Baltimore Ravens (5-4) at Dallas Cowboys (8-1)
The Cowboys pulled off a huge upset victory in Pittsburgh last week to improve to 8-1, the only team in the entire NFL with only one loss. Now they are 7.5 point favorites here at home over the Ravens and the early line has them as 6.5 point home favorites for the Redskins next week. Big favorites tend to cover before being big favorites again because they have no upcoming distractions and can take care of business against an inferior opponent. Favorites of 6 or more are 89-50 ATS since 2012 before being favorites of 6 or more again. However, it hurts the Cowboys that next week’s game is on Thursday Night, their annual Thanksgiving home game. Favorites are 50-82 ATS before Thursday Night Football since 2008.
With that in mind, I’m actually going to take the Ravens this week. Not only do the Cowboys have a game upcoming in 4 days, this line is a little bit too high when you consider the Cowboys haven’t had much homefield advantage in recent years. The Cowboys are 31-21 ATS on the road since 2010, which is impressive, but just 18-34 ATS at home over the same time period, including 10-26 ATS as home favorites. Over that time period, they’ve been outscored opponents by 0.02 points per game on the road and outscored opponents by an average of 0.96 points per game at home, meaning home field advantage hasn’t even been worth a half point for them in recent years.
That makes sense, as the Cowboys have fans throughout the country and get great support on the road. They’re 3-1 ATS at home this year, but that’s because they’ve been underrated all season. That’s no longer the case, as evidenced by this line. They could have easily lost to the Eagles, while their other 2 wins came against the Bears and Bengals (both by 14). The Ravens are a set up from those 2 teams and should be able to keep it close here. There’s not quite enough here for me to put money on the Ravens, but they’re the pick.
Dallas Cowboys 23 Baltimore Ravens 17
Pick against the spread: Baltimore +7.5