Packers vs. Cowboys Analysis – Pick ATS
Green Bay Packers (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 5
Date and Time:Sunday, Oct. 6 at 4:25pm ET
Point Spread:GB +3.5/DAL -3.5 (Bookmaker)
After four weeks, Teams are starting to separate themselves into the standard contender/pretender categories, and we will know a little more about potential NFC contenders after the result of Green Bay versus Dallas. Both teams jumped out to 3-0 starts but lost last week, so the winner here immediately feels back on track while the loser is suddenly fading back to the middle of the pack. These teams squared off twice in 2017 with Green Bay winning 35-31 and 34-31. Those scores would suggest another high scoring affair is in order, but these defenses are both ranked inside the top-7 in points allowed so we could see a very different game script. Of course, the QBs are still the main draw, and Aaron Rodgers looks to let Dak Prescott know who is still the best signal-caller in the conference.
GB Injury Issues
Every team has to deal with injuries, and we are at the point in the season where they can start to pile up, but Green Bay has been especially hard hit heading into this weekend. Most notably, Davante Adams is questionable with a turf toe diagnosis. His long-term outlook isn’t too bad, but he may miss this weekend, and it is not good news that he has yet to return to the practice field despite a bit of extra rest after Green Bay played last Thursday. The Packers are already without Equinimeous St. Brown and just traded away Trevor Davis with depth WR Jake Kumerow also listed as questionable for Sunday. Tackle Bryan Bulaga and RB Jamaal Williams are not expected to play to further the issues on offense, and CB Kevin King may miss with a groin injury. King has been a key contributor for a Packer secondary that is allowing the 3rd fewest passing yards per game. Nearly all of the injuries for Green Bay are affecting starters or key back-ups, and Dallas is relatively clean with CB Chidobe Awuzie (Q) as the only potential meaningful issue.
Run Early, Run Often
Dallas has the 5th ranked “run offense” in the league, but things could get even more run-heavy than normal against a Green Bay run defense that is ranked 26th in yards allowed and 28th in yards per carry allowed. Philadelphia came into Green Bay, averaging less than 100 rushing yards per game and promptly ran for 176 yards. The Eagles aren’t nearly as committed to the run as the Cowboys are. Many of the questions ahead of Sunday involve just how many yards Zeke and the ‘Boys are going to put up on the ground. Consistent production there will only help Dak maintain his 73% completion rate. Dallas leads the league on third down, converting over 52% of the time, and they average 26.8 points per game despite notching just ten against the Saints last week. If the run powers the offense, things could get seem rather easy for the Cowboys on offense.
Green Bay Grind
The Matt LaFleur experience has been spinning its wheels for much of the year, and Green Bay will be in trouble if they get stuck in the mud this weekend. Rodgers is near his career-low in completion percentage, and the run game is faring worse with a 3.5 yards per carry average and 86 yards per game. The big plays have been almost entirely absent, and the pack is converting just 31% on third down. Marques Valdez-Scantling (16-217-1) and Geronimo Allison (8-76-2) will be starting on the outside if Adams is forced to sit. Both have had some moments, but the duo is averaging just over ten yards per catch outside of the one 47-yarder that MVS snagged in Week 1. Jimmy Graham has two scores but is still lacking chemistry with Rodgers and didn’t record a single catch in either Week 2 or 3. Aaron Jones sits at 3.3 yards per carry but has finished well around the goal line with four touchdowns to lead the team.
Green Bay is 3-7-1 against the spread in their last eleven road games with just five ATS wins in the last eighteen against an NFC opponent. Dallas has dropped each of the last four games ATS against an opponent with a winning record but is 5-2 against the spread in the last seven at home. The line opened with Dallas as 4.5 favorites, but that has been trimmed to 3.5 with Green Bay seeing roughly 55% of bets as of Wednesday. The over seems to be more popular with 59% of the action coming in to beat the 47 point total.
I’m really skeptical about Green Bay’s ability to move the ball and score. Things were not going well with Davante Adams at full health, and it only gets worse if he is out or even limited. Dallas is holding opponents to 14 points per game, and they are second in third-down defense. With the Packers struggling on third down and with consistency in general, I think this game breaks exactly how Dallas wants, and they are able to bludgeon Green Bay with the running game. That will also keep the Cowboy defense “fresh and able” to tee-off on a Packer offensive line that has already allowed twelve sacks. An efficient game from Dak features enough Amari Cooper and former Packer Randall Cobb to push Dallas to a 27-21 win.
Ted’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Dallas
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