Does he really need the preseason? For all the talk, and now the tabloid rumors, did Tom Brady actually need the preseason? The answer to that, at least in my book, is a resounding “No.” Still, there is a bit of intrigue to the game tonight for Sunday Night Football that we could see the Buccaneers come out a little flat to start the game.
To me, this goes one of two ways and almost no in-between. The Bucs come out against Dallas and Brady takes the opening game drive and scores a touchdown. That way the announcers can say “Well, I guess he didn’t need it, after all, the guy just knows how to play football.” Or some other uninspired quip about how good he is. The other way is he actually is genuinely distracted mentally, and not quite as sharp in his game. I’m not saying he might actually be thinking about a potential divorce while he is on the field, but maybe his preparations weren’t as exact as we’ve come to know from him. Maybe his reads are just a quarter second too late. It might take him a quarter or two to fall back into the groove.
Last season these two teams opened the year against each other and Brady and the Buccaneers took the game by just two points. This was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams that resulted in 60 points. Interestingly enough, the two leading receivers in the game, Amari Cooper and Antonio Brown are both no longer on the teams. So, the star quarterbacks will need to look elsewhere to replicate that production.
In this game, I think we are likely to see two offenses that are working to figure it out a bit. Defensively, both should be okay but don’t expect them to dominate either team. Dallas has a good secondary but Brady could carve them up in the game. Tampa’s defense hasn’t been the same since they beat the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Dak Prescott had no problem with them in the opener last year as he threw 403 yards and three touchdowns.
Now that there is a new coach in Tampa, we also need to figure out how the game plan will align. Do they try and run the ball a bit more? Does he want Brady to try and air it out? No more Gronkowski changes the blocking and passing game. I think there are a few questions here that need to be answered.
I think the total for the game is a little high. 50 points is not an unreasonable total though so I can’t fully commit to that bet. Instead, I think the Cowboys will be the better team out of the gate and be able to win the first quarter. I’ll play them on the moneyline at +110. These are always a bit risky because if they don’t get the ball first, you could see them losing and then score to open up the second quarter. If you’re worried about that, just play the under for the first quarter.
I am going to take Dalton Schultz as a first TD scorer at +1200 for the game. I feel like I need to say this in every article, and sadly I didn’t in the Bills/Rams game, but these props probably shouldn’t be played at the same amount as the totals/sides/moneylines. Do what you want, it is your money, but if you’re a $100 bettor, I probably wouldn’t do more than $50 on this. When we hit, the reward is worth it, but we can miss a lot before we get that hit, too.
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