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Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys Pick.
Dallas Cowboys (1-6 SU, 1-6 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-3 SU, 4-4
ATS), Week 9 NFL, 8:20 p.m. EST, Sunday, November 7, 2010, Lambeau
Field, Green Bay, Wis., TV: NBC
by Badger of Predictem.com
Beting Odds: Dal +8/GB - 8
Over/Under Total: 45
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The Dallas Cowboys will continue to try and stop their freefall from
the elite of the NFL, and this week a national television audience
will get to see the wreckage up front and in person when they travel
up to Lambeau Field to take on the surging Green Bay Packers on NBCs Sunday Night Football.
The Cowboys weekly crash-n-burn hit an all-time season high, or low
maybe, in last weeks, 35-17, loss at home to Jacksonville. After the
game Jacksonvilles quarterback David Garrard called them out for
playing uninspired and owner Jerry Jones officially apologized to all
Cowboys fans for the debacle that has become the 2010 season.
The panic button hasnt just been pushed in Dallas, the button is
broken and has been forced back into the control board as the Cowboys
begin life as one of the few irrelevant teams in the league this
season. With head coach Wade Phillips halfway out the door, it should
be interesting how hard they play for the walking-dead Phillips the
rest of the year.
A huge upset this weekend would help mend a few broken hearts in Big D, but this week the Cowboys will have to pull it off against one
of the teams starting to heat up at midseason, the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers went into New York last weekend and despite being
decimated by injuries along the defensive line and at linebacker,
they shutout everyones new favorite for the Super Bowl, the New York
Jets, by a 9-0 score.
Lambeau Field wont be a frozen tundra just yet, but Sunday Nights
broadcast was supposed to be for bragging rights in the NFC playoff
race. Now all NBC can hope for is that the Cowboys decide to show up
so that they dont lose viewers to bed before halftime.
Oddsmakers originally opened the Sunday Night showdown with the
Packers as 9-point favorites at home in Lambeau, but since the
windows opened for business the point spread has moved all over the
place already. While some sportsbooks are still listing the number at
9, there are several books that have dropped the number to 8 points
and even one book (Las Vegas Hilton) taking bets at Packers minus
7.5. The funny thing is that there are just as many books that have
moved the point spread up, including 5Dimes (You can bet on football games there at -105!) who is currently
listing the game at Packers minus 9.5, so theres a two-point swing
on this game as oddsmakers try and get a handle on how the betting
public wants to wager on this matchup.
Back when the Sunday Night schedule was being made the NBC executives
probably circled this game as one that could produce an offensive
showdown, but thats unlikely now.
Dallas did a good job of moving the ball in the first game with
quarterback Jon Kitna running things for the injured Tony Romo,
amassing over 400 yards of total offense, but Kitna threw four
interceptions to crush any chance the Cowboys had in a game that was
never as close as the 35-17 score indicated.
Now the Cowboys will have to improve against a Packers defense that
shutout the Jets on their own field. The Packers did give up some
yardage to the offensively challenged Jets last week (360 total), but
two interceptions, a fumble and timely sacks kept the Jets out of
field goal range all day.
Meanwhile, the Packers offense has been struggling on its own to not
be so one-dimensional with its depleted running game. Last week the
play calling was a little more even than it has in the past (26 runs/
34 passes), but that was likely a product of facing the Jets constant
blitz pressure and not a sign that the Packers are going to keep
scheming it that way (only 3.1 ypc).
Packers coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers will likely
watch the tape of Garrard slicing up the Cowboys secondary for 260
yards and 4 touchdowns and then once again prepare a game-plan that
relies heavily on Rodgers arm to make plays.
This will be the third straight trip to Lambeau for the Cowboys in
the head-to-head series with the Packers, losing last years meeting
in mid-November, 17-7. The year before the Cowboys sprung the upset
at Lambeau, winning 27-16 in Rodgers first year as the starter.
The series between these two has historically gone the way most
people would have predicted, with the home team holding an 8-1 ATS
advantage in the last nine meetings. Its not a coincidence that the
home team is usually favored to win, since the favorite is also 7-2
ATS in those same nine games.
The under has cashed in both of the last two meetings, but that goes
against the norm as its actually the over that is 7-3 in the last 10
meetings (back to 1995 and including playoff games).
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Neither team has been covering much this season, so
picking a side in this one could be tough. Id lean toward the
Packers here, but something in my gut tells me this rivalry might
finally bring out the fight in the Cowboys. So Im going to bank on
both offenses continuing to struggle at take the under of 45.