Carolina Panthers (10-0) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7)
Carolina is undefeated and Dallas is 3-7, but the Cowboys are the ones favored here in Dallas (albeit by 1 point). That’s because 5 of the Cowboys’ 7 losses have come by less than a touchdown and they’re finally healthy offensively. Tony Romo made just his 3rd start of the season last week (after missing 7 games with a broken collarbone) and the Cowboys are 3-0 in his 3 starts, moving the chains at a 75.25% rate, as opposed to 70.23% in their other 7 games. Considering how close a lot of their losses were, it’s reasonable to suggest that this team could be at least 6-4, if not 7-3 if Romo were healthy all season, like he is now.
With Dez Bryant also back from injury, this team is similar to last year’s team that was one of the better teams in the league. Obviously running back DeMarco Murray left as a free agent (as did more minor contributors like defensive tackle Henry Melton, cornerback Sterling Moore, and outside linebacker Justin Durant) and they’re still without cornerback Orlando Scandrick with a torn ACL, but they’ve added defensive end Greg Hardy and got outside linebacker Sean Lee back from injury.
Still, Carolina ranks 4th in rate of moving the chains differential, while the Cowboys rank 20th, and Carolina gets a key player back this week, guard Andrew Norwell, who was one of the better guards in the league before missing the last 3 games. The Cowboys don’t deserve to be favored by any amount of points here, especially since they are 8-25 ATS as home favorites since 2010. I can’t put any money on the Panthers unless I’m getting a field goal, especially considering that the public is all over them, but they should be able to continue their undefeated season here and they are my pick.
Carolina Panthers 23 Dallas Cowboys 20 Upset Pick +100
Pick against the spread: Carolina +1