The first week of the NFL is set to get started. In this column, a comprehensive breakdown of each and every single game is served up, complete with free NFL picks.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Thursday, September 9, 2021, 8:20 PM ET — Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to begin their title defence campaign — and quest for a second straight Super Bowl— on Thursday when they welcome the Dallas Cowboys to Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers open as the significant home chalk, laying just over a touchdown. Underscoring their massive favour across multiple sportsbooks is the organisation’s shrewd decision to return all 22 Super Bowl starters for another campaign in 2021. Another year together should see Tom Brady and Co. improve dramatically. Brady and the offence should find chemistry early while the defence promises to be elite again.
It’s a tough ask for the Cowboys to square up to the defending champions in Week 1, especially with Dak Prescott coming off a season-ending ankle injury and the Cowboys overall looking to make amends for a disappointing 2020 campaign that resulted in a woeful 6-10-0 record in Mike McCarthy’s first season. How well Prescott will play remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Cowboys were slow out of the gates.
All in all, this is a fascinating matchup and it will reveal a lot about the Bucs and Cowboys, both of which carry the weight of expectation into 2021. However, the Buccaneers have the edge here.
NFL Pree Picks: Buccaneers -7.5 (-110)