SNF: Cowboys vs. Saints Pick & Analysis
Dallas Cowboys (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date/Time: Sunday September 29th, 2019. 8:20PM (EST)
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, L.A.
Point Spread:DAL -3/NO +3 (WagerWeb)
Over/Under Total: 45.5
When QB Drew Brees went down last week with a thumb injury that would cause him to miss several weeks, the Saints were simply trying to find a way to stay afloat. Then on Sunday backup QB Teddy Bridgewater delivered in his 1st start of the season to lead the Saints to a 33-27 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The win vaulted the Saints back into the lead of the struggling NFC South, and even without Brees the Saints still look like the best team in their division. This week the Saints get another opportunity to prove they will survive in Brees absence when they host the Dallas Cowboys inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for Sunday Night Football.
The visiting Cowboys enter New Orleans this week in a predictable fade spot in a tough road match-up inside the Superdome in the primetime spotlight. While many would point to an easy schedule that has parted the way towards the Cowboys 3-0 SU record, America’s team is still emerging as a frontrunner in the NFC. The play on both sides of the ball has been thoroughly impressive despite the competition. Again I understand going into the Superdome in a primetime game is not ideal but I believe oddsmakers are overvaluing circumstantial angles against the better football team. As a result, I think bettors should be salivating at the -3 point line favoring Dallas this Sunday!
Cowboys offense firing on all cylinders
The Cowboys made it through the first three weeks with victories and covers against the number while bringing star running back Ezekiel Elliott up to game speed following his hold out. After three weeks, the reigns have been pulled off Elliott who rushed for his 2nd straight 100-yard performance in the win last week against Miami. Elliott finished with 19 rushes for 125 yards despite failing to cross the end zone. While the Cowboys prized star returns to normal, everyone has overlooked the outstanding job that QB Dak Prescott has done to start the season. Prescott is arguably playing the best football of his career. Through 3 games, Prescott is averaging more than 300 yards per game through the air and has thrown for nine touchdowns with just two interceptions. Prescott currently leads the NFL in QB rating and is benefitting greatly from Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore’s new offense. Overall, this is just a tough offense to defend, and they are going to give the Saints trouble this Sunday.
Saints offense vs. Cowboys defense
If you are a Saints’ fan, there is a reason to be hopeful this Sunday. In all honesty, the Saints have the talent on offense to attack this tough Cowboys defense. WR Michael Thomas, RB Alvin Kamara, and TE Jared Cook provide a plethora of talent at the skill positions. All with the tremendous speed that can frustrate the best of defenses. My primary concern for this side of the ball is the Saints ability to get their playmakers the ball. Head Coach Sean Payton did a great job of drawing up short-yardage plays to get the ball to their playmakers in space last week. Running back Alvin Kamara was a complete nightmare to the Seahawks defense running for 69 yards with a touchdown and catching nine passes for another 92 yards with an additional touchdown.
If you are Payton, the game plan will be similar this week. Bridgewater has to get his guys, specifically Kamara and Thomas, the ball in space. My skepticism is that the Seattle back seven compared to the Cowboys back 7 is literally night and day difference. Specifically, the Cowboys have one of the best linebacking groups in the league with Jaylon Smith, Sean Lee, and Leighton Vander-Esch. These linebackers are extremely smart and athletic, which should prevent things from being easy over the middle. I believe these linebackers will be the biggest difference this week and prevent Kamara from duplicating his week three numbers and keeping this Saints offense alive. From there, it’s up to Bridgewater to carry the torch, and I don’t believe this is the best match-up for him.
Cowboys vs. Saints betting trends
The Cowboys are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games but are just 1-7 ATS in their previous eight road trips to New Orleans. The Cowboys have hit the ‘over’ in their past five games against NFC opponents. Meanwhile, New Orleans is just 1-7 ATS in their last eight games. The Saints are also 0-5 ATS in their previous five games at home. New Orleans has hit the ‘under’ in 8 of their last ten games, but 4 of the past six meetings against the Cowboys have found the ‘over’.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Dallas -3