back in their final home game of the regular season. Before Week 15, the Cowboys were on a five-game win streak as they climbed out of a 3-5 hole to lead the NFC East. But with two games left in the season, the Cowboys can clinch the division with a win in one of their final two games.
Despite multiple quarterback changes, the Buccaneers have one of the better offenses in the NFL in 2018. They are averaging 24.6 points per game and lead the league in net passing yards, as well 10+ yard plays. With DeSean Jackson returning to practice this week, the Buccaneers have enough weapons to keep the Dallas defense on their toes.
Over their last five games, they have a record of just 2-3, but they have remained competitive each week. This isn’t a team that has given up, despite their 5-9 record. They are a potential “playoff spoiler” over the final two weeks. NFL betting fans should be mindful of that.
NFL oddsmakers have the Cowboys as a seven-point favorite over the Buccaneers. However, before betting on the game, make sure to check the status of Cowboys RG Zack Martin and Bucs’ WR DeSean Jackson as the line could swing depending on the injury report.
On the season, Dallas has been favored by seven or more points just once. The only time it occurred was on Thanksgiving Day when the Cowboys beat Washington, 31-23. Dallas has had success this season against conference opponents, winning 7 of 10 games in the NFC.
Playing on the road has been a bit of a house of horrors this season for Dallas, but they have been pretty consistent at home. They’ve won six of seven games at home while covering in five of them. Their only loss at home this season came on Monday Night Football against the Titans, but that was the game that sparked their resurgence.
With a playoff berth on the line, expect the Cowboys and their fans to be fired up for this one.
Tampa Bay, on the other hand, hasn’t had as much luck on the road this season. They are just 1-6 straight up on the road, but 3-3-1 against the spread. To make matters worse, they’ve lost five straight games on the road, with their only road win of the season coming in Week 1 in New Orleans.
However, being that Dallas needs this game and Tampa Bay has nothing to lose, I fully expect the Buccaneers to play loose and aggressive. All Tampa Bay needs to do is hit a few big plays down the field to stay in this one.
With Jackson likely back in the lineup, I’m betting that will happen. Take the Bucs and the points with Karamba, as that line seems off by at least a few points.
The over/under for this matchup is the third-highest total of the week. Once again, that total seems far too high for a game that features the Cowboys’ offense. In Dallas’ last 23 games, the total has gone under 16 times as the Cowboys love to grind out the clock and rely on their defense to keep the score down.
While their offense can sustain long drives, they just haven’t had the success in the red zone. That, in itself, keeps the score down in most games.
I envision the same thing occurring once again this week. It’s hard for me to imagine that either team will get enough possessions to score more than 24 or more points. Bet the under with 888Sport. I’m expecting a 21-17 type of game in Dallas.
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