Teams with postseason aspirations will meet in the 2021 NFL Kickoff Game when the Dallas Cowboys battle the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, Sept. 9. The Cowboys (6-10 in 2020) have not made the postseason since 2018 and have not advanced past the divisional round since winning Super Bowl XXX in 1995. The Buccaneers (11-5) are looking to reach the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since a four-year stretch from 1999 to 2002. Tampa Bay last had consecutive winning seasons in 2007 and 2008.
Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay is a 7.5-point favorite in the latest Cowboys vs. Buccaneers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 51.5.
Here are several NFL odds and betting trends for Cowboys vs. Bucs:
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers spread: Tampa Bay -7.5
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers over-under: 51.5 points
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers money line: Dallas +310, Tampa Bay -400
DAL: Cowboys are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as underdogs
TB: Over is 8-2 in the Buccaneers’ last 10 games as home favorites
Why the Buccaneers can cover
Tampa Bay’s defense was also a major part of the Buccaneers’ championship run. Tampa Bay allowed 327.1 yards per game, sixth-best in the league. Leading the defense was linebacker Devin White, who recorded 140 tackles, including 97 solo, with nine sacks for 70 yards. He also registered 18 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. One of his best games of the year was during the Bucs’ 31-26 win in the NFC Championship Game over the Green Bay Packers. In that game, he made 15 tackles, including nine solo. Against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, he had 12 tackles, including eight solo.
Cornerback Carlton Davis was also one of the Buccaneers’ top tacklers in 2020. He finished the regular season with 68 tackles, including 52 solo. He also had 18 pass breakups, tops on the team, and added four interceptions. Davis was a beast in the playoffs, making nine tackles in the NFC wild-card playoff victory at Washington and adding seven against the Packers.
Why the Cowboys can cover
Dallas is looking to rebound from an injury-plagued 2020 and boasts two top-notch receivers in second-year standout CeeDee Lamb and veteran Amari Cooper. Lamb proved to be a weapon, finishing with 74 receptions for 935 yards (12.6 average) and five touchdowns. He had 18 explosive plays, tops on the team, while adding 46 first-down conversions.
For the second year in a row, Cooper led the Cowboys in receptions, finishing with 92 for 1,114 yards (12.1 average) and five TDs. Cooper also had 13 plays of 20 or more yards and converted 54 first downs. For his career, he has 449 receptions for 6,211 yards (13.8 average) and 38 touchdowns, including 19 as a member of the Cowboys.
How to make Cowboys vs. Buccaneers picks
We are leaning under on the point total