Dallas Cowboys (2-7 SU, 2-7 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins(4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: November 22th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Sun Life Stadium
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, jhsportsline.com
Point Spread: DAL +1.5/MIA -1.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
Good News for Cowboy fans is the return of All-Pro QB Tony Romo. The reeling Dallas Cowboys have lost seven in a row without Romo under Center. Last Sunday, the Cowboys lost to the Buccaneers 10-6 as 1-point road underdogs and will now dress up as 1-point underdogs once again in the state of Florida. There was a terrible call late in the contest which helped Tampa Bay win the game. Dallas was outgained 327-216 and could only muster up 42 rushing yards with one of the best offensive lines in football. Tampa Bay did a great job of stacking the box and forcing Matt Cassel to beat them. The key to Romo is his ability to avoid the rush and extend plays. The Dolphins defeated the Eagles 20-19 as 5.5-point underdogs, despite getting outgained 436-289. The Eagles had 29 First-Downs while the Dolphins had just 15, which is below the league average.
The Dolphins have played a ton of road games so far this season. Five of Miami’s final seven games are at home and they have only played two games at Sun Life Stadium. They were the designated home team in London on October 4th in losing to the Jets. The Dolphins are a long shot to make the playoffs thanks in part to their 0-4 record in the division. I am surprised the Cowboys did not win any games without Romo. Although, numerous injuries on both sides of the ball have played a major role. NFL teams can win with a backup and Cassel was an improvement over Brandon Weeden. You have to question weather or not the Cowboys’ chemistry has been compromised with all the Greg Hardy shenanigans week after week.
Sean Lee makes the Cowboys’ defense a lot better and he’s missed almost three full games with two separate concussions. He should be able to return this week and that would be huge. Sean Lee can matchup with just about any running back not named Adrian Peterson. The Dolphins are ranked 20th in yards per game and 25th in points per game. The Cowboys are ranked 25th in yards and 30th in points. You can throw those numbers out the window with Tony Romo making his return. Dallas should get a nice boost of energy with Romo back at quarterback. The Cowboys’ offensive line played like crap last week and they all know it. The Dolphins are allowing 136 rushing yards per game and Darren McFadden is just the type of running back that has given Miami troubles this season. Dallas is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in games after failing to rush for at least 50 yards.
Dallas will bring in the better defense and NFL underdogs with the better defense have been “wise guy” plays for a very lone time. The Cowboys are allowing 349 yards per game while the Dolphins are allowing 391. I think playing in Tampa Bay last week will help the Cowboys if the weather is on the warm/humid side in Miami. The Dolphins’ defense ranks 20th in red-zone scoring while the Cowboys are ranked No. 11. That means when teams are in the red-zone, the Dolphins are allowing touchdowns at 57%, while the Cowboys are allowing touchdowns just 51% of the time. The three teams ranked ahead of Dallas (Carolina, Pittsburgh, & Washington) have a combined won/loss record of 19-9. Miami has to travel next week for a big division revenge game against the Jets. Miami has gone 1-5 SU and 1-5 ATS when favored before playing the Jets.
The Cowboys are 13-7 ATS as underdogs over the last three seasons. Four of those losses have been this year without Tony Romo. The Dolphins are 2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS in Non-Conference games this season. Miami is coming off a phony comeback win in which they were outgained by 147 yards. Both teams have very little chance to make the playoffs. The Odds-makers think the Cowboys have more talent based on this current point spread. You won’t get rich going against Las Vegas. If the Cowboys were at home this line would be Dallas minus -5, so lets take the road underdog in what should be an emotional Cowboys victory.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Dallas Cowboys +1.5
I think the Cowboys will be pumped-up for this game. I don’t see the Dolphins’ defense being able to match up with all the weapons Dallas now has with a returning Tony Romo. Dez Bryant looks healthier and should have a ginormous game after a dismal effort (too many drops) last week. I see this line being a pick em closer to game time.
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