O/U Pick: Cowboys vs. Jets 10/13/19
Dallas Cowboys (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. New York Jets (0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: Sunday October 13th, 2019. 4:25PM (EST)
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Point Spread: DAL -8/NYJ +8 (BetNow)
Over/Under Total: 42.5
For the 2nd week in a row, the Dallas Cowboys offense collapsed in front of a nationally televised offense. Two weeks ago, quarterback Dak Prescott was held scoreless in a measly 12-10 loss on Sunday Night Football against the Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Then last week in an obvious “bounce back” position, the Cowboys floundered again with an embarrassing performance by Prescott, who threw three critical interceptions in a 34-24 loss at home to the Packers. Suddenly “America’s Team” has dropped 2 straight games and the skepticism surrounding the franchise has returned. Luckily, the Cowboys will be given another favorable redemption opportunity this Sunday when they meet the winless New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
While this seems like yet another circumstantial bounce back position for the Cowboys, the Jets are coming off a bye week, and they will also see the return of several key players which should help their chances to compete. In recent weeks, the Jets have averaged just 23 points in the last three games combined and are statistically the worst offense in the league with a pitiful average of 179 total yards per game. While the return of quarterback Sam Darnold and TE Chris Herndon will help the offense this week, we should not expect completely different results from this anemic Jets offense. If you combine the Cowboys recent offensive struggles and their need to return to the ground game, this week’s game script should limit scoring opportunities and provide some value towards the under.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to start versus Dallas
The Jets were not exactly expected to be an offensive powerhouse this season, but things took an unexpected step backward when starting quarterback Sam Darnold was diagnosed with mononucleosis after the opening game. Backup Trevor Siemian was the original backup to Darnold but suffered a season-ending ankle injury in week two, which led the Jets to turn the reins over to Luke Faulk. Faulk was never a preferred option and perhaps now we know why. In 3 games, Faulk threw for just 414 yards with 0 touchdowns and three picks. Simply put, Faulk could not get the job done, and you could tell the coaching staff had little faith with their play call in the last few games.
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With Sam Darnold returning to the starting role this week, the Jets should see some upside in production immediately. It will also help that tight-end Chris Herndon returns from a 4-game suspension and recently acquired WR Demaryius Thomas will get his first opportunity in the receiving corps (with Darnold starting) alongside Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. Ultimately, the offense has the opportunity for vast improvement with Darnold under center. Unfortunately, this week’s match-up will be an uphill battle against a Dallas Cowboys defense does a good job of forcing pressure and disguising coverages over the middle of the field. So while Jets fans should be optimistic for the upcoming weeks, Darnold will still be challenged significantly in this week’s return.
Cowboys must return focus to Ezekiel Elliott
On paper, the Cowboys own the NFL’s top-ranked offense averaging 452 yards per game which is surprisingly better than the Kansas City Chiefs that rank 2nd. The Cowboys posted tremendous offensive performances by Dak Prescott and the passing offense in the opening weeks against the Giants and Redskins. Part of the focus during those opening games was placed on Dak because Ezekiel Elliott was returning from his hold-out, and things just worked against inferior competition. Over the last two weeks, the Cowboys have made the mistake of putting the ball into the hands of Dak Prescott too often and too early in games expecting the same results.
Last week against an awful Packers run defense, Dallas abandoned the run before the game even started. Prescott was picked off early, and the Packers got on the scoreboard early as well. For whatever reason, the Cowboys kept allowing Prescott to throw the ball down the field, and it blew up in front of their faces. Looking back at that game, I am sure the Cowboys coaching staff is wondering how in the heck Elliott only got 12 touches on the ground. After such an awful performance for the 2nd straight week, I expect the offense to put a heavy focus on Elliott this week to establish the ground attack.
Everyone in the league knows that Prescott is best off the play-action and Dallas must establish the run for that formula to work. Obviously, a run-heavy game script is not ideal for high scoring affairs, but I also think the Cowboys offense will struggle yet again. Contrary to popular belief, the Jets are 7th in the NFL against the run allowing just 87 yards per game. If you consider game scripts and the fact the Jets offense has not been able to provide any help, that stat line is extremely impressive. As a result, I expect this game to have another extremely slow start and to remain slow through the game. The Cowboys have found the under in 11 of their last 15 road games, and I expect that trend to continue.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Under 42.5. Hey! Did you know that you can bet parlays and teasers and have some games lose but still cash? These wagers are called “Progressive Parlays and Teasers” and can be found at 5Dimes Sportsbook. (Highly recommended!)
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