By Jason Green
The Lions are atop the NFC North, but things are not all rosy. They not only play the Cowboys in this Game, but also face the Packers in their next one and sitting 1 Game up on them that may be for the division crown. Surprisingly at 9-5 and leading their divisions the Lions had no players get an invite to the Pro Bowl. Matthew Stafford has been solid on the season and, for a change, the Detroit defense has been good, but the Lions still only rank tied for 20th in ppg and 29th in rushing yards per Game.
The Cowboys have already secured a playoff spot, but with one more win or a Giants loss they will wrap up the NFC East and also have home field advantage in the playoffs. They got over their 2nd loss of the season with a 6-point win over Tampa Bay in their last Game and to say they are balanced would be like saying Tom Brady is pretty good. Yeah, major understatement, as Dallas ranks 4th in the league in both ppg and opponents’ ppg.
The Lions are the 7-point underdog in this Game and in the last 6 Games between them and the Cowboys the underdog has covered the spread 5 times.
The Lions had their 5-Game win streak snapped in their last Game with a 17-6 road loss to the New York Giants where they did not cover as a 4-point underdog.
The Cowboys beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-20 in their last Game where they did not cover as a 7-point home favorite.
The Lions had 24 more total yards than the Giants in their last Game, but they failed to run the ball and they turned the ball over 2 times. Stafford did pass for 273 yards, but he had 0 TD and was picked off. He has been, pretty much, the whole offense for Detroit this season and in the New York Game Dwayne Washington was the lead rusher with only 31 yards averaging a weak 2.2 yards per carry.
This Game actually sets up pretty well for the Detroit offense, as Dallas only ranks 28th in the league in pass defense, but 1st in run defense.
In the win over the Bucs in their last Game the Cowboys out-GAined them 449 yards to 276 yards. Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, who leads the league in rushing yards, were each named to the Pro Bowl and they have earned it. Prescott did not have a TD or an INT in the Tampa Bay win, but passed for 279 yards and Elliot rushed for 159 yards. While the Lions have been pretty solid on D for the season they still don’t rank in the top 10 in pass defense (16th) or run defense (11th).
Detroit is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Games overall, 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, and in their last 8 Games the posted total has gone Under every time.
Dallas is 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 home Games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Games overall, and in their last 5 Games the posted total has gone Under 4 times.
Jason’s Pick: While Dallas has not been a good home bet in the last few seasons and they have failed to cover in their last 4 Games overall they are still the pick in this NFC match up. The Lions are one-dimensional on offense and the Cowboys will take advantage of that and will not let the Lions Scorea lot of points. Prescott and Elliot will play well and while I don’t see a blowout in this Monday night Game America’s team will win and cover the spread.