Our Experts’ Cowboys vs. Patriots Betting Picks: Spread & Prop Bets
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott
- Our experts reveals their picks for the Sunday afternoon showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots.
- Stuckey breaks down how he's betting the 5.5-point spread while Matthew Freedman identifies his favorite prop bet.
Cowboys at Patriots Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds
- Odds: Patriots -5.5
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Kickoff: 4:45 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX
Odds as of Sunday morning.
We’ve seen the New England Patriots move from 6.5- to 5.5-point favorites in light of Tom Brady’s questionable status for Sunday’s matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, but is there still value on the spread?
Two of our experts reveal how they’re betting this big afternoon showdown, featuring a side from Stuckey and Matthew Freedman’s favorite prop bet.
Matthew Freedman: Jason Witten Under 3.5 Receptions (-130)
Witten is in full-blown Dad Runner mode. He’s averaging 4.1 receptions per game, but he’s had more than four targets in just four games, so I don’t expect him to get a lot of opportunities.
And the Pats are tough on tight ends. They’ve allowed just 3.8 receptions per game to the position, and only two tight ends this year have had more than 3.5: Zach Ertz (on 11 targets) and Nick Boyle (with a quarterback in Lamar Jackson who targets his tight ends a lot).
At this stage in his career, Witten is not the target magnet he once was.
In the FantasyLabs Props Tool, we have him projected for three receptions.
I’d bet the under to -145.
Stuckey: Cowboys +5.5
Welp, it’s time to fade the Pats at home, where Tom Brady is 73-44-5 (62.4%) against the spread in his career, covering by almost four points per game. A 21.8% ROI is pretty damn good.
That said, this line is still way too high per my numbers.
The Patriots offense still isn’t humming and they’ve had a number of key injuries along the offensive line (and at fullback), which have stymied the running game. Getting Isaiah Wynn back should help some, but there will still be gaps that the Cowboys can exploit to get pressure on Brady, which you have do to slow him down.
The Patriots also obviously sorely miss Rob Gronkowski at tight end and have been dealing with a never-ending carousel at receiver due to injuries and cuts, so it’s obvious why the timing has been so off.
And while the Patriots defense is elite, it’s slightly overvalued due to its cakewalk of a schedule.
The Ravens are the only elite offense New England has faced, and they shredded the Patriots for 372 yards in a 37-20 blowout win. And, well, the Cowboys will be the second elite offense the Pats face — one of the three NFL offenses that rank in the top-five in Football Outsiders’ rush and pass offense DVOA (one of the other three being Baltimore).
Dallas has the No. 1 overall offense according to DVOA, which includes a rush and pass offense ranked in the top three. The Patriots’ struggling offense, meanwhile, ranks 14th in pass offense and 18th in rush offense.
It all starts up front with an elite offensive line, but it doesn’t hurt to have a back like Ezekiel Elliott, who should have success against a vulnerable Patriots run defense. And when the Cowboys aren’t running it, Dak Prescott — who is playing as well as any quarterback — should have plenty of time to find his weapons.
The Patriots do have three lockdown corners who can match up with the Dallas wideouts in New England’s heavy man scheme, but I do expect Prescott to have some success through the air. Plus, the X-factor could be his legs. The Patriots have struggled with mobile quarterbacks in the past as they keep the chains moving and pick up yards once they get past the first level of the heavy man-to-man Pats defense.
Expect Prescott to keep the chains moving with his legs on a few critical third downs.
This Cowboys offense is playing too well to be catching 5.5 points against a struggling Pats offense. I make this line 3.5, as I don’t see much separation between these teams.
I’d bet this to +5.