Dallas Cowboys (4-1) at Green Bay Packers (3-1)
The Cowboys pulled an impressive home upset victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last week, winning 28-14. Ordinarily, teams struggle after a home upset victory, as teams are 53-77 ATS in that spot since 2012. One of the reasons for that is home upset wins tend to move future lines significantly and that’s the case in this game, as the Cowboys went from 6.5 point underdogs on the early line last week to now 4.5 point underdogs. Typically, I like to bet against significant week-to-week line movements because they tend to be overreactions to a single week of play. However, I don’t think this line is unreasonable at 4.5 at all, as the Cowboys have been one of the best teams in the league thus far this season and showed it with a statement win over a capable Cincinnati team last week.
The Cowboys are 4-1, legitimately a few plays away from being 5-0 (their only loss came by 1 week 1), and rank 9th in first down percentage differential. Green Bay, who ranks 6th in that metric, is the toughest team the Cowboys have faced thus far, but close to 3 in 10 games are decided by 4 points or fewer, so I like their chances of keeping it close and covering this 4.5 point spread. Worst case scenario, if the Cowboys are down 10 or 11 late, I like their chances of pulling off a backdoor cover.
The Packers are also in a tough spot, as they have to turn around and play again in 4 days on Thursday Night Football. Favorites are 50-75 ATS since 2008 before a Thursday night game. The Packers used to have a big advantage in Lambeau Field, going 36-23 ATS at home from 2008-2014, but they are just 4-5-1 ATS at home in the last 2 seasons. Meanwhile, the Cowboys typically travel well, thanks to a national fanbase. Since 2010, they’ve outscored opponents by 0.87 points per game at home and been outscored by 0.72 points per game on the road, meaning their homefield advantage hasn’t even been worth a point over that time period. They’re also 20-12 ATS as road underdogs over that time period. I’d put money on the Cowboys at 4.5, but I’d hold off at 4. The Cowboys are the pick though.
Green Bay Packers 27 Dallas Cowboys 24
Pick against the spread: Dallas +4.5