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Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys Point Spread - Pick ATS

Green Bay Packers (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date/Time: Sunday, October 8 at 4:25PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium
TV: FOX
by Evergreen, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: GB +2/DAL -2
Over/Under Total: 52.5

A week five game between non-divisional opponents shouldnít carry a lot of weight to it but that isnít the case this week as the Green Bay Packers head to Jerry-World to take on the Dallas Cowboys. No matter who you root for, you likely have an opinion about both of these teams. Most either love or hate the Cowboys and most see the Pack as their second favorite team, unless you like the Bears, Vikings or Lions. One calls themselves Americaís team and the other probably has a better claim to that title but that is what makes this a little bit more special than the rest.

As one of the best on-paper matchups, it is not surprising to see a narrow spread with the Cowboys listed as a two-point favorite at just about every online betting site. The Packers are riding a 9-4 ATS marks over their last thirteen games while the Cowboys enter just 3-8 against the spread in their last eleven. Green Bay has made quick work of most conference foes with a 6-2 ATS mark in the last eight against the NFC and Dallas will look to improve on a 1-7 ATS record built over the last eight against an opponent with a winning record. The Sagarin metrics have Green Bay as the 3rd best team in the league with Dallas at 12th. The Boys laid an egg against Denver in the only other game against a top-10 Sagarin team and the Packers are 1-1 against teams in the top-half. The Sagarin offense-defense predictor has Dallas sneaking out with a 26-24 win.

These teams have developed a heated mini-rivalry of late with five meetings since 2015. Green Bay has gotten the better end of things with four wins, including two Divisional Playoff victories but it was Dallas who went into Lambeau last season and rolled by a 30-16 score. Dallasí offense is very much about Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott and both had a †lot of success against the Pack in two meetings. Dak threw for three touchdowns in each game last season and Zeke ran for 125 and 157 yards against the Packers D. Green Bay is 19th in run-stopping so far and they are likely without DT Mike Daniels for another game as he is still dealing with a bad hip. Dallas must run the ball to protect their suspect defense and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. It looks like a large dose of Elliott will be offensive plan-A.

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There is seemingly no end to the injury list for the Packers. Both starting offensive tackles have missed the last two games and could do so again. Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams both exited last week with injuries, leaving Aaron Jones as the only healthy running back and we all saw the hit laid on Davante Adams. Adams is somehow listed as questionable and could suit up after having ten days off. Either Montgomery or Williams may also be able to contribute but no matter who is in or out, most of Green Bayís success this week rests on the shoulders of Rodgers. The Packers signal-caller is putting together another MVP-level campaign with ten touchdowns and a rating over 100 through four games. Dallas is 19th against the pass and is allowing the opposing QB to reach an average rating of 93. The Cowboys are 30th in 3rd down conversions and that is a big reason why they enter the game 26th in points allowed at 24.2 per contest. Demarcus Lawrence leads the team with eight sacks and he might be the best bet in terms of limiting the damage Rodgers can do.

Usually the home team wants to get out to a lead but oddly enough, Dallas would likely be in the driverís seat the closer this game is. Green Bay has had a couple of uneven starts in games this year and it really stems from them trying to be diverse on offense and run the ball. They almost always perform better once they let Rodgers loose and the up-tempo pace keeps the defense from subbing fresh legs. Linebacker Sean Lee is scheduled to miss the game and that further limits an already underperforming Cowboys defense. Dallas could run the ball down Green Bayís throat and dominate but the more likely scenario for a blowout has Rodgers gutting a shaky secondary and allowing the Packers defense to rush the passer. If the game goes back and forth, Dallas should have a better chance to get a stop or two and at least keep that defense fresh throughout.

A weak spot that Dallas could take advantage of lies in the middle of the Packers defense. The linebacker level for Green Bay does not cover well and can be beat by either the tight end or routes out the backfield. Jason Witten has provided a safe option for Dak this season and leads the team in receptions. The veteran tight end snagged a touchdown against the Packers last year and he should see room on seam routes as the second level sags to support the run. Dez Bryant has two touchdowns on the year and he will need to play a factor at some point if the Packers find a way to put Dallas in third-and-long scenarios. Dez is not the most level-headed wideout in the league but maybe he is on his game in order to match Jordy Nelson (5 TDs) catch-for-catch.

I think this is clearly the game of the week on paper and will probably live up to hype. Neither team is particularly strong on defense so expect each offense to have their way. That really gives a slight edge to Green Bay in my mind as Rodgers is at his best when he has to throw, even if everyone in the building knows it is coming. The injuries of Green Bayís side could catch up with them but they havenít stopped them yet and any bad play by GB this year has not really been due to the injuries. Dallas is on the edge on becoming a fringe playoff team so this feels like a back-to-the-wall scenario. I think they use that to come out hot but there is too much Rodgers in this one and just enough Green Bay defense to get a 29-26 win. If you canít stomach the moneyline, I think the Packers +2 is a near no-brainer. There are no shortage of squares that will bet the Pack no matter what the line is but they are right this time around.

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