Cowboys vs. Saints Betting Picks & Odds: Is New Orleans Undervalued at Home?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara
Cowboys at Saints Betting Picks & Odds
- Odds: Cowboys -2.5
- Total: 47.5
- Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: NBC
Odds as of Saturday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints proved they could survive without Drew Brees with statement win last week in Seattle. But can they get it done against the 3-0 Cowboys?
Our analysts break down the most important angles of this game, complete with Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a staff pick.
Sunday Night Football Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Saints
The Saints ruled out Tre’Quan Smith for the second week in a row, so their only question mark is DL Sheldon Rankins (Achilles). He practiced in a limited fashion all week, suggesting he could be healthy enough to play, but it was the same routine last week when he was ultimately ruled out.
The Cowboys will be without WR Michael Gallup (knee) again and two defensive linemen in Tyrone Crawford (hip) and Antwaun Woods (knee). Amari Cooper (ankle) popped up on the injury report, but there shouldn’t be any concern since he was removed when statuses came out Friday. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Saturday. See our Injury Report for the latest updates.
Dak Prescott vs. Teddy Bridgewater
Prescott doesn’t always get his just due, but with Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara essentially canceling each other out, Prescott will be the difference in this game.
The Saints are 8-3 against the spread as a home underdog in the Sean Payton era, per Bet Labs, and there’s no way they’re a ‘dog at home in this game if not for Dak’s superiority to Bridgewater.
Prescott is averaging a 66.6% completion rate, 7.5 yards per attempt, a 4.6% touchdown rate and a 1.7% interception rate over this career — all of which compare favorably to Bridgewater’s career marks: 64.6% completion rate, 7.1 yards per attempt, a 3.3% TD rate and 2.5% interception rate.
Zeke isn’t likely to put the ball on the ground and gift the Saints a free score like Chris Carson and the Seahawks did last week, so Bridgewater will have to up his game for Payton to continue proving sportsbooks wrong and cashing tickets for underdog bettors. — Chris Raybon
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Cowboys -1
- Projected Total: 47
I made the case in Week 3 that the Saints might be able to game plan in a way that minimizes the loss of Drew Brees. They should be able to rely on their defense and Kamara’s playmaking ability to keep them in this game, making Bridgewater nothing more than a highly-competent game manager who will focus on getting the ball to Kamara and Michael Thomas.
If they’re able to operate a game plan similar to what we saw against the Seahawks, the Saints are a great play if the market pushes this back to +3 before kickoff. — Sean Koerner
Matthew Freedman: Cowboys -2.5
The Cowboys are playing well under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. They are No. 2 overall with 7.4 yards per play — just behind the No. 1 Chiefs at 7.6 and way ahead of the No. 3 Ravens at 6.9. They are No. 1 in Football Outsiders’ rush-offense DVOA and No. 2 in pass-offense DVOA.
On defense, the Saints are No. 30 with 6.7 yards per play, right behind the No. 29 Raiders at 6.5 and just ahead of the No. 31 Giants at 6.8. They have allowed at least 27 points in three straight games. Granted, they have played the Texans, Rams and Seahawks — but with Moore, the Cowboys appear to be just as capable on offense.
And the Saints are without starting quarterback Drew Brees. They luckily have a competent backup in Teddy Bridgewater, but he has just 6.7 adjusted yards per attempt this year and for his career, and the 2019 average is 7.5. With Bridgewater, the Saints have a decidedly subpar passing offense.
With 4.6 yards per carry, the Saints are slightly above the league-average 4.3 — but that’s a marginal difference. The running game doesn’t matter all that much anyway. Without Brees, the Saints simply do not have the high-flying offense we’ve come to expect.
Defensively, the Cowboys have an acceptable unit. It’s not great, but it’s good enough. They’ve allowed 5.3 yards per play; the average is 5.7. They are No. 7 in rush-defense DVOA and No. 15 in pass-defense DVOA.
At the Superdome, the Saints have historically had a significant home-field advantage — but that was with Brees at quarterback leading a potent offense. With Bridgewater, it might be different.
Last year, the Cowboys beat the Saints by three points at home. They’re on the road now, but they have added a new offensive coordinator, seen the return of All-Pro center Travis Frederick and had a full offseason to better incorporate wide receiver Amari Cooper. As for the Saints, they are without a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback and their defense is struggling.
I’m probably being too optimistic, but I would bet it past -3 all the way to -5.5. I’m inclined to be pessimistic — because I’m a lifelong Cowboys fan — but I see a lot of value here.