The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night to kick off the NFL season.
Tom Brady is back for his second season in Tampa, Florida, and the Cowboys get quarterback Dak Prescott back after he missed most of last season.
ESPN betting analysts Joe Fortenbaugh, Doug Kezirian and Anita Marks and Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders have teamed up to offer their best bets.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook (as of Wednesday).
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8, 51.5)
Schatz: Dallas looks very good this year. The Cowboys are a top-10 team by projected DVOA, with a top-10 offense and an improved defense. But Tampa Bay is our No. 1 projected team right now, forecast to rank in the top four on both offense and defense. The Bucs also have an advantage as a Super Bowl champion hosting their home opener. Since 2004, when the NFL began starting the season with a Thursday home game for the reigning Super Bowl champion, the reigning champs are 13-2 on opening night and 9-3-3 against the spread (not including 2013, when the Ravens began the season on the road, or 2019, when the NFL opened with Bears-Packers instead of the champion Patriots).
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