Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
Opening Spread: Cowboys -9.5
Opening Game Total: 43.5
Opening Team Totals: Cowboys (26.5), Colts (17)
The Line Report
- This line opened as Cowboys -9.5.
- This line has moved to Cowboys -10.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Cowboys -11.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Cowboys -10.5.
- This total opened at 43.5 points.
- This total remains at 43.5 points.
Cowboys: Questionable: WR Michael Gallup, Edge Demarcus Lawrence, DT Quinton Bohanna, LB Anthony Barr, S Jayron Kearse
Colts: Out: RT Braden Smith, CB Kenny Moore II; Questionable: TE Jelani Woods, CB Isaiah Rodgers
The Cowboys Offense vs. Colts Defense
The Cowboys have a top-ten offensive line. The Colts’ defensive front has been playing closer to its potential since Jeff Saturday took over as head coach. I’m not treating them as a league average unit. Dallas has a moderate advantage in the trenches in this matchup.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Cowboys are 7-4 against the spread this season.
- The Cowboys are 5-6 on overs this season.
- Dak Prescott is 51-37-3 against the spread in his career.
- Dak Prescott is 44-47 on overs in his career.
- Mike McCarthy is 137-106-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Mike McCarthy is 135-111-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Cowboys are scoring 25.4 points per game, good for seventh in the league.
- Dallas is 23rd in the league in yards passing per game and seventh in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Tony Pollard is 11th in the league in yards rushing with 761. Pollard is 11th among running backs in yards receiving.
- Pollard has double-digit carries in each of his last six games with 14 or more carries in each of his last four games. Pollard has hit at least 80 yards rushing in four of these contests.
- Despite Pollard’s increased role in the Cowboys’ offense, since returning from injury Ezekiel Elliot has 31 carries over his last two games.
- CeeDee Lamb is ninth in the league in receptions (64), seventh in yards receiving (857), second in target share (31.3%), and sixth in air yards share (41.6%).
- Michael Gallup has six or more targets in three of his last four games. Gallup had 63 yards receiving on five receptions against the Giants last week, which is his best output of the season.
- Dalton Schultz has four or more targets in all six games he’s played with Dak Prescott this season.
- The Colts have allowed 20.3 points per game, which is 11th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Colts have allowed the 16th-most yards rushing per game and the 11th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Indianapolis has given up the fewest yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Colts have allowed the 18th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Colts Offense vs. Cowboys Defense
The Colts’ offensive line has underachieved this season, especially at offensive tackle. Indianapolis has a slightly below average offensive line. The Cowboys have a top-five pass rush. Dallas has a major advantage in the trenches in this matchup, while Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence have a potentially game derailing advantage off the edge.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Colts are 5-7 against the spread this season.
- The Colts are 3-9 on overs this season.
- Matt Ryan is 113-115-4 against the spread in his career.
- Matt Ryan is 104-125-3 on overs in his career.
- Jeff Saturday is 2-1 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Jeff Saturday is 1-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Colts are scoring 15.8 points per game, which is 30th in the league.
- Indianapolis is 11th in the league in yards passing per game and 25th in yards rushing.
- Matt Ryan has been Jeff Saturday’s quarterback.
- Per the Edge, despite missing three games Jonathan Taylor is tenth in the league in yards rushing with 779. Taylor has at least 20 carries in each of the three games since Jeff Saturday took over as head coach. Taylor has ten total targets over that span.
- Michael Pittman is fifth in the league in receptions (74), 14th in yards receiving (739), and 19th in target share (26.1%) with a 28.6% air yards share.
- Parris Campbell only had three targets during last week’s loss to the Steelers. Before that, Campbell had nine or more targets in three of the previous four games that Matt Ryan started.
- Alec Pierce hasn’t breached 30 yards receiving in four games and he’s had zero yards receiving in two of those contests.
- Before last week’s matchup with the Steelers, Jelani Woods had not reached 100 yards receiving total on the season. Against Pittsburgh he popped off for eight receptions on nine targets for 98 yards receiving.
- The Cowboys have allowed 17 points per game, which is second in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Cowboys have allowed the 10th-most yards rushing per game and the 27th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Dallas has given up the 25th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Cowboys have allowed the fifth-fewest yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting on in Cowboys vs. Colts
A bet on the Cowboys is a bet on a playoff-bound team that has the ability to blow out struggling opponents like the Colts. Dallas has finally embraced Tony Pollard as at least its semi-primary running back, which has bolstered its otherwise good but not quite great offense. If you’re betting on Dallas as a -10.5 home favorite, I’m not building that bet around the Cowboys’ offense, but their defense dominating this contest. The Cowboys’ pass rush has a major line play advantage against a statuesque quarterback in Matt Ryan. Ryan has thrown an interception in six of his ten games this season while taking the fifth-most sacks in the league despite missing two games. If the Colts are forced to play in a negative game script down multiple scores late in this game, the Cowboys’ pass rush could have a field day. Your biggest concern as a Cowboys bettor is that Indianapolis is able to ride Jonathan Taylor while the Colts’ defense keeps this game within one score.
A bet on the Colts continues to be a bet on a struggling team that is in a pretty abnormal situation. The Colts have won a game and lost two by one score since Jeff Saturday took over. Their narrow loss to the Eagles in Indianapolis was encouraging. Now they get a road game against one of the league’s best rosters in Dallas, who happens to be coming off a long week. Matt Ryan will be facing a major line play disadvantage in this contest. Based on that we can reasonably expect the Colts to try and mitigate that deficit with a run-centric game plan paired with a number of quick-release throws early in the game. That will be alright if the Colts’ defense is able to handle the Cowboys’ good, but not quite great, offense. If Dallas jumps out to an early lead, the Colts’ offense could quickly find itself in a far less than ideal position. Your biggest concern as a Colts bettor is that the Cowboys’ front dominates this game, while the Indianapolis defense gives up multiple scoring drives in the first half. If the Colts have to play most of this game in a negative game script, they could end up getting blown out.
Awards Market Ramifications: Micah Parsons is the Defensive Player of the Year favorite.
Winner/Confidence Pool: I’ll be taking Dallas in all of my winner pools, and I’ll likely have them on top of my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: I’m not going to bet this game directly, because the Cowboys have a legitimate path to blowing the doors off the Colts. But in ATS pools where you pick every game, I’d lean towards the Colts +10.5. That number covers a pretty wide range of realistic outcomes, as long as the Colts defense shows up.
Survivor Pool: If I had the Cowboys available in survivor pools this week, I would be deploying them.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 38-22
Props 2022: 39-23
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