Dallas Cowboys ( 6-1 SU, 6-1 ATS) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-8 SU, 2-6 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 1:00pm EST
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland, Ohio
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DAL -7 / CLE +7
Over/Under Total: 47.5
This Sunday afternoon there is an NFC/AFC game between the red hot Dallas Cowboys and the always rebuilding Cleveland Browns. Well, it appears the city of Cleveland is finally back on the sports map. As of now, the Indians are up in the World Series 3-2, while the Cavs have already won an NBA Title and are looking to be in contention once again this season. The Browns however are still the punching bag of the NFL and I do not see that changing in the near future.
Dallas started the season with Tony Romo as the quarterback and lost by one point to the New York Giants the opening week. After the Romo injury, rookie Dak Prescott took over and all signs point to Romo’s time in Dallas being over. Prescott has the Cowboys at 6-1 and they are looking like a true contender in the NFC this year. Not only has Prescott shined as a rookie, but running back Ezekiel Elliott out of Ohio State is also eyeing the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award as well. This team is looking pretty solid so far.
The line opens up with Dallas as a touchdown road favorite over the Browns while the total points are set at 47.5 combined. As of today, 65% of the action is on Dallas to get the cover and 54% of the bettors like this game to stay under the posted total of 47.5.
Cleveland started 2016 with Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback and many thought if Griffin could his career back on track that it would also mean the Browns would start showing signs of life in the AFC. Again, RG3 is hurt and again, the Cleveland Browns are having a tough time finding wins. The Browns are 0-8 and with Dallas coming into town, it is very fair to say that they will probably be 0-9 after Sunday. There are a couple of positives though on this team. The Browns run game is ranked in the NFL’s top 10. Cleveland is averaging nearly 115 games on the ground per contest led by Isaiah Crowell who already has over 500 yards on the ground and five scores. If Cleveland could find a passing attack to team up with the run, then the offense could be rather successful. However, the Cleveland passing attack is not really “bad” they just are not feared enough to be able to open up the game and put up big numbers. Cleveland is ranked 20th in passing with right at 240 yards a game in the air. So, you ask, a good run game and a rather decent or at least average passing game, what is the problem? Scoring. Not just offensively but defensively. With the offensive numbers the Browns are putting up, they should be scoring more than 19 a game but no, that is right where they stand. The defense is even worse. Cleveland’s defense is allowing 29.8 points per game and only two teams in the NFL are worse. This has to improve if Cleveland has any dreams of not getting the number one pick in the NFL draft this year, although, maybe they want it. Who knows?
Dallas is looking good, real good. But yeah, we have seen it all before from Dallas although this season feels a little different. The Cowboys are 6-1 and lead the NFC East as well as the top spot in the entire NFC right now. If it gets to January and the NFC runs through Jerry World, it is very possible that the Cowboys could be repping the NFC in the Super Bowl. Now, let us slow down a bit and talk about this week. Remember, we are not even half way through 2016 and anything can happen from injuries, teams getting hot, players going cold…anything. But for now, Dallas looks pretty solid overall. Yes much of the success is due to two great rookies in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott but the Cowboys are just a good team all the way around. They are ranked 7th in the NFL in both offensive and defensive scoring. There really is not much to say here, to get this win and cover in week 9, Dallas just needs to play Dallas football. No mistakes and just control the lines of scrimmage. Of course I see no issue with Dallas winning this game, that is almost a done deal, but covering the spread will take some work.
This could potentially be a trap game for the Cowboys. No one expects Dallas to lose this game, even the Cowboys themselves. Do I think Cleveland wins? No. But I do this this could be much closer than many think. I like Dallas to win a 24-20 type game.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the Cleveland Browns +7 points
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