MON: 8:15 ET / 5:15 PT
DALLAS (-2.5) at TAMPA BAY
Here's a fact: The Cowboys have never beaten Tom Brady. Dallas is 0-7 all-time against the Bucs’ QB, including a Week 1 loss, when Tampa Bay topped Dallas 19-3.
Even though the Bucs have been an awful team against the spread this season (4-12-1), they are now healthy for the first time since September.
Meanwhile, Dallas is notorious for playoff meltdowns–will their misery continue?
Betting on the Bucs is problematic. Tampa Bay was the worst team in the NFL against the spread this regular season. They went 4-12-1 vs. the number. Takeaway the Weeks 1 and 2, and Bucs are even worse; just 2-12-1 ATS in their last 15 games.
However, Dallas is a horrific playoff team historically speaking, dating all the way back to their last Super Bowl win way back in 1995. They’re just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 playoff games. Dallas is also a bad late-season team, going just 2-13 ATS in their last 15 games played in January. Yet, the Cowboys have been a surprisingly solid bet as a road team, going 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games as the visitor.
This series has produced an unusually high number of UNDERs, going 12-3 UNDER in the past 15 meetings. Not sure if this matters, but 75 percent UNDERs in any series is worth mentioning.
The Bucs staged comebacks in a few late-season games that inspired team confidence.
Tampa Bay may have been one of the worst bets of the season to cover as a favorite, but now that they’re underdogs (at home!), the betting markets may have overadjusted.
It’s exceedingly rare to find value in anything associated with Tom Brady, and this is such an example. It’s also been reported the Bucs are much healthier now than in mid-season. Tampa Bay’s defense was solid, but faded around midseason. If they play anywhere near the way they dominated the Cowboys in the season opener, the Bucs should win in an upset.
Dallas can never be relied upon to win in the playoffs, and laying points here makes no sense at all. We’d take +3 with the Bucs, but since that number isn’t available, instead we’ll go with the Wong teaser on the underdog.
Teaser: Tampa Bay +8.5 / Cincinnati -3 (-120)