Bet Cowboys -3.5 vs. Rams: NFL Picks for Week 3

Jason Lake

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7:54 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 7:54 PM UTC

We’re two weeks into the 2013 season, and the Dallas Cowboys are 2-0 ATS. Can they fleece the NFL point spreads one more time against the visiting St. Louis Rams?

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to September 17 inclusive:

6-3-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

0-3 Totals

You gotta love it when an undervalued team loses SU and wins ATS. You get to pocket the money, and the team in question stays undervalued in the NFL odds market. That’s the situation waiting for us this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) when the Dallas Cowboys host the St. Louis Rams. Dallas is coming off a 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, who were favored by three points at Arrowhead. Follow them Cowboys!

Follow all of our Week 3 NFL Betting coverage

NFL Picks: Week 3 Value Picks

NFL Picks: Week 3 Fades & Games to Avoid

Romoing Charges

That’s assuming you buy into the idea that a public team like the Cowboys can be undervalued. I certainly do. People have been cracking wise about Dallas for ages now, pretty much ever since Troy Aikman called it quits at the turn of the millennium. There have been moments of brilliance in the Tony Romo Era, but no winning seasons since 2009. Failure is expected at this point. 

Beating the New York Giants (+3.5 away) 36-31 in the season-opener didn’t stop the naysayers. Losing to the Chiefs, however improved they may be, certainly didn’t help. Romo had some struggles against these two teams, but we’re talking two quality defenses here, and he still posted a 94.6 passer rating with just one pick. Romo leads the NFL after two weeks with 66 completions at a 72.5-percent success rate. Something must be working. 

Jason X

If bashing Romo isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always coach Jason Garrett. People are upset with the play-calling in Dallas, especially the lack of carries being given to DeMarco Murray (32 attempts for 111 yards). But it’s offensive co-ordinator Bill Callahan who’s supposed to be calling the plays this year. “Same old weak junk we saw in Oakland,” said FOX analyst Terry Bradshaw. “You can’t keep running this short dinky offense.”

Actually, the Raiders led the league in passing when they went to Super Bowl XXXVIII in Callahan’s first year as an NFL head coach. Then he brought the West Coast offense to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, where Zac Taylor (now the QB coach for the Miami Dolphins) broke the school record for passing yards. Short and dinky works. 

As for the lack of rushing, Callahan was assistant head coach for the New York Jets in 2009 when they broke the franchise record with 2,756 rushing yards (172.25 per game). Callahan keeps getting fired after enjoying initial success at every stop; suffice to say, he’s not a player’s coach. But his playbook seems to pan out whenever the talent is there. 

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Hit Like Rams 

With all the pessimism surrounding Dallas, it’s not that much of a surprise to see the early action coming in on St. Louis. Our consensus reports show about 60 percent support for the Rams, pushing the NFL point spreads up from +3.5 to +4 before drifting back to +3.5 at a number of online sportsbooks

Sadly, the Rams have not been delivering at the pay window. They’re 1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS to start the 2013 campaign, coming from behind to bear the Arizona Cardinals (+3.5 away) 27-24 before losing 31-24 to the Atlanta Falcons (–4 at home). This was supposed to be a positive season for St. Louis after improving to 7-8-1 SU and 11-5 in 2012. But the Rams defense, which finished No. 7 overall last year in terms of efficiency, has been a little off thus far. And the offense will be compromised this week without starting RT Rodger Saffold (sprained MCL). 

There’s still time for St. Louis to turn this ship around, but for now, I’m sticking with America’s (Least Favorite) Team. 

NFL Pick: Take the Cowboys –3.5 at bet365
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