Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys: Betting Odds, Preview and Prediction

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys shouts instructions to Miles Austin #19 during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 16, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle won the game 27-7.  (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys continue to be one of the worst bets as a favorite, and they give eight points to Tampa Bay on the Week 3 betting menu.

The Cowboys hope to continue their recent dominance over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, but they do so with the caveat in Vegas that they cannot be trusted as favorites. In 20 recent games in this role, Dallas has covered just four spreads (4-15-1 ATS, according to the matchup report at OddsShark.com).

And Tampa Bay, in the role of underdog getting eight or more points, is 6-2 ATS in eight games like this over the past few seasons.

In the NFL season-opener, the Dallas Cowboys looked extremely sharp in upsetting the defending champion New York Giants. Tony Romo passed for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, DeMarco Murray rushed for 131 yards, and the defense held Eli Manning’s offense to just 17 points.

Their follow-up came in the form of a 27-7 loss to Seattle in which they were thoroughly dominated. Looks like the same old unpredictable Cowboys.

Tampa Bay has also started its season off with a wild pair of games. After shutting down Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in a 16-10 defensive struggle, the Buccaneers gave up over 500 passing yards to Eli Manning and the New York Giants in a crazy 41-34 game last Sunday.

Tampa Bay covered the spread in both games as a 2.5-point underdog against Carolina and a 7.5-point underdog against New York.

There are some parallels between these two teams. Both had great games in revenge efforts in Week 1 (Dallas getting revenge for last year’s Week 17 loss, Tampa Bay getting revenge for being blown out twice in 2011) followed by lackluster performances last week.

Both have also struggled ATS recently with Tampa Bay, going 2-6 ATS in its last eight games and Dallas going 2-7 ATS in its last nine.

But in the last four meetings between these two teams, Dallas is 4-0 SU and ATS, including a 31-15 win last year. The Cowboys are also 8-1 SU in their last nine games against Tampa Bay in Dallas.

Eight points seems like a lot to cover, but with the Buccaneers’ struggles against Dallas and their recent struggles on the road (0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games), the Cowboys are the pick, despite their recent trend as a favorite failure.

PICK: Dallas -8 (courtesy of PickShark.com)