Cowboys vs. Cardinals Odds & Pick: Your Monday Night Football Betting Guide
Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray, Ezekiel Elliott
Cardinals vs. Cowboys Odds
We have a big swing game in the NFC to close out our Week 6 Monday Night Football doubleheader as the 2-3 Dallas Cowboys take on the 3-2 Arizona Cardinals in Jerry World. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup as Kyler Murray returns to his home state to take on Andy Dalton.
The Cardinals come in with a 3-2 record but the resume hasn’t been great: They have a decent win over the 49ers, but the other two wins came against the winless Jets and one-win Football Team. The Cardinals have also dropped games to the Lions and Panthers.
Yes, DeAndre Hopkins has provided a nice spark in the passing game while Murray has improved in his some areas as you would expect in his sophomore season. However, this team profiles similar to 2019: Their passing offense and defense are subpar while the rushing offense and defense remain a strength.
Arizona’s staple is using four wide-receiver sets as much as any team in the NFL. Kliff Kingsbury’s group spreads opposing defenses out, which opens up space for their backs and Murray to run.
It’s worth noting that Arizona won’t be fully healthy for this game. It recently suffered a devastating blow when top pass-rusher Chandler Jones was lost for the season. He’s one of the better edge rushers in the NFL and will put even more pressure on a secondary that hasn’t been playing well. The Cardinals could also be very thin at linebacker for this one.
And on the offensive side of the ball, starting guard J.R. Sweezy recently hit the IR while starting left tackle D.J. Humphries is questionable with a back injury.
The big news out of Big D this past week was Dak Prescott’s injury. It’s obviously a significant drop-off from him to Dalton, but the Cowboys are in much better shape than almost every other team in the NFL when it comes to surviving an injury to their starting quarterback as Dalton is one of the league’s best backups. (It also helps to play in a division where seven wins might win it.)
So, how much of a drop-off is it from Prescott to Dalton in terms of the point spread? You could argue it’s as high as six points, but I personally have the difference closer to four, though that could change if Dalton performs much better or worse than projected.
Even prior to the Prescott injury, injuries have been a key theme for the Cowboys all season. The offensive line has been one of the hardest hit units. It’s not the same elite unit we’re used to seeing up front. Dallas has lost both starting tackles and already had to deal with the retirement of star center Travis Frederick this past offseason.
The Dallas defense has also had its fair share of injuries, but the group as a whole has been disappointing so far in 2020. From a DVOA perspective, the Cowboys ranked 24th overall on defense and have had holes against both the pass and run according to Football Outsiders.
New defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has plenty of work to do with this unit and needs to find a way to create more turnovers, which also plagued the Cowboys last season. He’ll at least get some key guys back in the lineup tonight, including linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who should provide a major boost even if he’s only limited to mainly passing downs.
I personally think Dalton will be fine in this offense.
As I mentioned before, he’s one of the league’s better backups and he has plenty of toys to work with on the outside and a super back behind him in Ezekiel Elliott. The drop-off along the offensive line is even more of a concern for the 32-year-old, but not having to face Chandler Jones tonight makes the task at hand much more manageable.
Murray and Co. will no doubt have success moving the ball against a bad Dallas defense trying to find its identity, but this is the healthiest the Cowboys will be all season.
I personally make this line Dallas -1 after adjusting for injuries, so the line looks right. I do like some of the matchups and the spot for Dallas, which is why I teased the Cowboys to over a touchdown. If you didn’t follow my lead there, I would look to buy Dallas in-game at +3 or better.
LIVE ANGLE: Cowboys +3 (or better)