Promotion Banner

Cowboys vs Colts Picks: Our 5 Best Bets for Sunday Night Football

Cowboys vs Colts Picks: Our 5 Best Bets for Sunday Night Football article feature image
  • The Cowboys are favored by 10.5 points against the Colts on Sunday Night Football.
  • Our staff has picks on the spread, total and three player props.
  • Check out our favorite Cowboys vs Colts picks below.

Cowboys vs Colts Odds

Sunday, Dec. 4
8:20 p.m. ET
NBC
Cowboys Odds -10.5
Colts Odds +10.5
Moneyline -550 / +400
Over/Under 44.5
Odds via BetMGM.

Finding a Colts vs. Cowboys pick shouldn’t be too difficult when looking at these teams’ records. Our staff of betting analysts have dug a little deeper into this matchup to find value in all markets.

Keep reading for picks on a side, the total and three player props.

Cowboys vs Colts Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Colts +10.5
Under 44.5
Matt Ryan Passing Yards
Dalton Schultz Anytime Touchdown Scorer
Dak Prescott Pass Attempts


Pick
Colts +10.5
Best Book
Time
8:20 p.m. ET

Nick Giffen: Believe it or not, the Colts have been a pretty solid team with Matt Ryan under center when he doesn’t turn the ball over.

In the four games when he has avoided multiple turnovers, the Colts are 3-1 and outscored their opponents by 3.5 points per game. And that’s come against a pretty difficult schedule as well, with a strength of schedule averaging 53.8% on a 0-100% scale.

Since Jeff Saturday took over as head coach, the Colts have committed to the run more. They’ve run on 44.3% of offensive snaps compared to 35.5% under Frank Reich. That’s also reduced the overall number of plays in the game by three per game.

This commitment to the run should help reduce Ryan’s turnover projection, and indeed that’s been the case. He has just two turnovers in the three games since Saturday took charge.

The Colts have only two double-digit losses this year. The first was in Ryan’s only game with three or more turnovers. The other came with Sam Ehlinger under center.

In representative samples with Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan under center this year, the Cowboys have managed an expected score differential only 0.6 points better than the Colts against similarly difficult schedules. The difference? The Cowboys have been much more lucky in converting those to points in large part thanks to a 40-3 blowout win over the Vikings.

Expect the Colts to keep the ball on the ground, where Dallas is a little weaker defensively, reduce Ryan’s turnover potential, shorten the game and keep the score tight.

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.


» Return to the table of contents «


Pick
Under 44.5
Best Book
Time
8:20 p.m. ET

Billy Ward: The string of less-than-compelling primetime games continues on Sunday night, with the Cowboys favored by double-digits over the Colts.

The spread on the Cowboys tells us they should have a lead throughout much of this one. That’s a good spot for the under, since Dallas has the league’s best passing defense, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

With the Colts a better running team — at least in theory — forcing them to throw the ball should keep scoring down. On the other side of the ball, Dallas should be looking to control the clock once it establishes a solid lead. The Cowboys will likely be able to move the ball on the ground, which should lead to extended drives that chew up the clock.

I’d take this one down to 44 at -110, but I strongly prefer the extra one-half point that some books are offering.


» Return to the table of contents «


Pick
Matt Ryan Under 217.5 Passing Yards
Best Book
Time
8:20 p.m. ET

Ricky Henne: The Colts have a boatload of reasons to keep the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hands.

First off, the Cowboys boast far and away the NFL’s top passing defense. They allow a league-low 177.7 yards per game through the air, and rank first in defensive DVOA (-17.8%) and passing DVOA (-21.7%) per Football Outsiders. Only five quarterbacks have eclipsed the 200-yard threshold against them this season. On the other hand, the Colts rank 31st in passing DVOA (-24.5%) and average 219.1 passing yards per game.

Then there’s the matter of the Cowboys’ ferocious pass rush against the sieve that is Indianapolis’ offensive line. Dallas leads the NFL with 45 sacks, which are six more than any other team. Meanwhile, the Colts give up a league-high 43 sacks, and their 317 sack yards lost are 40 more than anyone else.

If that wasn’t enough, Ryan’s turnover machine. His 10 picks are tied for the second-most in the league despite missing a pair of games. He’s also tied for the most fumbles with a league-leading 13.

Add it all up and the Colts have every reason to limit Ryan’s drop backs and pound it with Jonathan Taylor instead. My slight concern is that the Cowboys, who are double-digit favorites, open such a sizable lead that Indianapolis has no option but to let Ryan rip it. That leaves the door open for the ever-infuriating backdoor cover. I can’t worry about that, though. I’ll never let fear of a bad result get in the way of a good process, and the process here points to the Cowboys bottling up the Colts’ passing attack.

Ryan is averaging just over 211 yards a game under interim coach Jeff Saturday, so I’m willing to bet this down to 211.5.


» Return to the table of contents «


Pick
Dalton Schultz Anytime Touchdown Scorer +195
Best Book
Time
8:20 p.m. ET

Sam Farley: If you drafted Dalton Schultz in fantasy this season, you’ve probably been mostly disappointed, but that was mostly because of who has thrown him the ball for a large portion of the season.

When Dak Prescott starts, Schultz’s season low in targets is four and his high is nine. The most he saw with Cooper Rush under center was four, and he even saw just one target in a game earlier this season.

Prescott loves finding Schultz as his safety valve. In the past three weeks since the Cowboys’ bye week, Schultz has found the end zone three times.

The Colts are fairly middle of the road against tight ends but with the Prescott-Schultz connection blossoming again, he’s great value to score at +195.

Pick: Dalton Schultz Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+195)


» Return to the table of contents «


Pick
Dak Prescott Under 31.5 Pass Attempts
Best Book
Time
8:20 p.m. ET

Dylan Wilkerson: The Colts have left a lot to be desired this season. At one point in the preseason, they were the odds-on favorite to win the AFC South, but now they’re 4-7-1 and have an interim head coach. They also benched their starting quarterback, only for him to be reinstated as starter after Frank Reich was fired.

All these woes considered, the Colts defense has been the shining star of this squad. That unit is allowing fewer than 200 pass yards per game, and it seems this passing defense is being respected. Teams are throwing the ball 29.5 times on average against the Colts, and there have only been four games this season where the Colts have allowed 32 or more pass attempts.

Dak Prescott is averaging 30.3 pass attempts per game, but this is skewed by a 46-pass-attempt game in overtime against the Packers. Prescott has thrown fewer than 32 times in every other game he has played this season.

The Cowboys are 10.5-point favorites for this game, so you’d expect them to play with a lead and focus on running the ball for most of the game. Also, with Prescott having already been injured this season, Dallas will want to play it safe with him if it gets out to an early lead.


» Return to the table of contents «


How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.