Cowboys vs. Lions Pick 11/17/19
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Sunday November 17th, 2019. 1:00PM (EST)
Where: Ford Field Detroit, M.I.
Point Spread: DAL -3/DET +3 (Bovada - 50% bonus up to $250 FREE! Credit cards work here!)
Over/Under Total: 51.5
Following yet another disappointing loss to the Vikings on Sunday Night Football that coincided with questionable play-calling down the stretch, the 5-4 SU Dallas Cowboys are in a midseason must-win situation this Sunday on the road against the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys are currently tied with the Eagles for the best record in the NFC East, but the schedule is about to get brutal over the next few weeks. As a result, “America’s Team” cannot afford any further setbacks and must find a way to take care of business against a Lions team that has dropped 5 of their last six games. However, I think it is important to warn bettors to be cautious of this potential bounce-back spot because the Cowboys could be on upset alert if their subpar performances continue.
Detroit battling numerous injuries on offense
Despite being listed as a game-time decision for most of the week, Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford did not dress in the 20-13 loss to the Bears in week 10. In an unexpected plot twist, the Lions’ coaching staff became the center of heavy scrutiny after details of Stafford’s condition became better known. Stafford was originally listed as questionable with a back and hip injury. Instead, the news released early Sunday morning disclosed Stafford had suffered broken bones in his back and had not been cleared to play by medical personnel. Now the NFL is reportedly looking into the Lions organization based around how Stafford’s injury was handled and reported to the media.
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Nevertheless, Stafford’s streak of 136 straight starts was snapped with his injury in week 10. The more important question pertaining to this week’s game against the Cowboys surrounds if Stafford will be available in week 11? The Lions have been depleted at the running back position. Star running back Kerryon Johnson was moved to the IR following a knee injury three weeks ago. After claiming running back Tra Carson from Green Bay, the Lions gave Carson the start in week eight and utilized a committee approach in the backfield. Carson was later placed on the non-injury IR by the Lions leading to his release, which gave opportunities to Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic. Johnson was thought to be the most talented replacement in the backfield, but he exited last week’s game against the Bears with a concussion and is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
As a result of the injury woes in the backfield, the Lions had turned into nearly a full-fledged passing offense. Stafford attempted 41 passes in the Week 9 loss to the Raiders. In last week’s loss to the Bears, Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia threw backup quarterback Jeff Driskel into the fire with a team season-high 46 passing attempts. Driskel was mostly inefficient, completing just 27 of 46 passing for 269 yards with one touchdown and one pick. With the lack of a running threat, the Lions will look to the air raid attack yet again, which will make Stafford’s availability extremely important towards Detroit’s chances of an upset. The Lions coaching staff has not announced a timeline for Stafford’s return, and he is listed as day to day. However, if you consider the recent developments surrounding Stafford’s injury, it would not be surprising to see him miss additional time and his situation will be worth monitoring throughout the week.
Cowboys defense must show improvement at Detroit
If you consider the talent all over the field in Dallas, the Cowboys will find ways to produce points even if the design and execution is lacking from the coaching staff. Ezekiel Elliott remains one of the top rushing threats in the league and will have a good match-up against the Lions defense. Furthermore, quarterback Dak Prescott is having a solid season completing 68% passing for 2,777 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine picks. Therefore, I feel confident that Dallas will find ways to move the football and have moderate success.
The Cowboys defense will be put to the test this weekend, which will likely decide how this game unfolds. The defense failed in last week’s test against Minnesota. The Cowboys defense did not have an answer for Dalvin Cook, who accounted for 183 all-purpose yards. We have seen the inconsistent play from the defense in recent weeks, and they got off to a rough start against the Vikings by giving up touchdown drives on the 1st two possessions. This is the same defense that gave up point totals of 34 and 24 in back to back losses to the Packers at Jets just a few weeks ago. Needless to say, Dallas needs better consistency from the defense. Luckily, Dallas will have the opportunity to feast in this advantageous match-up on Sunday. As the Lions continue to rely on their desperate passing attack, the Cowboys fierce pass-rush will have the opportunity to be disruptive all afternoon.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Risky play here due to the Cowboys inconsistencies but this is a good match-up for Dallas all-around especially if Stafford sits. Take Dallas -3. Make the Pokes a +7 underdog by inserting them into a 10 point NFL teaser at the web’s best sportsbook: 5Dimes! (Lay -105 on sides instead of -110 too!)
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