Dallas Cowboys (2-2 SU 1-2-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (4-1 SU 4-1 ATS) Week 6 NFL Football, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA, 4:15 PM ET Sunday October 16, 2011 on FOX
by Jason Green, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Dal +7/NE -7
Over/Under Total: 54.5
Bet the Pokes/Pats game and ALL football games each week at -105 odds rather than the more expensive -110 options that most books offer at 5Dimes.
Once again Tony Romo gave his critics something to jump on, as in the Cowboys’ last game he threw three 2nd half picks letting a 24-point lead slip through their fingers in a loss. It seems as if Romo is all or nothing, but will he get back on track in this game facing a Patriots’ pass defense that ranks dead last in the league?
The Patriots are tied with the Bills atop the AFC East and they are a carbon copy of last season, as Tom Brady is lighting up the scoreboard, but the New England defense is struggling. There has been a ton of press on how the Patriots’ defense is not one of a Super Bowl contender, but in their 4 wins they have only given up an average of 21 ppg.
In their last games the Cowboys lost to the Detroit Lions 34-30 2 weeks ago while the Patriots beat the New York Jets 30-21.
The Cowboys have not covered the spread in their last 3 games and it is surprising with their struggles that the Pats are only a TD favorite at home this Sunday. In the last 4 games between the Cowboys and Patriots the favorite has covered the spread every time.
Tom Brady is putting up sick stats so far this season averaging 366.6 passing yards per game and he has no lack of receiving options, especially Wes Welker, who is set to shatter many receiving records if he keeps his pace up. The Cowboys’ pass defense has been decent this season ranking 14th in the league, but they will get torched in this game facing Brady and his many weapons. No denying that.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who rushed for 136 yards in the win over the Jets, and rookie Stevan Ridley will be facing a Dallas run defense that is the top-ranked unit in the league. Still, with Brady being the focal point the Dallas front line D will have to drop back, so the RB’s of the Pats will have room up front to operate and have a good rushing game.
Which Romo will show up in New England this Sunday? Well, since Brady will have a big game Romo will have to as well. The New England pass defense has had their issues this season and while Romo will have another big game in terms of passing yardage he will be picked off once or twice by a Pats’ defense that ranks 4th in the league in interceptions.
Felix Jones broke out of his slump to begin the season rushing for 115 yards in the win over Washington in Week 3, but against Detroit 2 weeks back he only rushed for 57 yards averaging a less than stellar 3.6 yards per carry. The Pats’ run defense ranks 13th in the league and they held the Jets to only 97 rushing yards and this Sunday at home they will not allow Jones to crack the 100-yard barrier on the ground.
Dallas is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a road underdog, 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games, and they have an Over record of 7-1 in their last 8 games as an underdog.
New England is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite of 3.5-10 points, 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a S.U. win, and has an Over record of 10-1 in their last 11 games as a home favorite of 3.5-10 points.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Cowboys will have to play great on both sides of the ball to win and not make mistakes, which they have not been able to do all season. You think they will start facing Brady in New England? Not likely, as I would jump on this game with the Patriots only giving 7 points, as they will win and cover the spread. I would also take the Over in this game, as I think the total will be around 60.
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