- The Dallas Cowboys face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to open the season.
- The Cowboys will be without All-Pro OL Zack Martin, which sent their odds into a tailspin.
- Without Martin, RB Ezekiel Elliott’s O/U for rushing yards is only 55.5.
TAMPA, Fla. – The Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers are opening up the NFL season at home against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Bucs retained all of their starting players on both sides of the ball, and are expected to be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2022.
The Cowboys have more of an outside chance at playoff glory, although they’re expected to win their division fairly handily. The matchup between the two teams seemed close at first, with the spread opening at TB -6.5, and staying there for a bit. However, line movement has gone dramatically towards the Bucs as the game has approached.
Dallas Cowboys Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Moneyline Odds
Dallas Cowboys +8.5 (-110)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8.5 (-110)
Perhaps this move was caused by the positive COVID-19 test of Zack Martin, whom RB Ezekiel Elliott described in glowing terms when discussing the impact his absence could have.
“Zack’s our best player on our offense. I mean most runs, they coming back behind him,” said Elliott.
Martin did not travel with the team to Tampa, and according to Stephen Jones, COO of the Cowboys, “it’s looking like a stretch” that he plays.
Ezekiel Elliott Rushing Yards Vs. Tampa Bay Odds
OVER 55.5 (-114)
UNDER 55.5 (-114)
Elliott is not expected to perform very well in the absence of Martin, with a shockingly low yards O/U line.
But 55.5 is the kind of line that he could shatter on any given play, even without Martin, if the Tampa Bay defense makes even one small mistake.
This is not an ideal situation for Dallas to drop returning QB Dak Prescott into. Prescott, who was on a record breaking pace before injuring his leg in 2020, will be playing his first NFL game back without his best offensive lineman. However, he will have WR CeeDee Lamb, who was on the COVID-19 list up until last week, which is good news for the returning hero.
Dak Prescott Passing Yards Vs. Tampa Bay Odds
OVER 295.5 (-114)
UNDER 295.5 (-114)
Prescott is expected to be the heart of the team in this game, with the sportsbooks putting his O/U near 300 yards passing.
America’s Team is a legitimate underdog now, make no mistake.
The game starts at 8:20 p.m. EST on Thursday night and will be broadcast on NBC.
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