NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions For Saints-Cowboys: See Why Our Experts Are Taking the Under On Thursday Night Football
Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Saints head coach Sean Payton and QB Taysom Hill
- Looking for updated NFL odds for Cowboys vs. Saints on TNF? Our experts have you covered.
- See why they're looking at the over/under for this matchup.
Cowboys vs. Saints Odds & Picks
Sean Koerner: I’m staying away from the spread on Thursday Night Football, especially given the injury news surrounding both teams. There’s uncertainty on the Cowboys’ side with five coaches ruled out due to COVID-19, Amari Cooper is still dealing with symptoms and Ezekiel Elliott will be playing through a nagging knee injury. With Alvin Kamara and both starting tackles ruled out for Thursday night, however, I still see value on the under.
I expect the Saints to have a run-heavy game plan with Taysom Hill as the starter, which will help keep the high-scoring Cowboys offense on the sideline and shorten the game.
But if the Cowboys can build a lead — which is very likely considering they’re up to 6.5-point favorites at some books — it’ll be challenging for the Saints to mount a comeback against a Cowboys defense that ranks fourth in DVOA against the pass.
On the flip side, if the Cowboys revert to a run-heavy game plan when they have the lead, they will likely struggle given the Saints rank first in DVOA against the run.
I’m now projecting this total closer to 45.5 points and would bet the under down to the key number of 47 — but 46.5 or lower is a pass. You can read my entire breakdown of this matchup here.
Brandon Anderson: Taysom Hill’s return as the starter could mean a complete change of an identity for the Saints offense here. Just look at the four games he started last season: The Saints transformed into a run-heavy team, averaging 34 carries for 166 yards a game and 2.3 scores, and they dominated time of possession with more than 34 minutes a game.
The Saints with Hill look a lot like the Ravens or Eagles — run the ball, run again, limit mistakes, and rely on the defense and run game.
New Orleans went 3-1 straight up and against the spread (ATS) in those low-scoring, ugly games Hill started. The under went 3–1, and the one over was by just two points. All four games maxed out at 45 points, so they all went under this game’s total, and they averaged 37.25 points per game.
That’s why the under is the best play on Thursday night.
Both teams have more reliable defenses than offenses right now, and yes, that includes the Cowboys. They’ve spoken of pounding Ezekiel Elliott this week to prove some sort of point, which could go very badly against the league’s top-ranked run defense. On the other side, the Cowboys’ run defense has been beatable, so this is the perfect spot for the Saints to turn to Hill, Mark Ingram II and a power running attack.
Thursday night unders have dominated at 9-3, making this season the most profitable to Thursday night unders since the NFL adopted them full time. Plus, two of the three overs were in the first two weeks of the season. I would only play this to 47.