Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: NFC Wild Card Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 1/16/2023

by Chuck Sommers

NFC Wild Card Playoffs

Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Cowboys -3; Cowboys -145, Buccaneers +125
FanDuel: Cowboys -3; Cowboys -152, Buccaneers +128
BetMGM: Cowboys -3; Cowboys -150, Buccaneers +125
Caesars: Cowboys -3; Cowboys -154, Buccaneers +130

Season record
Cowboys: 12-5 (No. 5 seed)
Buccaneers: 8-9 (No. 4 seed, clinched NFC South)

Wild Card Weekend is upon us, and it’s time to lay the big bucks on the best teams of the season. What a slate of games we have this weekend, and you know our champion handicappers are coming in hot with the games this weekend. Especially with how they closed the last month, a lot is riding on this. Al McMordie closed the final four weeks at 18-10-1, and Hollywood Sports also had a good run of form with a 21-14-1 mark in that run. Even Jim Feist finished with regular season with a 9-5 run the last two weeks. This is the action you want to get on. Make sure you hop over to bigal.com and check out our Best Bets page to see what our champion handicappers are cooking up for the postseason!

Cowboys - Buccaneers preview, analysis and prediction

Last week
Cowboys: lost 26-6 at Commanders
Buccaneers: lost 30-17 at Falcons

I have never gone into any stretch of games in the last 6-7 years not having faith in Dak Prescott.
I have no faith now. What I saw on Sunday, albeit in a meaningless game, was just bad. It was horrendous on all levels. I had already lost faith in Prescott when he choked against Jacksonville. Sunday in Washington was horrendous.
And now you expect me to believe that the Dallas Cowboys will suddenly have everything fixed prior to Monday night when they have to go to Tampa and take on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in a playoff game? Really?
This Cowboys team has to be in the running for the most pathetic 12-win team I’ve ever seen, and we’ve watched the Minnesota Vikings all season long. We’re talking about a team that has an elite offense, supposedly one of the best defenses in the NFL, and they have gotten torched on both sides of the ball over the last month with no sign of things getting any better. They’ve forgotten how to sack the quarterback, they’ve forgotten how to cover, and their quarterback has forgotten how to throw to the correct team.
“This is not about one guy,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “You can’t look at our offensive performance and blame it on one guy. Plenty to go around.”
Probably starting with you, bud.
Seven straight games with an interception for Prescott with no immediate fix in sight. Sunday’s to Kendall Fuller might have been the worst one of them all. On 2nd down, he throws to the flat and is almost picked by Fuller. On the very next play, Fuller picks him off and goes for the touchdown. I have never seen a man look so bad in my life throwing the football. The best stat I saw yesterday was that Prescott has the second longest streak in Cowboys history with an interception, trailing on Vinny Testaverde. I totally forgot that Testaverde was the Cowboys quarterback because Quincy Carter did some illegal things.
And yet despite the fact that the Cowboys completely wet the bed in a 26-6 loss to the Commanders on Sunday, and despite the fact that the team as a whole looks nothing like a Super Bowl contender after Prescott’s worst game as the quarterback of the Cowboys, Dallas is somehow LAYING three points in Monday’s game against Tampa Bay.
That just goes to show how bad the Buccaneers have been over the course of this season. Despite entering the playoffs at 8-9 as winners of the NFC South, the Bucs have failed to cover in six of their last seven and the only cover was as 3.5-point favorites against Carolina in a 6-point win. To be fair, it’s not like the Cowboys have been any better going 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five.
Hilarious how this is Brady’s first losing season of his career, but is very much in play to win another playoff game because no one can trust the Cowboys right now, and neither should you.
“I just love going out there and competing with my teammates, love competing with those guys,” Brady said. “I’ve got a great group of guys I go to work with every day. We try to show up for everybody and be the best we can be. These are all team records in my opinion. I’ve always said that.”
There are going to be some road teams this weekend that have a legit chance of winning. The Cowboys don’t feel like one of them. I have never wanted to hammer Tampa getting 3 points harder in my life and never before have I wanted to bet the under so bad. If you thought Week 1 was bad, wait until we get to this one. Buccaneers 17, Cowboys 13

Betting trends

Cowboys are 0-4 ATS in their last four playoff games.

Cowboys are 10-1 ATS following a straight-up loss in their last 11.

Cowboys are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four against teams with a losing record.

Buccaneers are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 following an ATS loss.

Buccaneers are 8-0 ATS in last eight after having less than 250 total yards in their previous game.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Dak Prescott – 2,860 yards, 23 TD, 15 INT
Rushing: Tony Pollard – 1,007 yards, 9 TD
Receiving: CeeDee Lamb – 107 catches, 1,359 yards, 9 TD
Defense: Micah Parsons – 13.5 sacks

Passing: Tom Brady – 4,694 yards, 25 TD, 9 INT
Rushing: Leonard Fournette – 668 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Mike Evans – 1,124 yards, 6 TD
Defense: Vita Vea – 6.5 sacks

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Dallas Cowboys - Tampa Bay Buccaneers playoff prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NFL projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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