The Dallas Cowboys host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 15th in the NFC Division Round. The Cowboys upset the Packers 30-16 as 5-point road underdogs back on October 16th to end a five-game losing streak in this series.
Dallas (13-3) was the best team in the NFC all season. The Cowboys even clinched the No. 1 seed with two weeks to spare. They went all out in Week 16 against the Lions and won 42-21, but then rested starters in Week 17 and lost on the road to the Eagles 13-27.
Green Bay (11-6) won six straight games to close out the season and needed every one to win the NFC North. The Packers stayed red hot in the wild card round, dominating the Giants 38-13 as 5-point favorites with the help of a hail mary just before halftime that ended up being the key play in the game.
Kickoff inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington is set for 4:40 EST Sunday afternoon with FOX providing the television coverage. According to the latest NFL lines, I find Dallas as a 4.5-point favorite over Green Bay with a total set of 52 points.
The Cowboys were one of the most underrated teams in the NFL for much of the season. They went 13-3 SU & 10-6 ATS and opened the season with 10 straight games without a loss against the spread. However, they then became overvalued and were great fade material down the stretch. I took advantage and went against them routinely, and they closed just 1-5 ATS in their final six games.
Because of that poor finish ATS, I believe the Cowboys are now undervalued heading into the playoffs. And while I’ve been riding the Packers religiously with a ton of success during their 7-0 SU & 6-1 ATS run, I’m certain they are now overvalued and it’s time to fade them. This line should be closer to a touchdown in my opinion.
The Cowboys have had two weeks off to get healthy, plus they rested many starters in Week 17, so they’ll be ready to go. The Packers have gone through a grueling stretch with balls to the wall just to get into the playoffs. And the injuries are now starting to take their toll. Both Jordy Nelson and Ty Montgomery, two of their biggest weapons on offense, were hurt in the win over the Giants. Nelson is doubtful this week, while Montgomery is questionable. Not to mention, the Packers have a depleted secondary and have all season.
The Cowboys have the type of offense that can exploit a weak Green Bay defense. They rank 5th in the NFL in total offense at 376.7 yards per game. They are extremely balanced as they rank 2nd in the NFL in rushing at 149.8 yards per game, and they complete 67.3% of their passes while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt through the air. They are virtually unstoppable on offense.
That was clearly on display in their first meeting with the Packers this season. They went into Lambeau Field and won 30-16 as 5-point underdogs. They racked up 424 total yards on the suspect Packers’ defense, including 191 rushing and 233 passing. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 157 yards on 28 carries, while Dak Prescott threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
And the Packers have been especially poor defensively on the road, giving up 28.2 points per game, 388.6 yards per game and 6.7 yards per play.
I think the Cowboys are going to be able to score at will against a Green Bay defense that gives up 6.1 yards per play this season, which is one of the worst marks in the NFL. And the Packers have been especially poor defensively on the road, giving up 28.2 points per game, 388.6 yards per game and 6.7 yards per play. They wore down in their first meeting with the Cowboys, and that’s going to happen again with the way Dallas can possess the ball, averaging nearly 32 possession minutes per game.
Dallas is 33-17 ATS in its last 50 games off a loss by 14 points or more. Plays on favorites (DALLAS) – after failing to cover the spread in three out of their last four games, with a winning record in the second half of the season are 44-18 (71%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays on home teams (DALLAS) – after a loss by 14 or more points against opponent after scoring 25 points or more in three straight games are 50-22 (69.4%) ATS since 1983. The home team is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings. The Packers are 1-5 ATS in their last six trips to Dallas.
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