- Dallas is once again a mighty Thanksgiving favorite, this time laying 6.5 points home to the Bills
- Buffalo is 4-1 straight up on the road
- Both teams have a chance to prove themselves, since neither has beaten an opponent with a winning record
As usual, the Lions won’t make for a great Thanksgiving appetizer, but that just leaves more room for what should be a great main course, when the 8-3 Buffalo Bills visit the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys on Thursday afternoon.
While the Cowboys are getting a majority of bets against the spread, Dak Prescott and this offense will be in tough against the Bills defense. Despite their great record, Buffalo still has a ton of doubters and they’ll be eager to use their only nationally televised game to prove their mettle.
Meanwhile, the pressure is on Jason Garrett, as this could be his final Thanksgiving as the Cowboys head coach.
Buffalo Bills vs Dallas Cowboys Odds
|Buffalo Bills||+255||+6.5 (-109)||Over 46 (-109)|
|Dallas Cowboys||-310||-6.5 (-109)||Under 46 (-109)|
Odds taken November 27th
Cowboys Spread Comes With Extra Stuffing
America’s Team always faces an inflated line, but that’s stretched to a new level on Thanksgiving when the whole nation is watching. Take 2015 as a prime example: despite hosting an undefeated Carolina Panthers team, the 3-7 Cowboys were 1.5 point favorites.
It’s no wonder Dallas is a dismal 1-7 ATS in their last eight Thanksgiving games.
Buffalo comes into this game 7-3-1 ATS on the year, including covering 3 of their last 4 outings. They haven’t played a Thanksgiving game since 1994, when they lost 35-21 to Detroit.
Can Zeke Get Cooking?
Last week, the Patriots defense dismantled the Cowboys offense, with an assist from the elements. The conditions meant that Zeke and the run game got back on track, but Dallas wasn’t able to hit any big plays over top.
This week, if Kellen Moore’s offense wants to get huge chunks of yardage, it will need to come on the ground. The Bills rank third in the league allowing “explosive pass plays” (plays over 15 yards) on just 5% of all dropbacks. Meanwhile, they allow explosive runs on 15% of all carries.
“The @BuffaloBills defense completely shut down one of the best young receivers in the game. Courtland Sutton had one catch and a lot of that has to do with @TreWhite16, who I think is having an All-Pro season up in Buffalo.“ — @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/xxvAds5UhP
— GMFB (@gmfb) November 25, 2019
With Tre’Davious White poised to limit Amari Cooper’s impact in this game and the rest of the Cowboys receivers proving to be unreliable from week to week, Elliott and the ground game will have to carry the day in this game.
Speaking of Running
The Cowboys defense hasn’t faced a QB with Josh Allen’s mobility in a long, long time. The Bills second year QB has been far from perfect this year as a passer, but while he struggles to take advantage of man coverage through the air, he can absolutely destroy it with his legs.
.@JoshAllenQB 30-yard TD run?!
— NFL (@NFL) December 30, 2018
Along with electric rookie Devin Singletary and the ageless wonder Frank Gore, the Bills should run the ball effectively as well against a Dallas group that ranks 18th against the run in DVOA and will be without Leighton Vander Esch and Antwaun Woods.
With both teams working the ground game and the clock continually running, you know what that means for the total.
Who’s the Best Bet?
While they’re terrible against the number in this spot, the Cowboys have done a much better job of protecting Jerry World in the Dak Prescott era, going 21-10 at home since 2016. But they also have Garrett as a head coach, which means the most disappointing outcome is the most likely.
One more from Jerry Jones, who was asked if he’s ever been so frustrated by a team that was leading the division.
“With the makeup of this team, I shouldn’t be this frustrated.”
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) November 25, 2019
The Cowboys are destined to enter their Week 16 matchup with the Eagles with the NFC East title on the line, which means they’re bound to stumble once more before then.
Buffalo would be the most justifiable loss over their next three games, which makes me think that it won’t come here. Look for Dak to lift his hapless coach off the hot seat for another week, but count on the Bills to make it close.
Picks: Dallas moneyline (-310); Bills +6.5 (-109); Under 46 (-109)
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