The Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints will get Week 13 in the NFL started in just a few hours when these two NFC clubs go head-to-head during "Thursday Night Football." These teams are getting quite used to playing on Thursday as they both just played during this three-game Thanksgiving slate last week. Unfortunately for them, neither team came out on the winning side of things in Week 12, so each will be looking to bounce back in a big way here.
Below, we'll specifically be looking at the different betting angles that this prime-time matchup has in store for us. We'll be taking a look at how the lines have moved throughout the week leading into Thursday night and, of course, give you our picks for this game along with a handful of our favorite player props.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
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Dallas opened as a 5-point favorite, and its advantage did grow as high as -6. However, in the aftermath of losing a chunk of the coaching staff to COVID-19 -- including Mike McCarthy -- the spread has started to decrease. On the eve of this matchup, it has fallen all the way to Cowboys -4.5.
The pick: Cowboys -4.5. Dallas' coaching staff should be just fine in this game. Dan Quinn is a capable replacement for McCarthy and the Cowboys roster is talented enough to get by. The Saints will be rolling out Taysom Hill in this game, but the Dallas defense should be able to make easy work of him and Dak Prescott should be able to find success through the air on the other side of the ball. On top of having one of the best ATS records in the league, the Cowboys are also 6-0 ATS against the NFC, while the Saints have struggled against teams with a winning record, going 3-8 ATS over their last 11.
Key trend: Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against the NFC.
Unlike the spread, the total hasn't fluctuated as much. It has ticked down a half point to 47.5 after opening at 48, but that number has held firm throughout the week.
The pick: Under 47.5. In the four games Taysom Hill has started in his career where he's had 16 or more pass attempts, the total has gone under this number each time. New Orleans does not want to get into a shootout with the Cowboys, so the team will likely aim for a ground attack that should slow this game down quite a bit. Of those four games, he's also recorded double-digit rushing attempts in three of them, further pointing to this game trending towards a lower-scoring affair.
Key trend: Under is 4-1 in Cowboys' last five games.
Dak Prescott props
- Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -210, Under +170)
- Passing yards: 280.5 (Over -115, Under -115)
- Total interceptions: 0.5 (Over -105, Under -125)
- Completions: 24.5 (Over +100, Under -130)
- Passing attempts: 35.5 (Over -105, Under -125)
- Longest passing completion: 38.5 (Over -120, Under -110)
- Total rushing yards: 8.5 (Over -110, Under -120)
While the Saints are a top-five defense in DVOA, they are easier to pass on than run against. Prescott should see plenty of man coverage in this game as New Orleans lines up in man on 34% of its defensive snaps (eighth-highest in the NFL). Against man coverage, Prescott ranks second among qualified quarterbacks with 14 passing touchdowns, fourth in passer rating (123.3) and 10th in yards per attempt (7.8).
That would trend towards the Over on his pass touchdowns prop, but at -210 there's not enough value to really back that. I would lean on Prescott's Under 35.5 pass attempts a -125. Over the last three weeks, opposing quarterbacks are averaging 26.3 pass attempts per game against New Orleans. With Taysom Hill on the other side, they'll look to grind this game out on the ground, limiting Prescott's opportunities.
Taysom Hill props
- Passing yards: 205.5 (Over -115, Under -115)
- Rushing yards: 30.5 (Over -110, Under -120)
The natural lean here is Over on HIll's rushing yards prop at 30.5 (-110). In the four games he started at quarterback last season, he averaged 52.3 rushing yards per game. He also averaged over this passing yards prop, but the safer bet is to trust his legs rather than his arm at this point. For the best value, Hill's anytime touchdown (+150) or first touchdown (+850) props might be the way to lean.
Player props to consider
Michael Gallup receiving yards: Over 47.5 (-115). With Amari Cooper off the COVID-19 list and CeeDee Lamb poised to play Thursday as well, it's natural to fade Gallup. However, I like his receiving prop here. In the lone game this trio was healthy, Gallup still received seven targets, which is a healthy amount to go over here. I also have some pause about how much we'll see Cooper, despite finishing his spat with the coronavirus. After all, Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that Cooper was "still not feeling the best." If that continues to be the case, Gallup should see steady work.
Ezekiel Elliott total receptions: Over 2.5 (-160). Not a ton of value, but Jerry Jones said this week that Elliott will still carry a "serious load" even with a banged-up knee. If we take the Dallas owner at his word, this could be a smash play with Zeke averaging 5.2 targets since the Cowboys' Week 7 bye and having a near 85% catch rate.