It's a rematch from the opening week of the 2022 NFL regular season, as the Dallas Cowboys face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Wild Card Weekend finale on Monday night. The winner of this matchup earns a trip out west, to take on the No. 2 seed San Francisco 49ers next Sunday afternoon in the divisional round.
This is the first matchup in playoff history between a quarterback with at least five Super Bowl titles and a team with five Super Bowl titles. Tom Brady is a perfect 7-0 against "America's Team," but he's an underdog on his home field tonight. Brady is 7-3 as a playoff underdog in his career, while the Cowboys are 4-5 as playoff favorites since 1996.
Below, we will examine the different betting angles for this matchup. We will provide picks from both CBS Sports and SportsLine experts on this NFC showdown, as well as a few player props that we view as enticing.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Monday, Jan. 16 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida)
TV: ABC/ESPN | Stream: FuboTV
Odds: Cowboys -2.5, O/U 45.5
Cowboys at Buccaneers spread picks
"Tom Brady is 7-0 against the Cowboys, while Dallas is 4-5 as a playoff favorite since 1996. Additionally, Brady is 7-3 when Vegas makes the mistake of listing him as a postseason underdog. It seems like everything is lining up in the Buccaneers' favor, right? Brady is a playoff legend while the Cowboys are a playoff disappointment. I'm going against the grain on this one.
"The Buccaneers have been disappointing all season long. Just looking at some of their recent games, they blew a 17-0 lead to the Bengals at home, and needed overtime to beat Trace McSorley and the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Sure, they defeated the Carolina Panthers in Tampa with the division on the line, but I chalk that more up to Carolina refusing to cover Mike Evans for some reason. I think the Cowboys are the more talented team, although it's not like they have been impressive all season either. Dak Prescott needs to take care of the ball, and be an effective distributor to get guys like Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz involved. I believe the Buccaneers get out to an early lead on Monday night before blowing the game in the second half. I'm on the Cowboys this week."
That's Jordan Dajani's insight into this matchup. To read his column from this past week, click here.
"The Cowboys looked awful in losing their finale to the Commanders, but really what were they playing for with the Giants resting players against the Eagles? Nothing. So erase that game, even if Dak Prescott looked bad. The Bucs got into the playoffs with a losing record, and they have issues. It's easy to sit here and say Tom Brady will turn it on in the playoffs. But I don't see it. Not against that Cowboys front. Prescott will play better for the Dallas offense to get them into the next round."
CBS Sports Senior NFL Writer Pete Prisco likes the Cowboys to win and cover the spread to close out Super Wild Card Weekend. To read his wild card column, click here.
"The Cowboys usually wait until the postseason to fall apart, but this year, it seems they've started things a little bit early. Dallas lost two of its final four regular-season games and big reason that happened is because Dak Prescott has apparently forgotten how to play football.
"Since returning from his right thumb injury in Week 7, Prescott just hasn't been the same quarterback and although you'd think he would be slowly improving each week, that simply hasn't been the case. Since Week 12, Prescott has thrown 11 interceptions, which is more than any other QB in the NFL over that span.
"Thanks to those 11 interceptions, Prescott finished tied for the NFL lead with 15 picks on the season, which I'm only pointing out because it makes him the FIRST QB IN NFL HISTORY to miss at least five games and STILL lead the league interceptions. That's up there with "who can eat the most tubs of butter in 90 seconds" on the list of records you don't ever want to break.
"Basically, on one side of this game, you have a quarterback who can't stop throwing interceptions and on the other side, you have the most successful NFL quarterback of all-time: Tom Brady. If Brady could have hand-picked his opponent for the wild-card round, I'm guessing he would have picked the Cowboys and that's mainly because if there's one team the Bucs will be extremely confident in beating, it's Dallas. For one, the Buccaneers already beat the Cowboys this season, and two, Brady has NEVER LOST TO THE COWBOYS IN HIS CAREER (7-0).
