Dallas Cowboys (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date/Time: Sunday, October 4th, 2015, 8:30 pm EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DAL +3.5/ NO -3.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
You can bet the bankroll the suits at NBC didnt envision this weeks Sunday Night Football in America telecast to feature a potential Battle of the Backups, but thats exactly what we might get when the Dallas Cowboys invade the Superdome for a battle with the New Orleans Saints.
The Cowboys of course are already taking on water on a sinking ship with the loss of QB Tony Romo until possibly Thanksgiving, and Dez Bryant for a few more weeks. Dallas with backup Brandon Weeden just didnt have the firepower to match the Falcons and Matt Ryan last week for a full 60 minutes, losing 39-28 in a sign of what might be the start of several nail-biting weeks for Cowboys fans and Jerry Jones.
The Saints turned to backup Luke McCown in last weeks loss to Carolina, 27-22, as Drew Brees sat out the entire week to rest his sprained throwing shoulder. Brees has been a limited practice participant all week, although hes vowed in several interviews during the week that hes going to play.
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As of Friday this game is still off the board at sportsbooks. It appears that if there is a point spread put on this game, it wont be until an offical announcement is made on whether or not Brees makes it onto the field or not this week.
With no point spread to handicap, a simple Xs and Os breakdown of the schemes reveals an edge to Dallas because even though Rob Ryan came from Dallas to fix the Saints defense, he has yet to do the job. New Orleans has allowed 28 points per game thus far (27th in NFL) and still get gutted for huge chunks (allowing 397 ypg 29th) for a defense that has never really been up to par with what Brees and the offense can bring each week.
Weeden has announced his intentions to try and push the ball downfield this week in the Cowboys passing game, as any one who watched him play check-down Charlie last week would attest. I would guess another heavy and steady dose of John Randall and Darren McFadden behind the Cowboys strength at offensive line, which was working great against the Falcons until the couldnt pass the ball deep to get the safeties out of the box.
Historically, the Cowboys are just 1-4 SU in the Superdome in games versus the Saints going back to 1998. The Cowboys have the same 1-4 record against the spread in the Superdome. A possible angle to look at once a betting line comes out for this game is wagering on the underdog, since the dog is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meeting between these two teams on the gridiron.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: With a line yet to go up for this one, may I suggest focusing on the rest of Sundays card and dont go chasing this game on Sunday night because of a bad day at the window. But for those of you willing to make a game-time decision on a late line, if Brees does play and the Cowboys are the listed underdog, a small play on the Cowboys plus the points may be worth value. Note a line has be posted since the original analysis. A play on Dallas +3.5 is suggested.
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