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NFL Wild Card Weekend: Monday Betting Preview

tom brady fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

It’s been an excellent Wild Card Weekend. We have seen two seventh-round QBs show up, with one absolutely putting on a clinic against the Seahawks. Seriously, are the 49ers the Super Bowl favorite? They have looked unstoppable. Anyways, I digress, this weekend we also saw three games come down to the final drive of the game and a 98-yard fumble recovery touchdown.

Let’s hope this great weekend of football carries over to Monday. We have a rematch of Week 1, where the Cowboys travel to Florida to take on the Buccanneers. In Week 1 this matchup didn't fare well for America's team, as they lost 19-3 (ironically that game was also in prime time).

This is my third article of the weekend. So far, we have been pretty solid on our predictions, nailing some huge player prop parlays (50% on the weekend) and steady on our picks against the spread and over-under. My name is Ellis Johnson, and here is my last preview article of Wild Card Weekend.

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Cowboys vs. Buccaneers (8:15 PM ET)

In Week 1, we saw two very different versions of these teams. The Cowboys' Dak Prescott got injured in that game and started a laughable news rumor about Cooper Rush being the starter. Back in Week 1, we also thought the Buccanneers were Super Bowl contenders, what a joke that was. Since then, the Cowboys have walked the line with the fraudulent Vikings all season, and the Buccaneers hold the annual title of the undeserving division winner. This line is currently set at -2.5 for the Cowboys, with an over-under of 45.5 points.


This team has been an enigma all season. Every time you think that “this Cowboys team is different,” they give up a double-digit lead or struggle to beat the lowly Houston Texans. Same with their defense, from one of the best in the league to start the season, this secondary fell off the wagon toward the end.

Still, Dallas finished the season allowing the seventh-fewest passing yards per game and the 10th-most rushing yards. Thankfully, this Buccanneers team is historically bad at running the ball, so I’m focusing on the Cowboys’ success against the pass. CeeDee Lamb has been incredible all season, finishing fourth in targets, sixth in yards, and fourth in receptions at the position. Plus, auxiliary pieces of Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup, and Noah Brown have all shown to be reliable when needed. This group of lads goes up against a Buccanneers team that allows the eighth fewest passing yards per game (203.6) and is bottom six in the league for interceptions per game (0.6).

Against the run, the Bucs are top 10 in rushing yards allowed and give up the second-fewest rushing touchdowns to the RB position. Considering Dallas relied on the ninth most rushing yards per game, this will be huge for setting the tone of the game. With Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard both finishing in the top 20 in RB rushing yards, this Bucs team has it's work cut out for them.

I think this game is going to come down to one key statistic. Dak Prescott, despite missing five full games this season, leads the league in interceptions. Much like we saw with Josh Allen yesterday (who led the league in RedZone picks), turnovers will create close games even against third-string QBs. Well, the Cowboys aren’t playing any Skylar Thompson, instead facing the greatest QB of all time. If the Cowboys don’t turn the ball over, it’ll be hard to lose this game against a team that physically can’t run the ball.


That’s right, this team is horrendous at running the ball. Seriously, at one point this season they were averaging 64 rushing yards per game, which was the lowest of any team since 1970. Over the season, they brought this average up to 76.6 rushing yards per game, which is still a full 10 rushing yards fewer than the next worst team (Houston Texans 86.6). It’s no wonder this team has struggled as much as they have. Still, despite their issues, we have seen glimpses of vintage Tom Brady on multiple game-winning drives this season.

Tom Brady truly is the X factor in this game. If it weren’t for his playoff prowess, there aren’t many statistics that favor the Bucs over the Cowboys. As you would expect, since this team can’t run, they like to air it out. The 45 year old star managed to lead the league in passing attempts and completions, as well as the second-most passing yards per game. Interestingly, despite the high volume, they only have the 13th-most passing touchdowns per game.

I think the Buccaneers' key to success will be to keep this game low scoring. Both of these teams are solid defenses against the pass, with the Cowboys and Bucs averaging the seventh and eighth fewest passing yards per game respectively. However, where the Cowboys struggle against the run, the Buccaneers thrive at stopping it. If the Bucs can stop the dynamic threat of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott, they will force Dak Prescott to pass the ball and likely create turnovers. As we've seen this weekend, turnovers in the playoffs can quickly flip what seems to be very lopsided matchups.


Ellis’ Picks (DAL vs. TB)

Bucs +2.5, Under 45.5 

2022-23 Playoff Record: ATS (1-4), O/U (2-4)

This game is a tough one to call. Considering the last time we saw the Cowboys, they were getting embarrassed by their divisional rivals with a rookie QB. Now they face the greatest QB of all time on a team that controls one of the weakest teams in the playoffs. Will the Cowboys finally win a playoff game? Can Tom Brady dig into his bag of magic and turn back the clock? 

To be honest, I have no idea. I think both of these teams will want to keep it low scoring, but I'm not sure either offense will allow that. Even though I said previously that the best way for the Bucs to win will be a low-scoring game, I can’t find any rationality to choose the Bucs outside of their QB. That thought process is exactly what makes me think this is the same old Cowboys team we have seen in the past, coached by one of the worst clock managers in the league. As a result, I’m willing to get fooled by the Cowboys' fictional facade and am picking the Buccaneers and the Under.


Player Prop Parlays (DAL vs. TB)

2022-23 Playoff Parlay Record: (5-5)

Dak Prescott Over 0.5 interceptions

Cowboys Over 1.5 Field Goals

CeeDee Lamb Over 5.5 receptions



Chris Godwin Over 7.5 receptions

Chris Godwin Over 67.5 yards

Leonard Fournette Over 4.5 receptions

Mike Evans Anytime TD


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