NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cowboys To Cover Spread vs. Cardinals, Broncos-Chargers Under Among Expert Bets
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, QB Dak Prescott
- The Broncos-Chargers total to go under. The Cowboys to cover the spread against the Cardinals.
- Our experts reveal their favorite bets for Sunday's late afternoon games based on updated NFL odds for Week 17.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Broncos at Chargers
Sean Koerner: I was projecting this total closer to 46.5 before Teddy Bridgewater was ruled out — and before Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick were also ruled out due to COVID.
That’s too many key absences on the offensive side of the ball to only see the total drop 1.5 points. Plus, if the Chargers can get to an early lead, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them become more run-heavy and head coach Brandon Staley take fewer chances with his in-game decision making.
The Chargers will also be welcoming back Derwin James, which is huge for the defense, and I have a hard time seeing how the Broncos will be able to put up points with Drew Lock missing two of his top wide receivers.
I’m now projecting this closer to 43 and would bet the under down to 44.5 points.
Cardinals at Cowboys
Raheem Palmer: This matchup is like when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. The Cardinals are 7-1 against the spread (ATS) on the road this season. The Cowboys have also been a covering machine, going 12-3 against the number this season.
While many may look at this point spread as inflated given the original lookahead number of Cowboys -2.5, I beg to differ. Using full-season priors, it’s clear this spread is inflated, but it’s also clear that the full season isn’t indicative of what this Cardinals team is today.
As they limp into the postseason, we could be looking back on this Cardinals team the same way we did the 2020-21 Steelers, who started the season 11-0 before losing four out of their final five games and subsequently getting eliminated in the wild-card round.
And unfortunately for the Cardinals, late-season collapses aren’t a new thing for head coach Kliff Kingsbury:
- Cardinals’ Record Before Week 8 Under Kingsbury: 15-5-1
- Cardinals’ Record Week 8 And Later Under Kingsbury: 8-19
Nonetheless, it’s no surprise that this Cardinals offense has fallen off a cliff (pun intended).
The offense ranks bottom-five in points and is just 23rd in EPA per play, 26th in Dropback EPA and 21st in Dropback Success Rate. Given the absence of DeAndre Hopkins, they should continue to struggle against a Cowboys defense that is first in success rate and has pressured opposing quarterbacks on 39% of dropbacks since the return of DeMarcus Lawrence in Week 13.
Given the struggles of the Cardinals defense and the inability to stop the run, I don’t see this team keeping up with Dak Prescott and this Cowboys offense, which has found their groove after a 56-14 win over the Football Team.
Lay the points with the Cowboys up to -6 (shop for the best real-time line here).
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