Whew, what a weekend of NFL playoff football.
In the first five games of Super Wild Card Weekend, four of them were decided by seven points or less. The betting market is expecting another close finish on Monday night when the Dallas Cowboys take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 2.5-point favorites.
You could bet the spread, sure, but it’s much more fun to target some first touchdown scorer bets and root for a juicier payout. So, here are my three favorite bets to score the first touchdown in Monday night’s wild-card matchup between the Cowboys and Bucs.
Mike Evans +1100
For much of the 2022-23 season, Buccaneers fans wondered if Mike Evans was even on the field. The star wide receiver went seven straight games without recording more than five catches, going for more than 83 receiving yards, or scoring a single touchdown. But when it mattered most, Evans showed up in a big way.
With the Bucs needing a win against the Carolina Panthers in Week 17 to clinch the NFC South, Evans went off for 10 catches, 207 yards, and three touchdowns. All three marks were season-highs for Tom Brady’s favorite target. I think he keeps the momentum going in the wild-card round against a banged-up Cowboys secondary.
Tony Pollard +1100
Tony Pollard is the most talented player in this Dallas backfield, and it’s not particularly close. Despite recording 38 fewer carries than Ezekiel Elliott in the regular season, the Memphis product rushed for 131 more yards and scored the same number of touchdowns (12). Kellen Moore needs to make Pollard a focal point of this offense in the playoffs, and I expect that to start on Monday night.
It’s also an added bonus that Pollard is priced much higher than Elliott at +1100 (FanDuel) to score the first touchdown. Give me the value.
Dak Prescott +3000
I always like mixing in a quarterback to score the first touchdown at longshot odds. We already saw this hit with Kirk Cousins in Sunday’s NFC wild-card game, and I think Dak Prescott is a decent candidate to score first in the weekend finale.
The QB has rushed at least five times in four of his last five games, and he’s scored three rushing touchdowns in his four career playoff starts. The easiest way to hit this bet would be on a sneak from the one-yard line, but Prescott is athletic enough to scramble for a touchdown in the red zone. He’s my favorite longshot on the board at 30-1.
How to get help: In the U.S., contact the National Council on Problem Gambling helpline at 1-800-522-4700.