Last Season Records: Tampa Bay 11-5; Dallas 6-10
What You Want to Know
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys will face off at 8:20 p.m. ET Sept. 9 at Raymond James Stadium to kick off their 2021 seasons. Tampa Bay was 11-5 last year and, of course, capped off the postseason with a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. On the other hand, last year was nothing to brag about for Dallas (6-10), so the team is looking forward to a new start.
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A couple last-season defensive stats to keep an eye on: The Buccaneers were the best in rushing touchdowns allowed, finishing the 2020 season giving up only ten. Less enviably, the Cowboys ranked second worst with respect to rushing yards allowed per game last season, where the squad gave up 158.8 on average. The good news for Dallas, of course, is that these forces working against them might not carry over into the new season.
Tampa Bay is the favorite in this one, with an expected 8.5-point margin of victory. But these early season matchups can go either way as both teams get back into playing shape.
How To Watch live stream
- When: Thursday at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Where: Raymond James Stadium — Tampa, Florida
- TV: NBC
- Online streaming: FuboTV. (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
- Follow: CBS Sports App
- Ticket Cost: $200.00
The Buccaneers are a big 8.5-point favorite against the Cowboys, according to the latest NFL odds.
The line has drifted a bit towards the Buccaneers, as the game opened with the Buccaneers as a 6.5-point favorite.
See NFL picks for every single game, including this one, from Sports Line’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.
Series History Fro 2021
Dallas have won two out of their last three games against Tampa Bay.
Dec 23, 2018 – Dallas 27 vs. Tampa Bay 20
Dec 18, 2016 – Dallas 26 vs. Tampa Bay 20
Nov 15, 2015 – Tampa Bay 10 vs. Dallas 6
Here are a few notes before we get to the predictions:
There was more agreement among our panelists this year than ever before. We had unanimous agreement on the exact order of finish for the AFC East, and nearly had the same in the AFC South and NFC North. We had five unanimous playoff teams in the AFC (Bills, Patriots, Browns, Titans, Chiefs) and one team (Chargers) that was one vote shy of unanimity. There were also five unanimous playoff teams in the NFC (Football Team, Packers, Buccaneers, Rams, and 49ers), but a bit more disagreement on the sixth and seventh teams.
There was one (very obvious) division where our panels could barely agree on everything: The NFC West. Three of the four teams received at least one vote to finish as division champions, as well as at least one to finish second. All four teams received at least one vote to finish third.
There was a lot of disagreement on two teams in particular, with the Cowboys and Seahawks each receiving at least one vote to finish in first, second, third, and fourth in their respective divisions. The Seahawks, though, did receive playoff votes from all but one panelist.
There were THIRTEEN (13!) teams that received exactly zero votes for the playoffs, and those teams were: The Dolphins, Jets, Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Bengals, Raiders, Giants, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Panthers and Falcons.
Our seven experts combined to have a total of six different teams playing in the Super Bowl. Five received multiple votes to make it to Los Angeles, but only one received more than two. There were also just two teams that received multiple votes to actually win the Lombardi Trophy, both coming from the AFC.