Thursday Thrasher NFL 10*
(NFL) Dallas vs. Tampa Bay, 09/09/2021 8:20 PM, Score: 29 - 31
Point Spread: 8.50 | -110.00 Dallas (Away)
Result: Win
Thursday Thrasher - Rickenbach NFL Rotation #451 Thursday 10* Top Play Dallas Cowboys +8.5 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ 8:20 ET - As long-time followers know, being a contrarian is ingrained into my long-term handicapping skillsets. That said, there is no sport more so than NFL where being a contrarian is a huge key to long-term success. I have also talked before about the sharpness of odds makers and about trusting their numbers in plenty of situations. Odds makers are known for being particularly sharp in the NFL and this is one of those cases where I am putting particularly strong faith in their numbers. Roll back the calendar 7 months ago and just imagine if the Super Bowl was on a neutral field and imagine if it was possible for two NFC teams to square off for the title and it was the 5-11 Cowboys against the 11-5 Bucs. Now make a line. Would your line have been -3? Of course not! Yet take a look at this now in the opening game of 2021. I could be proven wrong but I don't think I will but this could be the biggest "trap line" set in a long time. I am not a believer that the odds makers set trap lines on purpose. I am just saying when something looks "off" it generally fools the public and it is the sharps that end up cashing in. So back to that -3. When lines first opened on this game, and keep in mind the Bucs have all 22 starters back, the first number was a -6 in mid-May. Since this game is being played in TB that line is telling you the Bucs would only be a 3-point favorite on a neutral field. So now, according to the betting masses, the books have it all wrong. This line has been bet up to as high as an 8.5 and the odds makers just do not know what they are doing (per the betting masses). I am saying they did know what they are doing and the Cowboys are going to be a much improved team this season. The Bucs are, of course, still the better team but I look for this game to be decided by just a single score. Note that last season Dallas was without Prescott for 11 games and it was a disaster season in Dallas. This team will be much improved in year two under coach McCarthy. As for the Bucs, look for them to get caught being a little too "fat and happy" after last year's glorious season where everything seemingly broke their way come playoff time for a clear path to the SB title. The Cowboys will punch them in the mouth a bit in this game and it will be a lot more competitive than most people are thinking. Keep in mind Tampa Bay went just 4-3 their last 7 home games last season and one of the wins was by 7 points and, overall, only 5 of the Buccaneers final 12 games (including playoffs) leading into their Super Bowl victory was a win by more than 8 points. Just a lot of value after the line move with this one and the odds makers had it right in my opinion so we'll happily grab the value on the other side in typical NFL contrarian style. 10* DALLAS