It’s November 12th and I’ve gotten to the point about wanting to write about gambling on this game more so than the game itself. The Packers (3-6) need an Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary to save their season and the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) are in town. Tomorrow marks the return to Green Bay for longtime Packers Coach Mike McCarthy, in addition to the Cowboys first appearance at Lambeau Field since 2016. The Packers will be playing just their second home game since October 2nd, so perhaps their return home after an 0-3 road trip will give them some juice. Let’s get into my Best Bets for tomorrow’s game.
Cowboys (-4.5) at Packers (+4.5) – Per FanDuel SportsBook
At the time I write this, the spread currently sits at 4.5 points. The Cowboys, winners of six of eight games on the year, have an average win margin of 12.5 points in their victories. Their two losses this season occurred in Week 1 (19-3 to Tampa) and Week 6, a 26-17 road loss on Sunday Night Football to their division rival Philadelphia Eagles.
When the Cowboys win, they typically win comfortably. Outside of their Week 2, Cooper Rush debut game when they beat the Bengals 20-17, here’s how they’ve fared in their other 5 victories.
|Week 3 – Cowboys at Giants (MNF)||23-16 Cowboys|
|Week 4 – Commanders at Cowboys||25-10 Cowboys|
|Week 5 – Cowboys at Rams||22-10 Cowboys|
|Week 7 – Lions at Cowboys||24-6 Cowboys|
|Week 8 – Bears at Cowboys||49-29 Cowboys|
The Cowboys come into this game with the 24th ranked run defense in the NFL (135.1 YPG) and the 4th best Pass Defense (178.4 YPG). Oddly enough, it closely mirrors the Packers defensive categories (26th ranked run defense, 2nd ranked pass defense).
Where the gap becomes more evident between the two defenses is sacks and turnovers forced. The Cowboys are #1 in the league in sacks (33) and have a respectable 13 takeaways. In contrast, the Packers have just 17 sacks and 8 takeaways. When it comes to putting pressure on the quarterback, no team in the league does it better than the Cowboys, which will no doubt make football harder for the Packers offense tomorrow. Dallas is also 3rd best in the league in team turnover differential at +6, while the Packers are an abysmal -5 in this department.
If you’re still not sold on the Cowboys, it’s worth pointing out that Dallas averages 22.9 points per game, while the Packers average just 17.1 points per game. The Cowboys, fresh off their bye week, will come into this game very healthy, as their only key injuries outside of LT Tyron Smith, who hasn’t played all year, are LB Anthony Barr (Out) and RB Ezekiel Elliot (Questionable). The Packers will be without star OLB Rashan Gary, 2021 All-Pro ILB De’Vondre Campbell, CB Eric Stokes and WR Romeo Doubs. LT David Bakhtiari is questionable.
The gap in confidence and talent level is evident in this matchup. As long as the Cowboys don’t shoot themselves in the foot multiple times, they’ll be able to manage the game on offense and shut down the Packers on defense. This spread feels like it should be more around 7 points than 4.5, so I’ll gladly lay the points and put my money on the healthier, better and more confident team tomorrow.
The Pick: Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (Buy Point for -120 odds, 2 Units)
Aaron Jones Over/Under 45.5 Rushing Yards – Per DraftKings
In games this season that Aaron Jones has received 10 or more carries, he’s rushed for 132, 36, 110, 63 and 143 yards. In games that Aaron Jones has received 9 carries or fewer, he’s rushed for 49, 19, 23 and 25 yards. Ultimately, where you land on this bet should boil down to how many carries you believe Jones will get on Sunday.
The Packers, after running the football successfully against the NFL’s #1 ranked run defense two weeks ago in the Buffalo Bills, predictably forgot that ever happened last week in Detroit. Last week, Aaron Rodgers threw the ball a season high 43 times which resulted in 3 ugly interceptions. Going into tomorrow’s game against the Cowboys, expect the Packers to get back to who they should be and run the football more.
As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys have the best pass rush in football in addition to the 4th best pass defense in football. The Packers will be without Romeo Doubs, the 2nd best receiver on the team. Also mentioned earlier, the Cowboys aren’t very good against the run, ranking 24th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game. The Packers embarrassed themselves last week in Detroit with careless turnovers and laughable route running. The formula to a potential Packers victory will not be found throwing the ball 43 times tomorrow afternoon. I expect a heavy workload for Jones and AJ Dillon and I believe Jones will receive 10 carries bare minimum. Jones, who left last week’s game against the Lions with an apparent injury, was a full participant in practice this week and carries no injury designation in tomorrow’s game. I think the number of rushing attempts for #33 will be more around 14-18, so I’m comfortable betting on Jones to cash in on this low number of 45.5.
The Pick: Aaron Jones Over 45.5 Rushing Yards (1 Unit)
AnyTime Touchdown Scorer Bet
These bets can be a bit trickier, as it’s hard to predict who will cross the goaline for a given team unless said team has Derrick Henry. I would look to put my money on an anytime TD scorer for the Cowboys, as I believe they have a higher probability to score more touchdowns than the Packers tomorrow. With that in mind, I’m looking at Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz and here’s why:
To start, he scored 8 touchdowns last season, which is impressive. More importantly, he’s gotten much more involved in the Dallas offense the last two games since the return of QB Dak Prescott, recording 5 catches for 49 yards against the Lions and 6 receptions for 74 yards against the Bears. Schultz, who is yet to score a touchdown this season, is long overdue to cash one in.
To further support Schultz, the Packers love to have communication breakdowns on simple plays at the goalline (like we saw last week against Detroit) and love to leave guys wide open on Quarterback bootlegs, which Dallas likes to run. Additionally, the Packers will be without starting inside backer De’Vondre Campbell and likely without backup ILB Krys Barnes, whom are often times responsible for covering tight ends. With all of this data in mind, I’m willing to sprinkle on Schultz to hit paydirt tomorrow afternoon.
The Pick: Dalton Schultz Anytime TD Scorer (+280) – Per FanDuel——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a Packers guy. Alex\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.