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Betting on the clearly superior QB in Cowboys-Lions

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The Cowboys travel to face a Lions team in Week 11 dealing with some big injuries. We break down the matchup and make a pick against the spread.

Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys travel to face the Detroit Lions in Week 11, and it appears we will once again get to experience quarterback Jeff Driskel in all his glory. Matthew Stafford has missed two straight practices after sitting out Week 10 with a fracture in his back, and is unlikely to play on Sunday.

Point spread

The Cowboys are a five-point favorite against the Lions as of Friday morning at DraftKings Sportsbook. Stafford is worth a few points in the point spread. It’s technically uncertain if he’ll start, but an absence is likely baked into the number.

Dating back to Dak Prescott’s rookie year, the Cowboys have been a road favorite in 16 games. In that time, they are 11-5 straight up and 9-6-1 against the spread. They’ve had four such games this season and are 2-2 SU and ATS.

Injury report

Cowboys to watch: OT La’el Collins, OG Connor Williams, WR Amari Cooper, OT Cameron Fleming, DE DeMarcus Lawrence, OG Zack Martin

Lions to watch: DE Da’Shawn Hand, QB Matthew Stafford, OT Rick Wagner, S Tracy Walker, RB Ty Johnson, CB Darius Slay, DE Romeo Okwara

Pick against the spread

Last week, you could argue Jeff Driskel was the better quarterback on the field compared to Mitchell Trubisky. This week, there is no such argument. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense are light years ahead of Jeff Driskel, Ty Johnson, and company. The Cowboys bring the No. 1 ranked offense to town, and while their defense is shaky at times, it’s a step up from Detroit’s defense.

A favored stat of sports bettors is net yards per play. The Cowboys rank No. 1 while the Lions rank No. 21. Net yards per play helps sort out the randomness that occurs in football. Randomness factors into every game, but the idea is to figure out how good teams are independent of it. The Cowboys are the much better team.

This isn’t a great line, but I’m comfortable laying less than a touchdown with Dak, Zeke, & Co. If this was Stafford playing we’d see a much different line. There’s value on this line if you think Stafford plays, but that seems unlikely, so Cowboys -5 it is.

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