FanPost

Bucs are Week's biggest favorites

The Bucs begin their journey for a second straight Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys. A team that many have high expectations for with the return of Dak Prescott.

Still, this is a mismatch. The Bucs are the reigning Super Bowl champions returning nearly every starter from last year. The Cowboys are a team that couldn't win 7 games last year, even if they lost Prescott early in the year. It's not like they were lighting the world on fire with him, they were 2-3 in games he started.

Odds

The Bucs open as Week 1's biggest favorite. They're -9.5 against the spread, and -400 to win outright. To put that into perspective, the Bucs are basically given an implied 80% chance to win outright. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are given +360 odds to win the game. That's an implied 21.7% chance to win.

To compare this to the rest of the league, only two other teams are even given -300 or better odds to win, the Rams and 49ers. So, the Bucs are about as big of a favorite as it possible on Week 1.

Matchup history

The Bucs and Cowboys have met 19 times in team history. The Bucs have only won 4 of those games. The Bucs have lost 7 of the last 8 matchups.

The Bucs lone win was a 10-6 game game in 2015. The lone TD in the game came off a Jameis Winston 1 yard run. The two teams combined for 3 INTs. There were also 2 fumbles, though neither was lost. So, it was among the ugliest games in the NFL that year.

Before that you have to go way back to 2003. The Bucs won that one 16-0. Again the two teams combined for 1 TD, a Brad Johnson pass to Keyshawn Johnson.

This is a pattern. Of the Bucs 4 wins over the Bucs, 3 came when the two teams combined for just 1 TD. The one that didn't? That would be a 27-7 win that came in 2000.

Conclusion

The Bucs don't have a great history against the Cowboys, but at the end of the day it's just that... history. Losing 7 of their last 8 against the Cowboys has nothing to do with the team in 2021. Reality is that the 2021 Bucs are arguably the best team in the NFL.

This game shouldn't be all that close. If it is, either the Bucs had a terrible start to the year or Dak came out looking like an MVP candidate.

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