The 2021 NFL season kicks off this Thursday night as America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, take on the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Like the T-1000 chasing Arnie through the streets of LA, Tom Brady has reassembled his constituent parts for yet another attempt to capture his own John Connor, the Vince Lombardi trophy, while Dallas will hope to rebound from a dystopian 2020 where their quarterback Dak Prescott saw his season terminated in grisly fashion by a broken ankle and the rest of the team melted down in the pool of bubbling molten metal that is the NFL regular season.
Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Thursday night, 01:20am
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Our NFL trader Daniel Whitty spoke to Graham Byrne of PPTV to give us his Bet Builder for the first game of week 1…
Tampa Bay have retained pretty much all their players from last year’s title-winning team. In 2020, they scored the third most amount of points in the entire league, while Dallas’s defence shipped the 5th-most amount
The Cowboys also have quite a number of significant injuries on the defensive side of the ball, and that should give Brady and the Buccaneers enough of an edge to cover the more-than-touchdown spread on opening night.
It’s quite a high total – over seven touchdowns – but Dallas have finally got Dak Prescott back after his horrific Week 5 injury last season. He was off to a flyer last season in the opening games of the season and their games easily covered 51 points in the games he played.
They are missing one of their crucial linemen, Zack Martin, but that could mean Prescott will have to throw the ball more as they may not be able to run it. That could mean the game turns into a shootout and handily covers the total.
Mike Evans had a great season last year from a touchdown scoring perspective as he became Tom Brady’s favourite target in the RedZone, hauling in 13 scores in total – almost double that of the next best Bucs receiver. Basically, whenever Tampa get within scoring distance it’ll be all eyes on him.
Dak Prescott has a lot of targets to choose from in the Cowboys offence, but CeeDee Lamb, entering his second year in the league, stands out here. He’s expected to have a big year and looked to have a good connection with his QB in the opening games last season, recording at least 62 yards in four of those five games together, so if he continues where he left off he should runaway with this generous line.
Our Trader’s 9/1 Bet Builder for Dallas @ Tampa Bay
- Handicap: Tampa Bay -7.5
- Total Points: Over 51.5
- Anytime TD Scorer: Mike Evans
- Receiving Yards: CeeDee Lamb Over 61.5
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