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Cowboys vs Buccaneers NFL Wild Card Weekend odds and predictions: Who is the favorite?

It’s going to be a tough time for the Bucs down in Tampa, with a roster that has been heavily hit by injury. Meanwhile their opponents from Dallas are basically fully fit.

Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Wild Card Weekend odds and predictions: Who is the favorite?
Richard RodriguezAFP

As they prepare to face each other in the conclusion of the NFL’s Wild Card Round, the Buccaneers and Cowboys will each be hoping to book their spot in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. With an injury depleted roster, we’re not sure how Tampa Bay intends to achieve that. Here are your picks and predictions.


Cowboys vs Buccaneers: The Lay of the Land

Monday Night Football will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9) hosting the Dallas Cowboys (12-5) when they face off at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida in the final game of the Wild Card Round. After a season in which they lost more than they won, it may surprise some to see the Buccaneers in their third consecutive postseason appearance, but here they are none the less. Where the Cowboys are concerned, this is their second straight trip to the playoffs, but it’s worth noting that the they haven’t seen the Divisional Round since 2018. Additionally, both teams are coming off of a loss in the final week of the regular season. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET

Dallas’ defense is as sharp as they come

Though they have not had much success on the road, it’s worth noting that Dallas’ roster is very healthy heading into this one. That’s a fact that will only serve to accentuate the one part of the team that’s played very well, the talented and diverse defense. The Cowboys ended the season ranked 12th in total defense (330.2) and eighth in pass defense (200.9). In nine of their games during the season, they allowed 200 or fewer passing yards. A big part of that has been cornerback Trevon Diggs, who is as slick and slippery as any out there in the secondary. With strong instincts and incredible athletic prowess, there are few better at taking away the ball. In total, the Alabama product has posted 59 total tackles, 14 pass deflections, and three interceptions this season.

Incidentally, when the Cowboys lost to the Bucs way back in Week 1, Diggs finished with three tackles and two pass breakups, which is to say, the signs were there. Also worth a mention is rookie cornerback DaRon Bland. The first-year pass defender has made a huge impact in this, his maiden season. Aside from his length and blistering speed, he’s also demonstrated an uncanny ability to orchestrate takeaways. For the season so far, he’s bagged a total of 54 total tackles and seven pass deflections, while leading the team with an impressive five interceptions.

Despite injury issues, the Bucs have established themselves in aerial defense

There are a few things to consider when it comes to the Bucs. Firstly, there is Tom Brady’s record i.e., TB12 has never lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the seven times that he’s faced them. On the other hand, Brady has never made a trip to the playoffs on a losing record, so there is also that. Then, there’s the fact that the Bucs will be playing at home, which is a major factor. Yet, the one thing that won’t do the Bucs any favors is the health of their roster. Unlike the Cowboys, Tampa Bay’s injury report has no less than nine players listed as either questionable or doubtful, while Dallas has just one.

If there’s any good news for the Bucs, it’s the manner in which they have defended against passing yards. Ranked ninth in passing yards allowed (203.6), they have given up fewer than 200 in eight games this season. Key to that fact, is cornerback Carlton Davis III who just knows how to find the ball. Excellent in his coverage of the zone, Davis III is as strong in his play as he is aware of all around him. In total he’s got himself 65 tackles, 12 pass deflections and one interception.

Cowboys vs Buccaneers: The Odds

CategoryDallas CowboysTampa Bay Buccaneers
Over/Under Points Totalu45.5(-110)o45.5(-110)

Cowboys vs Buccaneers: The Prediction

When all is said and done, this game will likely be a relatively close one, but between the Bucs’ lack of personnel due to injuries and the Cowboys’ excellent defense, we can’t see Tom Brady and Co. getting out of this with a win. That is of course, unless the seven-time Super Bowl winner turns in a performance that we haven’t seen this season. Ultimately, we’re going with a 26-17 Dallas Cowboys win, which will put them in the Divisional Round for the first time in almost five years.