Saints-Cowboys Betting Preview & Pick: Will New Orleans cover 10 straight?
Week 12 Recap: With the Texans covering as a 4-point home favorite over the Titans on Monday night, I finished with a 5-3 record against the spread in Week 12. With Tennessee jumping out to an early 10-0 lead, Houston looked shaky earlier but my prediction that the Titans wouldn’t keep pace with the Texans in the second half rang true and it wound up being a relatively easy cover. For the season, I am now 41-20-3 against the spread.
On Thursday, the red-hot Saints take on the Cowboys in Dallas. Following their win on Thanksgiving night over the hapless Falcons, the Saints have now covered the spread in nine consecutive games. Will that streak end tonight?
- Spread: Cowboys +7
- O/U: 51.5
- Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
The Saints opened as 7-point favorites and the line continues to bounce back and forth between 7 and 7.5 depending on which sportsbook you view. As for the total, it opened at 53.5 but was bet down two full points to 51.5.
The Saints are attracting most of the betting tickets (71 percent) and money (61 percent). As of Thursday morning, most of the betting tickets (79 percent) and money (64 percent) is also on the over.
The underdog is 9-2 against the spread in the last 11 meetings between these two teams, while the home team has covered in four of the last five meetings. That said, the Saints are 8-3 at the betting window in their last 11 games against the Cowboys while the over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Dallas.
There is a compelling argument to be made for taking the points tonight. The Saints are playing their third game in 12 days, their ATS streak must end at some point (if not their winning streak) and every week oddsmakers continue to inflate New Orleans’ number.
That said, bet against the Saints at your own risk.
Drew Brees is completing 76.4 percent of his passes for 3,135 yards, 29 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He has two or more touchdown passes in 12 of his last 18 games and the Saints ground game has averaged 133.1 yards per contest this year. This is a juggernaut.
The real progress has been made defensively, however. The Saints are allowing 23.3 points per game and are playing their best defense of the season. Their front four did whatever it wanted to the Falcons’ offensive line last week and completely shut down Atlanta’s running game. Granted, New Orleans’ run defense numbers are skewed because opponents keep falling behind and are thus forced to ditch their running game. Still, the Saints own the No. 1 run defense in the league and if Dallas can’t run the ball behind Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys have no shot tonight.
Staying with that theme, if you like Dallas tonight than you believe the ‘Boys will run the ball effectively, continue to play excellent defense as they have over the past month and effectively play keep-away from Brees and the Saints. It’s not a ludicrous thought and if you’re right, Dallas may win the game outright.
However, if you’re like me, then you believe the Saints will halt Elliott behind a banged-up Dallas offensive line (one that could be without left tackle Tyron Smith again) and force Dak Prescott to keep pace with Brees. If that happens, then we all know how this one ends.
New Orleans is averaging 41 points per game over its last five contests and held six of its last eight opponents to fewer than 20 points. There’s a reason why they’re the current Super Bowl favorite and while the ‘Boys are also hot, it wasn’t that long ago when everyone (including Troy Aikman) was debating whether or not Dallas needed to blow things up. In a matchup of contrasting offensive styles, I’m fading the team that has been one-dimensional at times this season.
Pick: Saints -7
ATS Season Records
- Week 1: 5-0
- Week 2: 3-2
- Week 3: 4-1
- Week 4: 3-1-1
- Week 5: 3-2
- Week 6: 4-1
- Week 7: 2-3
- Week 8: 3-2
- Week 9: 4-1
- Week 10: 3-2
- Week 11: 2-2-2
- Week 12: 5-3
- Overall: 41-20-3
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.