Dallas Cowboys (3-1) at Los Angeles Rams (2-2)
All seemed lost for the Cowboys when they lost quarterback Dak Prescott for an extended period of time in a week 1 blowout home loss to the Buccaneers, but they’ve since won three straight games and are squarely in the playoff mix in the NFC, with Prescott now seemingly just a week or two away from returning. Backup quarterback Mike White hasn’t been great, leading an offense that ranks 25th in schedule adjusted efficiency, but he hasn’t made big mistakes and the Cowboys’ defense has carried them, ranking 5th in schedule adjusted efficiency.
The Cowboys are getting healthier, even with Prescott still out, with wide receiver Michael Gallup, tight end Dalton Schultz, left guard Connor McGovern, and safety Jayron Kearse all returning from injury last week, not coincidentally their best performance of the year in a double digit win over the Commanders. Despite that, the Cowboys are still 5.5 point road underdogs in Los Angeles against the Rams this week.
This is the toughest opponent Cooper Rush and the Cowboys have faced on the road, but the Rams are not the same team as a year ago and may still be a little overrated as defending Super Bowl Champions.The Rams’ big off-season departures were left tackle Andrew Whitworth and edge defender Von Miller, but they also lost right guard Austin Corbett and are now without starting center Brian Allen and his backup Cameron Shelton due to injury, meaning they are down three offensive linemen from a year ago.
The Rams added Bobby Wagner on defense, which somewhat offsets the loss of Von Miller, but their attempt to replace wide receiver Odell Beckham with free agent acquisition Allen Robinson has not gone well, with Robinson continuing to struggle after a down final year in Chicago in 2021, which, coupled with their offensive line problems, have caused significant issues on the Rams’ offense. I have the Rams calculated as just 3-point home favorites over the Cowboys, so we’re getting some decent line value with the Cowboys at +5.5. It’s not enough for them to be worth betting, but they should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes.
Los Angeles Rams 20 Dallas Cowboys 17
Pick against the spread: Dallas +5.5