"Also, this game is being played in Tampa Bay, which is notable, because they have a grass field in Tampa and Dallas tends to struggle on grass for some reason. The Cowboys have played five games on grass this season and they've gone 1-4 in those games. They lost to the Eagles, Commanders, Jaguars and Packers, and their only win came against a Titans team that was forced to start a quarterback (Josh Dobbs) who had only been on the roster for nine days. Even then, the Cowboys still had trouble putting Tennessee away (The game was 17-13 in the fourth quarter).
"From a defensive standpoint, the Cowboys surrendered an average of 27.2 points in their five games played on grass. In the 12 games that weren't played on grass, the Cowboys surrendered just 17.1 points per game, which is a huge 10.1-point difference.
"On paper, this game feels like a mismatch, but Tom Brady doesn't believe in paper so I'm going to ignore the talent disparity and just go with the team that I trust more right now and that's the Buccaneers."
That's from CBS Sports' John Breech, who is taking Brady to keep his record against the Cowboys perfect. To read his wild card column, click here.
Before you make any Cowboys vs. Buccaneers picks, you need to see the NFL Playoffs predictions from SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein. A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. He entered the 2022 NFL season 427-344 all-time on NFL side picks (plus $3,764 for $100 players), including 394-330 against the spread. Hartstein went 68-50 ATS and 8-3 on money-line plays last season for a profit of $1,552.
Hartstein also is 15-3 (+1170) on his last 18 picks involving the Cowboys, meaning he's uniquely qualified to make this pick. To check out what he has to say, head on over to SportsLine.
Here's a look at all our experts' picks.
Cowboys at Buccaneers total picks
Before you make any Cowboys vs. Buccaneers picks, you need to check out the NFL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model. The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up well over $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception. The model entered Super Wild Card Weekend in the 2022 NFL playoffs on an incredible 161-113 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season. It is also on a 15-6 roll on top-rated NFL picks since Week 7 of this season.
The model knows the Cowboys were 11th in total offense (354.9), 14th in passing offense (219.8), and ninth in rushing offense (135.2). Quarterback Dak Prescott is completing 66% of his passes for 2,860 yards and 23 passing touchdowns. The Mississippi State product has tossed three passing scores in three of his last six games. The model also knows Tampa Bay finished the season second in passing yards per game (269.8). Quarterback Tom Brady is third in the league in passing yards (4,694) and tied for eighth in passing touchdowns (25). He's racked up 300-plus passing yards in two of his last four games.
Now, the model has set its sights on Cowboys vs. Buccaneers in Super Wild Card Weekend. We can tell you the model is leaning Under the point total, but to see everything it has to say, head on over to SportsLine.
"The Cowboys are 9-8 to the Over this season, while the Buccaneers are 6-11 to the Over. The Cowboys are 4-4 when it comes to the Total on the road, while the Buccaneers coincidentally are also 4-4 to the Total at home. Every game on Super Wild Card Weekend went Over, but I want to buck that trend on Monday night. These two teams combined for 22 total points in Week 1, so I'll lean Under." -- CBS Sports' Jordan Dajani
Best player props
Brett Maher made field goals: Over 1.5 (-135). Maher made at least two field goals in nine of 17 games played this season, including in four out of the last five contests.
Dalton Schultz receiving yards: Over 38.5 (-117). Schultz is averaging 38.5 receiving yards per game, so I guess that's where Vegas got this line from! The Cowboys tight end went off for 62 yards against the Buccaneers earlier this year, and has crossed this line in two out of the last three games.
Tom Brady rushing yards: Over 0.5 (+165). This is honestly one of my favorite bets in football. There's nothing like sweating out the GOAT to tuck and run just one time, and then hoping he's not in victory formation at the end to negate the one rushing yard he picked up earlier in the game. Brady has crossed this line just six times all season, but he rushed three times for four yards in his last meaningful game played against the Panthers in Week 17. At +165, I think it's a fun flier.