Aren’t the Cowboys supposed to be division champs by now?
Well, week 15 didn’t go the way Dallas had hoped at all, with both Washington and Philadelphia winning and the Colts blanking the Cowboys. The good news is that the clinching scenarios have remained the same, and the Cowboys can wrap this regular season up early with a victory on Sunday over the 5-9 Buccaneers.
Let’s get into the line this week and see where we want to put our money.
Cowboys -7, O/U 46.5 points.
Despite looking horrendous in their 23-0 loss to the Colts last week, the Cowboys playoff clinching scenario is simple over their final two games; win one and you’re in. They’ll get the first of those two chances to clinch on Sunday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town.
The Bucs have been far from impressive this season, though they have remained competitive against some tough opponents at times. In fact, like the Cowboys, they have a shocking victory over the NFC’s-best New Orleans Saints, though it came all the way back during week 1.
Still there’s no question that if they are truly deserving of the playoffs, the Cowboys should win this game. And the full touchdown line coming off of a shutout defeat shows that Vegas has confidence in the Cowboys as well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s been a really weird season for the Buccaneers. Like the Cowboys, they came into 2018 hoping to gain a more definitive answer over whether or not they have “their quarterback.” The constant flip flopping and inconsistent performances between Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick has provided more questions than answers for Tampa, however.
Surprisingly, the Bucs have one of the league’s best offenses, ranking 11th in offensive DVOA this season. On the other hand their defense, at least by the numbers, has been putrid. Tampa has the 29th ranked defense by DVOA, and are 28th in yards against and 30th in points allowed.
Facing a defense of this caliber should be just what to doctor ordered for a Cowboys offense which failed to score a single point a week ago, but they cannot afford to take them likely whatsoever, or else Winston and company could shock the world.
- Tampa Bay is 4-7-1 against the spread their last 12 games.
- The score total has gone under 5 of the Buccaneers’ last 6 games.
- Tampa Bay is 0-5 their last 5 road games.
- The Cowboys are 6-1 straight up their last 7 games against Tampa Bay, with the one loss being in 2015.
- The Cowboys are 4-2 against the spread their last 6 home games against Tampa Bay.
I really do suggest taking the Cowboys this week. The public tends to fade big losers from the week before, believing that magical momentum will do that team in the following week. This line might come down a 0.5 point or even more, in which case I’d jump all over it.
I expect the Cowboys to impose their will and play with an edge on Sunday, especially considering the stakes of the game and that they are back home.
Give me the Cowboys -7 and let’s crown them the division champs on Sunday.