Two top 10 defenses face off in Arlington this weekend, as the Dallas Cowboys host the Indianapolis Colts. The Cowboys had plenty of time to prepare for this matchup, as they last played on Thanksgiving, registering a 28-20 win over the New York Giants. As for the Colts, they fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on "Monday Night Football," 24-17.
Jeff Saturday is 1-2 straight up and 2-1 against the spread as the Colts interim head coach, but he faces arguably his toughest test yet this week against an elite offense that has home-field advantage in primetime. The Cowboys are a league-best 20-8 ATS since the start of last season, and have recorded 400-plus yards of total offense in four straight games. Dallas has won five straight games at home, so Indianapolis better be prepared for a fight.
Below, we will break down this Sunday night matchup from a gambling perspective, and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here's how you can watch the game.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
This line reopened at DAL -9.5 on Tuesday, Nov. 22. It rose to DAL -11 this Tuesday, but dropped to DAL -10.5 on Thursday.
The pick: Cowboys -10.5. The Cowboys are 7-4 ATS while the Colts are 5-7 ATS. Dallas is 4-2 ATS both at home, and as a favorite. "America's Team" let bettors down on Thanksgiving, as a fourth-quarter Graham Gano field goal covered the spread for the Giants. Still, I'm going to back the Cowboys despite the large number.
The Colts simply can't keep up on offense, as they average just 15.8 points per game -- which ranks third-worst in the league. The Cowboys on the other hand average 25.4 points per game, which ranks seventh in the NFL. Matt Ryan is the best quarterback the Colts have on roster, but a reason he was benched earlier this year was because of his inability to escape pressure. The Cowboys lead the NFL with 45 sacks this season! That's the most recorded by any team through 11 games since the 2014 Buffalo Bills. That pressure is going to play a factor. Cowboys win big on Sunday night.
The total reopened at 44.5 on Tuesday, Nov. 22. It fell to 43.5 that Wednesday. It rose back up to 44.5 this past Thursday.
The pick: Under 44.5. Unders have been absolute cash for the Colts this season (9-3), although they hit the Over with the Steelers on Monday night. The Cowboys are 6-5 to the Under, so it's not like they have been perfect in meeting Vegas' expectations. A couple of trends lead me to lean Under: The Colts are 0-2 to the Over vs. teams averaging more than 25 points per game, and 1-3 to the Over vs. teams allowing less than 21 points per game.
Matt Ryan props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over +159, Under -224)
Passing yards: 215.5 (Over +102, Under -139)
Passing attempts: 32.5 (Over -129, Under -106)
Passing completions: 20.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Longest passing completion: 34.5 (Over -119, Under -115)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -166, Under +120)
I won't touch Ryan's passing touchdowns prop, but I'll take the Over on passing yards at plus money. Ryan is averaging 264.2 passing yards per game this season. I lean Over on passing attempts and completions, just because I would guess the Colts will need to pass the ball a bit more to keep up. Ryan to throw a pick at -166 is juicy, but maybe throw that into a same-game parlay.
Dak Prescott props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -135, Under -101)
Passing yards: 243.5 (Over -115, Under -119)
Passing attempts: 31.5 (Over -115, Under -119)
Passing completions: 21.5 (Over -123, Under -111)
Longest passing completion: 35.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +133, Under -184)
Prescott has thrown at least two touchdowns in each of the last four games, so I'll take the Over on that prop. I don't have a great read on his passing yards. I'll take the Over on Prescott's passing completions. If we take the game Prescott was injured in out of the equation, the quarterback is averaging 22 completions per game. I'm going to take a flier on Prescott to throw an interception at plus money as well. He threw two against the Giants on Thanksgiving.
Props to consider
CeeDee Lamb receiving yards: Over 71.5 (-137). I think Lamb has a huge outing. He has hit this number in three out of his last four outings, and is averaging a career-high 77.9 receiving yards per game.
Brett Maher made extra points: Over 2.5 (-117). I'm surprised by the juice here. To me, this prop is, "Will the Cowboys score three touchdowns where they won't have to go for two points, and Maher doesn't miss an extra point?" Maher has made four extra points in each of the last three games, and has made at least three extra points in every game dating back to Week 7.
Team total points: Colts Under 16.5 (-105). The Cowboys allow an average of 17 points per game (second-best in the NFL), while the Colts average just 15.8 points.