The 2021 NFL season is beginning to take shape as we pass by the draft and see the release of the official NFL season schedule featuring the championship Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys.

The 2021 NFL schedule came out this week, and the season will kick off with the defending Super Bowl Champions hosting America’s Team. The Thursday, September 9 opener features Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Dallas Cowboys on NBC at 8:20 p.m.

Last season Tampa Bay went 11-5 in the regular season, finishing second in the NFC South. They knocked off the Washington Football Team, New Orleans Saints, and Green Bay Packers en route to the Super Bowl, where they upset the Kansas City Chiefs.

Dallas meanwhile went 6-10 last season under first-year head coach Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys lost quarterback Dak Prescott to a leg injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants, and they went 4-7 the rest of the way. The Cowboys are hopeful that Prescott will be 100% by the opening of training camp in July, and he could participate in OTAs later this month.

The opening line came out, and DraftKings lists the Bucs -6.5 with a game total of 52. The Cowboys are +200 on the money line, with Tampa Bay at -278.

Tampa Bay’s over/under win total is 11.5, and the Cowboys win total is 9.5. The Buccaneers are +325 to win the NFC while the Cowboys are +1300. Tampa Bay is +675 to repeat as Super Bowl winners, and Dallas is +2800 to win their first Super Bowl in 25 years.

Giants Open With Broncos

The New York Giants look to get rolling early in the 2021 season with running back Saquon Barkley back from injury. They will open the season against another team looking to climb up the standings in the Denver Broncos. The Sunday, September 12 contest is scheduled for a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff on FOX.

Last year the Giants went 6-10, finishing one game behind Washington in the NFC East standings. They last made the playoffs in the 2016 season, losing a Wild Card game at Green Bay 38-17.

Denver, meanwhile, went 5-11 and finished last place in the AFC West. The Broncos have not made the playoffs since Peyton Manning led them to the Super Bowl win in January 2016.

The Giants are +1.5 as home underdogs with a game total of 42.5. Denver is -117 on the moneyline.

Jets To See Familiar Face in Opener

The Jets begin another new era with a Week 1 trip to Carolina on September 12. That opener reunites them with Sam Darnold, who was traded to the Panthers before the draft to replace quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

The Sunday, September 12, 1:00 p.m. kickoff will serve as a debut for head coach Robert Saleh and could for second overall pick Zach Wilson under center as well. The Jets, who went 2-14 in 2020, last made the playoffs with Mark Sanchez at quarterback in the 2010 season.

Carolina made the playoffs after the 2017 season, losing at New Orleans in the Wild Card game. Last year under first-year NFL coach Matt Rhule, they went 5-11, losing running back Christian McCaffrey to injury for most of the season.

Carolina is -4.5 at home in the opener with a -200 money line. The Jets are +160 on the moneyline, and the total is 43 points.

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