Oct 252013

Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at Detroit Lions (4-3)

The Lions are going into a bye this week. Ordinarily, teams cover at an above average rate going into a bye, which makes sense because they don’t have any distractions on the horizon. However, the Lions are just small home favorites here and teams do not cover as small home favorites going into a bye, as teams who are favored by 3 or less going into a bye are just 11-30 ATS since 2002, an incredibly bad record.

This does make some sense. Small home favorites are generally comparable or slightly inferior to their opponent, which is the case here, as these two teams are 10th (Lions) and 11th (Cowboys) in my Power Rankings. Teams in that dynamic might just assume a victory at home going into a bye and completely overlook their opponent, which is not something you should be doing with a comparable opponent. As a result, not only do they rarely cover the spread, but they also lose the game outright more than 2 out of 3 times dating back to 2002.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, are in a good spot. They are underdogs with no upcoming distractions, with a home game against Minnesota on deck, so they can be as focused as they need to be to pull the upset. Non-divisional road dogs are 96-61 ATS before being non-divisional home favorites since 2008, including 41-21 ATS as non-divisional road dogs of 3 or less. The Bengals came into Detroit and won in this situation and last week and the Lions have been kind of screwed over by the schedulers because they have to face back-to-back opponents who are in this dynamic, but it should be a similar result. This is my Pick of the Week.

Dallas Cowboys 27 Detroit Lions 20 Upset Pick +140

Pick against spread: Dallas +3

Confidence: Pick of the Week

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