Dallas Cowboys (7-6) at Oakland Raiders (6-7)
I typically bet on the Cowboys on the road, as they have a nationwide fanbase and have fared well away from Dallas in recent years as a result. They are 34-28 on the road since 2010 (35-26 ATS), with a scoring differential of +0.26 points per game, as opposed to 32-33 at home (23-42 ATS), with a scoring differential of +1.26 points per game. However, even with that taken into account, I still don’t understand why the Cowboys are favored by 3 points here. I have these two teams about even, so the Raiders should be favored about 2 points. That’s what they were on the early line last week, but that line shifted with the Cowboys winning 30-10 in New York against the Giants and the Raiders losing 26-15 in Kansas City against the Chiefs.
Usually significant week-to-week line movement like that is the result of an overreaction to a single week of play and that appears to be the case here. Two weeks ago, everyone thought the sky was falling for the Cowboys when they lost their first 3 games with Ezekiel Elliott, as the public bet on the Redskins in Dallas as road favorites, but now they’ve won two games against the Redskins and the Giants and suddenly everyone thinks they’re back? Despite the line movement, Dallas is one of the most heavily bet sides of the week.
That heavy public heavy is unwarranted. The Cowboys were tied with the Giants in the 4th quarter last week before they took advantage of some missed assignments and got long touchdowns to pull ahead. Stud linebacker Sean Lee, who returned last week, had a back injury pop up at practice on Friday and is now questionable while talented interior pass rusher David Irving will miss his 2nd straight game with a concussion. There’s too much line value to pass on with Oakland this week. The money line is also a smart play.
Oakland Raiders 31 Dallas Cowboys 30 Upset Pick +145
Pick against the spread: Oakland +3