Los Angeles Rams (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LAR +7.5/DAL -7.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5
The Los Angeles Rams face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in NFC action from AT&T Stadium. Both teams won in week three to bring their records to 2-1 on the season. The Rams were able to tough out a 41-39 win over the 49ers in a tough road win last Thursday in a wild game. They have now scored over 40 points twice on the young season and look to unleash their improved offense in a tough road spot against a Dallas team that returns home after back-to-back road games. On MNF, the Cowboys were able to rely on a strong fourth quarter to beat the Cardinals in Arizona, 28-17. Who can go to 3-1 this week in Arlington?
The Cowboys win over the Cardinals on Monday night seemed routine enough, but it was important for them to stabilize after losing the previous week, 42-17, to the Denver Broncos. We saw a better game in all facets on MNF against a plucky Cardinals bunch. It was 14-14 in the 4th quarter and we then saw the Dallas offense take over. And after a demanding early-season two-game run on the road, they should have good energy at home, even on the short week.
Dak Prescotts play was critical in the win over the Cardinals. With both teams pecking and poking away in a close one, Prescott was able to hit Brice Butler on a touchdown throw, before hitting him again on a big play that set up another scoring sequence. Ezekiel Elliott wasnt as great as he sometimes is, but after a career-worst performance the previous week, he was good for a TD run and 80 yards. Prescott also ran one in. For most of the game, Prescott was able to make solid decisions and he led the team to victory for all intents and purposes.
All told, it was an uneven, but solid performance for the Cowboys defense on Monday. To hold the Cardinals to 17 points was a good sign, but the pass-defense has been getting exploited a bit lately and they did give up 325 yards to Carson Palmer. The more important part is the bottom-line and how they kept the Cardinals in check, while the offense mounted a rally. They made some big plays, with the line having a big game with three sacks from Dexter Lawrence and another two from Maliek Collins. LB Sean Lee was his normal productive self on MNF. We still see some holes that could be exploited in the right spots. Theyre missing some juice in the secondary, with injuries and other personnel issues on defense a constant thorn in their sides.
A three-game window is hardly a reliable barometer to make a complete statement on a team, but the Rams do appear to be better and well-coached under the guidance of first-year head coach Sean McVay. He has shown his reputation for whipping quarterbacks into shape is not a misnomer, as Jared Goff has snapped into far-better form this season. Todd Gurley looks improved from a bad sophomore season in 2016. And while the defense can play with a wide range of form, its a playmaking unit with an awfully-high ceiling. Last Thursday, they did nearly blow it, but they still got enough big plays to stave off what looked like a surefire 49ers comeback.
Again, Goff seems a lot better and is putting together some good performances this season. Calling him a potential bust based on his work with what was a dysfunctional offense last season was a bit rash, but first signs were definitely not positive. To see him playing this well is a big relief for the franchise. The O-line is really the goods now after getting big LT Andrew Whitworth. They keep Goff out of trouble, while having improved the ground-game. Gurley has 6 touchdowns on the young season and was big with 113 yards last week. Also going over 100 were Rams receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins. The bad news was that Watkins and Tavon Austin ended up in concussion protocol and well keep an eye on their progress throughout the week.
The Rams defense has seen the points allowed grow with each passing week and giving up 39 points to the 49ers, who couldnt do much right on that side of the ball in the first two weeks, was a letdown. At the same time, big plays and clutch can make for lapses in overall stoutness. The 49ers were pouring it on late and the Rams needed a lot of big plays and stops to make the comeback bid fall short. Aaron Donald was huge with a big sack to end the game. Personnel issues and inconsistent play has plagued the secondary the past few games and they need to tighten up. But again, its a group with a high ceiling and they cant be expected to be as leaky as they looked last week, especially late.
The urge in games like this can be to favor the more-rested team, with the Rams coming off a Thursday game, opposed to the Cowboys having been on the road for MNF and coming off the short week. But if looking to bet on the Rams to cover the spread, one shouldnt bank on the potential fatigue, as the Cowboys could be quite energetic back in their wheelhouse. Still, the improved Rams offense should have them in a lot of games this season and we see this being one of them. Were taking the Rams and the points.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Los Angeles Rams plus 7.5 points. Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% bonus (Deposit $100, get $100 FREE!)at the web’s oldest sportsbook: Intertops!