Cowboys vs Commanders Prediction, Pick, Odds: NFL Thanksgiving

Cowboys vs Commanders Prediction, Pick, Odds: NFL Thanksgiving article feature image

Getty Images/Action Network. Pictured: Sam Howell (left) and Dak Prescott.

Cowboys vs Commanders Odds

Thursday, Nov. 23
4:30 p.m. ET
Cowboys Odds
-110o / -110u
Commanders Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Cowboys vs Commanders Prediction

Pick: Cowboys Team Total Over 29.5

Cowboys vs. Commanders odds have seen Dallas go from an 11-point favorite early on Wednesday to 13.5 on Thanksgiving morning. The over/under went down from 48.5, where it was for most of the week, to 47.5 today.

Viewers will be treated to an abundance of points for the Cowboys against an overmatched Commanders squad, which plays into my Cowboys vs. Commanders prediction on Dallas' team total.

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Cowboys vs. Commanders

Matchup Analysis

Since the 49ers dismantled the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football back in Week 5, Dak Prescott has been the hottest quarterback in the NFL. He's averaged 308 passing yards per game over his last five games while throwing 16 touchdowns.

Despite an ineffective rushing attack ranked 22nd in rush DVOA, the Cowboys now have a top-10 offense in yards per play on the season. Even with Mike McCarthy’s conservative nature, he's realized this team is best suited to aggressively attack through the air. This is not the Cowboys team of old that can simply sit on a lead in the second half with a heavy dose of the ground game.

The Commanders defense has gotten progressively worse throughout the season. After trading key pieces of their pass rush, the secondary simply does not have the personnel to hold up in coverage. The Commanders pass defense ranks 32nd in DVOA, with an overall schedule rank of 27th, meaning they have also faced one of the easier slates of offenses.

This defense is coming off a performance in which it allowed Tommy DeVito to complete 69% of his passes for 11.2 yards per completion. In total, opponents have a 100.8 passer rating and have thrown 24 touchdown passes against the Commanders, which are both league-worst marks.

The Cowboys have scored on 50% of their possessions over their last five weeks — only one team has been better on a per-possession basis during that time. Red-zone troubles that dominated the narrative early on have been forgotten because the Cowboys have converted 16-of-25 (62.5%) red-zone chances into touchdowns since Week 5.

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Cowboys -13.5

Commanders +13.5

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Although the Commanders are outclassed on defense, their offense might face an even more daunting mismatch.

The Washington offense led by Sam Howell is the most volatile in the NFL. According to Sharp Football, the Commanders are allowing 6.6 sacks plus turnovers per game. The Cowboys are sure to create turnovers and, more importantly, short fields for their offense.

Howell has dropped back to pass 42 or more times in five consecutive games. The more often he throws, the more likely it is the Cowboys defense makes a play.

According to Pro Football Focus data, Howell’s Big Time Throw to Turnover Worthy Play Ratio is about 1.25 to 1, meaning he will raise some eyebrows with throws on both ends of the spectrum. He will make enough plays to keep Washington within striking distance, but he will also serve up a few errant throws that could directly lead to points.

The Cowboys' Pressure Rate on defense is a blistering 47.1%. Sam Howell’s 100.5 passer rating when kept clean drops 40 points to 60.4 under pressure. Howell has been sacked 50 times this season and he has thrown nine interceptions when under duress. Washington has faced only one other team in the top 10 in Pressure Rate this season, and Howell threw four interceptions in that game in Buffalo.

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Cowboys vs. Commanders

Betting Picks & Predictions

The Cowboys defense creates havoc and converts those opportunities efficiently into points. They are even more dangerous in their home stadium — the Cowboys have averaged 40 points per game at Jerry World and have scored at least 30 points in all home games.

Against a defense that can't defend the pass and a turnover-prone offense that will create short fields and extra opportunities, expect the Cowboys to once again light up the scoreboard.

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Pick: Cowboys Team Total Over 29.5
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