Dallas Cowboys(7-1SU, 7-1ATS)vs. Pittsburgh Steelers(4-4SU,4-4ATS)
Date/Time:Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 4:25 PMEST
Where: Heinz Field
byJeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread:DALL+2/ Pitt -2
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will look to win their eighth straight game against the slumping Pittsburgh Steelers. Dallas has scored 24 points or more during this winning streak and are coming off a 35-10 victory in Cleveland last week. The Cowboys outgained Cleveland by 201 yards and has won the stats in six straight games. Dallas is a very impressive 7-1 in the stats this season. The host Steelers are coming off a non-effort in losing its third straight contest last Sunday against the Ravens. The Steelers had two weeks to prepare and played like they were on vacation. Ben Roethlisberger has always struggled in his first game back after an injury and that came to fruition once again. The 14-point loss at Baltimore produced a 67.3 QB rating for Roethlisberger. The Good news for Steelers’ fans and backers is that “Big Ben” is averaging a QB rating over 90 in his second game back after sitting two or more weeks. He is also averaging a QB rating of 99 after completing less than 54% of his passes. The encouraging news going forward for the Steelers is the fact they have won the stats in four of their past five games.
The Cowboys are for real folks with a dominating running game and a much improved defense. It helps that Sean Lee has stayed healthy so far. The guy is all over the field and definitely one of the best linebackers in all of football. Dallas will bring in the better offense, defense, and they are the more disciplined team. Right now, you could make the case that Dallas has the better coaching unit. The Steelers should have a distinct advantage on Special Teams as the host is ranked No. 9, while the upstart Cowboys are ranked No. 21. Both teams have really good offensive lines with the Cowboys ranked No. 1 and the Steelers No. 4 so far this season. Both units have allowed just eleven sacks apiece in eight games. The Cowboys have the fourth-best run blocking unit, while the Steelers are ranked No. 14 according to Football Outsiders.
There are a few games every season when you think Vegas made a mistake with the line. This is a classic “trap” line. The Public will say I get Dallas and 2,5 points with a team that is ranked No. 4 in points per game and 4th in points against. The NFL doesn’t work like that. The Steelers are in the middle of the pack in both, but this is more about how the Steelers played last week against the Ravens. Most NFL teams are relatively evenly talented, and wins & losses are decided in the final 7 minutes of the game. I would expect the Steelers to play a much cleaner game against the Cowboys, who will be playing its second consecutive road game. I thought this game would open at Pick em and was somewhat shocked to see the Steelers favored by less than a FG. The True power rankings says Dallas should be minus -1. The oddsmakers are begging you to take the Cowboys with this “trap” line. Don’t fall for it. This line will probably get bet down by the general public to a Pick em by game day. That’s cool with me!
The Cowboys are missing two starters in the defensive backfield with CB Mo Claiborne and Safety Barry Church out indefinitely. The Browns were not able to take advantage but the Steelers can. Pittsburgh has a dynamic passing game and should be able to exploit this current Cowboys’ stop unit. The Steelers are nicked up at the wide receiver position, although Antonio Brown is not one of them. This would be a good game for Le’veon Bell to breakout of his mini slump. He has 19 career touchdowns, but has yet to find the endzone this year despite averaging 4.5 yards per carry. The Steelers should shorten the game with successful runs and that will keep the Cowboys’ offense off the field./p>
So far this season there have been 77 NFL games decided by 8 points or fewer and 71 games decided by 7 points or less. Both are the most in the history of the NFL through the first nine weeks of the season. Only the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers have virtually no chance of making the playoffs. Every other team has a shot even the Jags. Wise guys love backing NFL teams returning home off a blowout road (10 or more points) loss. Regardless of the team’s record or closing line this betting system has cashed 61% on the blind since 1998. The public are backing the Cowboys in a big way as you might have guessed. At one high-limit sportsbook, 81% of the bets are on the road team. At another, it’s 80% on Dallas. The sportsbooks are going to need to the Steelers in this game and I would much rather be on their side than Jo Public.
The Steelers are tough at home posting a 6-1 ATS mark as favorites of 3 points or less over the last three seasons. The Steelers are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS off a loss against a division rival of late. Dallas is 14-6 SU and 14-6 ATS in road games over the last three seasons. Lets hold off on the Dallas vs. New England Super Bowl talk, who are a combined 14-2 ATS this season. It’s way too early!
Jeff’sPick to Cover the Point Spread:Pittsburgh Steelers -2
Sometimes in the NFL you have to ignore the stats and go with your gut. And it’s telling me that the Cowboys are due for a loss and the Steelers are due for a win. I was hoping for Pick em, but I think the line is heading there by Sunday. The Steelers normally bounce back after ugly games especially at home. Dallas will be formidable, but I’ll take a shot and swallow the 2 points with the Steelers at Heinz Field.
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