Dallas Cowboys (2-7) at Miami Dolphins (4-5)
The Cowboys are 2-7, but are favored here by 1.5 points in Miami. That’s because, of their 7 losses, 5 of them have come by less than a touchdown. As a result, they rank 23rd in rate of moving the chains, not bad as their record. The Dolphins rank 24th, but the Cowboys are getting Tony Romo back from injury for the first time since week 2 (when they were 2-0). The Cowboys are going to be missing top linebacker Sean Lee with injury, but the Dolphins are without defensive end Cameron Wake, offensive tackle JuWuan James, and linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
The Cowboys are in a tough spot though, playing again in 4 days, against the Panthers in Dallas, on Thanksgiving. Favorites are 43-68 ATS since 2008 before a Thursday Night game. On top of that, they could easily be home underdogs next week and road favorites are 19-36 ATS before being home underdogs since 2012. The early line has that game as a pick ‘em, but the line could easily become 1 or 2 in favor of Carolina. Either way, they have a tough game coming up in a few days and are in a bad spot as a result of that.
It does help the Cowboys that they’re in their 2nd straight road game. Teams are 43-29 ATS since 2008 as road favorites off of a road loss in their 2nd of two road games. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 215-215 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.42 points per game, as opposed to 300-420 straight up in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 2.92 points per game. I’m going to take them because they should win and we’re getting field goal protection and then some with them, but I’m not confident.
Dallas Cowboys 23 Miami Dolphins 20
Pick against the spread: Dallas -1.5