If this matchup is anything like last year's thrilling season-opener between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys, we're in for one of the best games of the year in Week 1. In that awesome game, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady led a game-winning drive to secure a 31-29 victory for his team, in true Brady fashion. The Bucs were -2.5 favorites in that game with a large total of 51 at the close of markets. This game features almost the same exact numbers, with Tampa Bay as -2/-2.5 favorites and a total once again of 51.
The Buccaneers went through an offseason roller coaster with the retirement and un-retirement of Brady. Rob Gronkowski retired (for now), so Brady will be without his trusty tight end to start the season. He'll still have superstar's Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to rely on, and now veteran Julio Jones. Make no mistake, this offense will be very lethal in 2022. The defense should still be in good shape since it didn't lose many key pieces, and perhaps most importantly, didn't lose defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Head coach Bruce Arians also retired, and now Bowles is tasked with head coaching duties for the team.
The Cowboys have had a different offseason. Following the departure of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, the Cowboys’ receiving corps is a lot thinner to begin the 2022 season than they had at the beginning of 2021. Michael Gallup will still be recovering from a torn ACL when Week 1 arrives, and even still, I would suspect that he will be on a snap count when he does return. The offensive line has to do better this season than they did last year. They are the key cog in making sure the Cowboy's offense runs smoothly, and have been one of the main reasons that Dallas has been so competitive in recent seasons. If they don't get better, it is very possible that Dallas fails to make the playoffs this season. The defense should be middle-of-the-road again, but I never really have much faith in them on that side of the ball, no matter who they have.
Oh, and Mike McCarthy is still the head coach, which means they aren't winning anything significant anytime soon. I would take the Buccaneers at a short number under a field goal.
Buccaneers at Cowboys Week 1 Lean: Bucs -2.5
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