Expert Final Thoughts: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys

Jameis-Winston

Sunday, December 18, 2016 5:04 PM GMT

The Bucs have really impressed of late, W5 straight after a 3-5 start and on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, they have their biggest game of the year when they take on the Cowboys. So can the TD-underdog visitors pull off the big upset here at Jerry World? Yessiree Bob.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys, 12/18/2016

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS, 340 PS-238 PA) welcome Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5 SU/ATS, 293 PS-296 PA) to AT&T Stadium (Matrix RealGrass AT) in Arlington (Clear, 21°) for a primetime Sunday Night Football Week 15 game made possible by the progressive concept of Flex Scheduling. Weather forecasts have the High temperatures in Dallas dropping 40 degrees from Saturday to Sunday but this state-of-the art venue features a retractable roof.

NFL odds have the Cowboys 6½ to 7½-point favorites with the Total from 46½ to 47 in this matchup, The Money Line odds see Dallas -295 favorites with New York +230 with the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opening up America's Team big 9½-point chalks in its NFL Week 15 Advanced Line before the Giants completed their Regular Season sweep of the Cowboys.

Sunday Night, Series, Side and Totals Trends, Dolphins-Jets Handicap

The Sunday Night Football Trends see Doug Martin and upstart Tampa Bay 4-5 ATS on the Road but 6-1 as Underdogs while Dallas is 13-12 ATS at Home and 13-14 ATS as Favorites Sunday nights. The Buccaneers have W5 SU/ATS, are 5-1 ATS L6 vs. NFC East, 4-0 ATS L4 Road but 1-5 ATS L6 Week 15, 3-8-1 ATS L12 vs. Teams with Winning Records and 12-25-1 L38 ATS in December. The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS L5 Home but 0-4-1 L5 in December and 6-17-1 ATS L24 FieldTurf.

My two clawed assistants went to Covers.com and tell me the Over is 35-15-3 L53 Cowboys games after Allowing 15 points or Less Previous Game and 7-3 L10 overall but the Under is 12-3 ATS L15 after a Dallas Loss and 6-0 L6 Cowboys in December.

The Under is also 4-0-1 L5 Bucs games, 6-2-1 L9 in December and 5-2-1 L8 Week 15. The Cowboys—who activated Darren McFadden—are 7-3 ATS L10 in this NFC series, the Favorite is 5-2 ATS L7 while the Under is 5-1 L5 meetings. The two met last season at Tampa with Mike Evans and the Bucs winning outright as 1-point Underdogs, 10-6.

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Buccaneers Will Embrace This Meeting, Need Game More Than Cowboys

Tampa Bay would be 6th-seed in the NFC if Playoffs started today and the Bucs improving Defense (22.8 ppg, #16) is a big reason why as it has allowed an NFL-low 12.8 ppg since Week 10 and just 6 TDs. This team can definitely win outright here—always a good handicapping barometer in mulling backing the Underdog in any sport.

And Dallas has shown signs of being human of late, L3 ATS and scoring just 24 points L2 games. “Rookies hit walls,” longtime Las Vegas handicapper Dave Cokin said of Cowboys QB Dak Prescott on FIRST PREVIEW Thursday. “And he hasn't been that sharp lately.” But Tampa's Offense has also been struggling lately, despite the nice run, making the Under more of a lean than the Over in the Totals market.

The bottom line is that this will be one of the coldest weekends in NFL history, the Bucs will come in expecting to win, looking for some big plays from its Defense and Special Teams and getting 7 points in this spot seems wise in what should be a close and entertaining game.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Buccaneers 24 Cowboys 23

Free NFL Pick: Buccaneers +7½

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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