By: Jason Green
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9 SU 6-7-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-6 SU 8-6 ATS)
The Bucs are out of the playoff race and have been for some time. After winning two in a row they have lost two straight where they only combined for 26 points. Tampa Bay can only play spoiler in this Game, which does not set up well for them defensively. Their run D only ranks 27th in the league and they GAve up a ton of rushing yards in their last Game and in this one face Cowboys’ RB Ezekiel Elliot, who leads the NFL in rushing yards.
The Cowboys had their five-Game winning streak snapped in their last Game where they were shut out losing to the Baltimore Colts 23-0. However, they still lead the NFC East and to lose the title they will have to lose their last two Games and have either the Washington Redskins or Philadelphia Eagles, who face off in the season finale, go 2-0 the rest of the way. Dallas has given up exactly 23 points in three of their last Four Games.
The Cowboys are a 7-point home favorite with a total of 46.
This season the Bucs are 6-7-1 ATS with an O/U record of 8-6 and the Chargers are 8-6 ATS with an O/U record of 6-8.
These teams have not met since the 2016 season.
The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five Games between these teams.
In their last Game, the Bucs were on the road and lost to the Baltimore Ravens 20-12. While they did force two turnovers and only commit one they were outGAined 370 yards to 241 yards giving up 242 rushing yards and they rushed for 85 yards.
Jameis Winston was 13/25 for 151 yards with no TD and one INT and Mike Evans was his main target, by far, with 121 receiving yards. Peyton Barber rushed for 85 yards and a TD and averaged a solid 4.5 yards per carry. Winston had his fewest passing yards in a Game he played from start to finish.
The Bucs will be up against a Dallas defense that ranks 7th in the league against the pass and 5th against the run, but GAve up 178 rushing yards in their last Game.
The Cowboys 5-Game win streak came to a crashing halt in their last Game losing to the Indianapolis Colts 23-0. They were outGAined 370 yards to 292 yards, had two turnovers while forcing one, and their D allowed Indy to convert on eight of their 12 3rd downs.
Dak Prescott passed for 206 yards with no TD and a pick and three Dallas players had at least 41 receiving yards. Elliot rushed for 87 yards averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Dallas cannot get down early, as they need to pound the rock with Elliot, who will be facing a Tampa Bay run D that has had major issues this season. Not only does the Tampa run defense rank 27th in the league, but their pass D ranks 27th as well.
Buccaneers ATS Trends
3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 Games
2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 Games after a loss
Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 Games
Cowboys ATS Trends
5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games
4-1 ATS in their last 5 home Games
Over record of 5-1 in their last 5 home Games
Jason’s Pick: The Cowboys were handed a goose egg in losing their last Game, but back at home they will get back in the W column. Their D will keep the Bucs down and Elliot will have a big Game on the ground. Add those things up and you get Dallas winning and covering the spread winning the NFC East title and qualifying for the playoffs in the process.