Cowboys vs. Chiefs Odds, Predictions, Picks: The Team To Bet To Cover This Week 11 NFL Spread
Chris Unger/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes.
|Time||4:25 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
After being dominated by the Broncos, the Cowboys quickly rebounded and had their best game of the season. It was a complete onslaught of the Falcons, as they rushed out to a 36-3 lead by halftime and never looked back. These big spotlight games have been a problem for the Cowboys in recent years. This will be a good test to see if Dallas is shaking the stigma of being the team that falls just short.
After three straight weeks of underwhelming offense, the Chiefs looked back to their old selves as they lit up the Raiders. After the game, Patrick Mahomes and other Chiefs players proclaimed “they got their swag back.” There is no better time to prove that than in America’s Game of the Week against a potential Super Bowl team.
At 7-2, this could be a big win for Dallas to continue its pursuit of the NFC top-seed. As for the Chiefs, every win is needed in the congested AFC. Let’s dig deeper to see who helps their playoff situation.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Cowboys vs. Chiefs Injury Report
- LT Tyron Smith (ankle): Questionable
- CB Nahshon Wright (hamstring): Questionable
- CB Kelvin Joseph (personal): Questionable
- T Lucas Niang (ribs): Out
- CB L’Jarius Sneed (ankle): Questionable
- CB Armani Watts (illness): Questionable
Cowboys vs. Chiefs Matchup
|Cowboys Offense||DVOA Rank||Chiefs Defense|
|Cowboys Defense||DVOA Rank||Chiefs Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Prescott Leads High-Powered Cowboys Offense
Wherever you go for statistics, it is safe to say they have the Cowboys as one of if not the best offense in the NFL. Given their depth of receivers, running backs, tight ends and a healthy offensive line, there is little question as to why they are successful.
The excellent play of this offense starts with Dak Prescott. After years of questions about how much he should be paid, he is showing he is worth every dollar of his extension. He is currently PFF’s seventh-highest graded quarterback and was even noted as MVP favorite in PFF’s weekly evaluation. Four of Dallas’ last five games come against division opponents. If this offense stays on track, he could have the best end to the season of any quarterback.
As for the run game, a lot has been made about the play of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, but not enough credit has been passed to the offensive line. Dallas is currently tied for seventh in yards before contact per carry, per Pro-Football-Reference. The Cowboys also rank first in PFF’s run-blocking grade. Not to take away from those running backs, but this offensive line has been bullying people.
On the defensive side of the ball, Dallas has not been tested since the beginning of the year. It has played a couple of talented teams, such as the Patriots and Vikings, but those both play run first.
The Chiefs will go all in and attack the Cowboys’ pass defense all game. They know what Dallas’ offense is capable of and that the Cowboys are missing their two most important pass rushers in Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. Against the Chiefs, Dallas will need to hope its backups can both pressure Mahomes and contain him or it could be a long day.
Have the Good Chiefs Returned?
The question about the Chiefs is simple: Do you believe last week was the return of their offense or not? If so, then be prepared for Kansas City to light the league on fire and for Mahomes to enter MVP talks. If not, the rest of their schedule is full of borderline playoff teams and things are about to get ugly.
I am in the camp that the offense is back, and that is mostly because I don’t think it ever truly went away. On the year, the Chiefs rank first in yards per drive and fourth in points per drive. They also rank first in third-down conversion percentage. What had crushed them is the turnovers — the Chiefs have committed the second-most turnovers.
Last week, though, we saw Mahomes start accepting the first open option instead of looking for a big play. Mahomes threw to his running backs 12 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. He also was able to reconnect with stud tight end Travis Kelce, who had his first 100-yard game since Week 3. If Mahomes continues to accept the underneath, quick options, it will limit his turnovers and improve an already efficient offense.
Defensively, the Chiefs have found a way to turn things around in recent weeks. Of course, none of their opponents have been as good offensively as the Cowboys. This will be a good opportunity for Kansas City’s defense to show it has flaws alongside a couple of things it can do well.
First, the Chiefs have put a lot of effort into creating a defensive front that can create pressure. At the trade deadline, the Chiefs brought in Melvin Ingram to pair with their already strong front line of Chris Jones and Frank Clark. The trio will have their work cut out for them against the Cowboys front, but in a shootout, one or two sacks could be all the difference.
Second, they finish games strong. In the first half, Kansas City allows a passer rating of 108.6 and 5.0 yards per rush. In the second half, those numbers fall to 89.3 passer rating and 4.1 yards per rush. In a game that could be back and forth, a late stop could swing momentum the Chiefs way.
NFL Pick: Cowboys vs. Chiefs
If the Chiefs are truly back on offense, this game will come down to which defense can get the one or two stops necessary. The raw stats point to the Cowboys, but I believe it is going to be the Chiefs.
The problem for Dallas here is its base system is what the Chiefs excel at beating. Just last week we saw Kansas City torch the Raiders, who run the same Cover 3 system as the Cowboys. Dallas could always pivot to a two-high safety gameplan, but is doing something you are uncomfortable with a good idea against an elite offense?
Of course, the backend coverage could matter little if there is no up-front pressure. Given Dallas’ injuries up front and the Chiefs’ sixth-best pass-block grade, Mahomes may have all day to dance and move until someone like Tyreek Hill finally breaks open.
As for the Chiefs defense, it has built a trio of pass rushers that may not be the best, but will still cause some problems. Kansas City also can turn it up in the second half and make the one key stop that can completely turn the tide.
The biggest factor though is that the Chiefs get the benefit of facing Mike McCarthy. We have seen several occasions this year when McCarthy mishandled the game clock and timeouts. In a matchup where I believe the winner will come down to who has the ball last, I will trust Andy Reid to manage the game better.
Back the Chiefs to show they are truly back and win a potential Super Bowl preview.
Pick: Chiefs -2.5 | Bet to: -3
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