Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4).
Betting odds: Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
- Spread: Falcons -3
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: There has been little movement in terms point spread for this game. Some books have kept Atlanta at -3, but with a hefty -120 juice or higher. Others have the Falcons at -3.5, but have juiced up Dallas’ side with those high prices (check updated odds here).
With betting activity relatively split and a lack of sharp activity, it’s understandable that the line has remained quiet. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: The Falcons had won three straight before losing by double digits in Cleveland last week and scoring just 16 points, their second-lowest point total of the season.
In Matt Ryan’s career, the Falcons are 21-9 against the spread (70%), the week after scoring fewer than 17 points, covering the spread by 5.9 PPG (per our Bet Labs data).
When Ryan and Atlanta play such games at home, they are 12-3 ATS, covering by 8.1 PPG. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Ezekiel Elliott vs. Atlanta’s defense
The Falcons defense ranks 31st in Football Outsiders’ rush DVOA and has allowed a league-high 84 receptions to running backs. This year, the Falcons have allowed Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, James Conner, Nick Chubb and even Peyton Barber to rack up 100 scrimmage yards.
Middle linebacker Deion Jones (foot) was activated from the injured reserve earlier this week and is expected to play, but even with his return, the Falcons will likely be unable to stop the Cowboys’ rushing attack.
Elliott leads the league with 101.3 rushing yards per game since he entered the NFL and has a career-high 17% market share of targets this season. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Falcons
The Falcons could finally be nearing a level of respectability on defense, as Jones is expected to play this week. The rest of the team’s starters on the active roster are tentatively expected to suit up against a banged-up Cowboys team.
Three of the Cowboys’ starting offensive linemen in Tyron Smith (back), Zack Martin (knee) and Connor Williams (knee) are operating at less than 100%, while the defensive line could be without stalwarts Maliek Collins (knee), Antwaun Woods (concussion), Taco Charlton (shoulder) and David Irving (ankle).
Sean Lee (hamstring) and Tavon Austin (groin) are once again not expected to play.
DFS edge: Over the past six weeks, Zeke’s 24.0 touches per game lead the league. His 5.3 targets per game are the second-highest mark on the Cowboys, and no other team is allowing more receptions or receiving yards per game (64.3) to opposing running backs than the Falcons, per Sports Info Solutions.
Bet to watch: Falcons -3
The Cowboys are coming off their best win of the season on the road in Philadelphia, while the Falcons just lost to the Cleveland freaking Browns.
One-week sample aside, it’s curious that a Cowboys team with injuries to each of their three critically acclaimed offensive linemen is getting just three points on the road.
The Falcons’ porous defense could be helped by the potential return of stud linebacker Deion Jones (foot, questionable), and Julio Jones is positioned for a massive game against the Cowboys defense ranked 26th in pass DVOA (especially if Byron Jones doesn’t shadow).
The potential absence of Smith on the offensive line would be a concern for the Cowboys
Regardless, they’re overvalued at this number, coming off their biggest win of the season. — Hartitz
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.