Cowboys vs. Raiders Odds, Predictions, Picks: Where’s the Betting Value On This NFL Thanksgiving Showdown?
Getty Images. Pictured: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Raiders QB Derek Carr
- In search of the latest Raiders vs. Cowboys odds? Our analyst examined the 7.5-point spread and over/under to identify the betting value on this NFL Thanksgiving matchup.
- Both the Raiders and the Cowboys are looking to bounce back in a big way in their Thanksgiving showdown.
|Time||4:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS, NFL Network|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
What looked to be the most exciting of the Thanksgiving games has certainly lost some of its luster. The Raiders have lost three in a row, each in ugly fashion, while Dallas has lost two of its last three, both in terms of games and in terms of top passing game weapons.
Can Derek Carr get this Raiders offense humming again? How can offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and the Cowboys overcome significant injuries at wide receiver? In both cases, it’s a lot to ask in a short week of preparation, particularly for an inexperienced Las Vegas coaching staff.
Both of these teams profiled as over teams early in the year. But with the personnel available, and the likely game plans from both offenses, points may be a bit harder to come by than the market expects. Let’s break down why.
Cowboys vs. Raiders Matchup
|Cowboys Offense||DVOA Rank||Raiders Defense|
|Cowboys Defense||DVOA Rank||Raiders Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Raiders Offense is Scuffling
The Raiders have been through a lot this season, from the email controversy surrounding Jon Gruden and Henry Ruggs III’s arrest and subsequent release from the team. On the field, both have put a dent into this offense.
Carr has had a good season, but he has looked timid and played conservatively of late. Carr’s average depth of target (aDoT) over the past three weeks sits at 7.2, a full yard-and-a-half below his season average. Multiple times on third down last week against the Bengals, Las Vegas opted for hopeless swing passes to Kenyan Drake and Josh Jacobs.
Another issue has been the Raiders offensive line, which has been an issue all season. That unit ranks in the bottom 10 in both pass block and run block win rates.
Can Las Vegas turn it around this week? It’s a tough ask for an interim head coach in Rich Bisaccia. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has been around the NFL for a long time, which should help, but in general the offensive game plans went through Gruden to start the season. It’s hard to see things getting any better on a short week.
The Raiders offense will also be facing a Cowboys defense that has played well this season despite some key injuries.
Defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are still out, but the Cowboys still have rookie Micah Parsons generating pressure at elite levels. Parsons and Dorance Armstrong have great matchups against a porous Raiders offensive line and a QB in Carr who has happy feet.
Dallas has given up big plays in the passing game this year, but with Carr’s recent hesitancy to attack down the field, the Cowboys should be able to handle DeSean Jackson.
Can Cowboys Offense Overcome Injuries?
The Cowboys offense had been absolutely rolling entering its matchup with Kansas City last weekend, and it looked like things were going to get even better. Left tackle Tyron Smith was expected back from an ankle injury, and Michael Gallup was shaking the rust off following a 10-week absence.
The matchup against an improving, but vulnerable, Chiefs defense looked mighty appealing. But as with everything in this impossible season, things have turned for the worse.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper tested positive for COVID-19 and will be sitting out this game, as well. To make matters worse, CeeDee Lamb suffered a concussion. Cooper and Lamb account for nearly half of the Cowboys’ targets and 60% of their downfield targets. Lamb’s status remains up in the air — as of Wednesday afternoon it appears he’s trending toward playing.
The Cowboys, with a fully healthy offensive line, will probably turn to a game plan that is focused on running the football. Dallas ranks in the top eight in early down success rate and Expected Points Added (EPA) per play on rushing plays. After all the drops from secondary wide receivers Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson last weekend, it wouldn’t be surprising to see as much Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard as possible.
Can Las Vegas keep that in check? The Raiders are below-average in rushing success rate but have limited big running plays. Vegas ranks ninth in early-down rushing success rate allowed, a number that trickles up when this defense has been fully healthy. The Raiders linebackers are all very good tacklers and help shore up the weaknesses this defense has in the middle.
The Raiders secondary is also a somewhat underrated unit. Outside of their meltdown against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City, the Raiders have been quite solid against the pass this year, ranking in the top 10 in EPA per dropback and success rate allowed.
Las Vegas’ cornerback room remains fairly banged up, but with the injuries to Cowboys receivers, that is somewhat neutralized. And on obvious passing situations, Vegas can unleash Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby to get after Prescott.
I don’t expect the Raiders to shut down the Cowboys by any stretch, but this unit enters Week 12 a bit underrated for the statistical profile they bring into this game.
Cowboys vs. Raiders Picks
About four weeks ago, it would’ve been impossible to set a total for this game at 51. Both offenses were dynamic over the first half of the season, while both of these defenses showed signs that had the market expecting regression. The Cowboys defense in particular was ripe for regression, given the rate it was forcing turnovers.
But the Raiders offense has taken an undeniable turn for the worse. Without Gruden, preparing on a short week becomes harder, especially against the Cowboys pass rush. Dallas may have Lamb back after all, but the Raiders secondary is capable and Lamb may be limited given his concussion was sustained four days ago.
Ultimately, this sets us up for an under, but I have more of an appetite to back the first-half under. The second half has potential for points if either team is trailing. Both would kick up their tempo and pass rates when trailing, and garbage time may bite us. For the Cowboys, Lamb’s status is big. The market has already pushed this total to 51.5 on news he may be available — if you’re willing to be patient, better numbers on an under may be available.
It is also worth pointing out that Dallas is an excellent teaser leg at 7.5.
Pick: 1H Under 26 (-110) | Bet to: 24.5 (-110)
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