Cowboys vs. Saints NFL Picks: Confidently Take Dallas +3.5 on Sunday Night Football

Jason Lake

Friday, October 2, 2015 6:56 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 6:56 PM GMT

The NFL odds have finally been released for Sunday night's game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. Well, sort of. Is Drew Brees playing or not?

Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 2: 13-7 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 7-9 Total

Patience may be a virtue, but we're talking about the National Football League here. This might be the most backward-thinking league in the world, outside of the Vintage Base Ball Association, and we want our NFL odds yesterday, dang it. Instead, we're being forced to wait on Sunday night's matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints.

Sort of. They did release an early line in Vegas, with the Saints pegged as 7-point home faves against Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys. And there were some locations in that nebulous world we call “overseas” who decided to get a jump on the rest of the market. But everyone else is waiting for confirmation that Drew Brees will start for New Orleans. In the meantime, that early line has dipped all the way to Saints –3.5. We'll use those odds for Sunday's NFL picks against the spread.

 

Weeden 15
Too bad we didn't see Cowboys +7 on our NFL odds board. Life isn't any easier in Big D with Weeden taking over for the injured Tony Romo, but Weeden did just fine in last week's 39-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons (+1 away). Football Outsiders ranked him No. 13 at his position with +46 Total DYAR in Week 3, better than Peyton Manning (+38 DYAR) and Russell Wilson (+36 DYAR). Super Bowl, Schmuper Bowl.

The Cowboys defense didn't do a very good job against Atlanta, though. Defense was a problem last year at No. 22 on the efficiency charts; after three games, the Cowboys have improved all the way to No. 21. Have no fear, Dallas fans. DE Greg Hardy and LB Rolando McClain will be on board for Week 5 after they serve their suspensions. For this Sunday, though, defense remains a big concern.

 

Cuffman Says a Lot of Things
Except the Saints just haven't been performing the way they used to. Their No. 31-ranked defense is still awful, but now the offense has slid all the way to No. 18 in efficiency. Don't blame back-up QB Luke McCown, either – he was solid in last week's 27-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers, earning New Orleans its first payday of the season as a 10-point road dog.

Brees, on the other hand, played at below replacement level (–15 passing DYAR) during the first two weeks, before suffering a bruised rotator cuff and missing the game against Carolina. He's expressed confidence he'll play against Dallas, but then again, Brees said the same thing going into the Panthers game. Bookies are understandably nervous about posting their lines, especially after Brees was limited in practice on Thursday. We're not too nervous about picking Dallas, though. Laissez le sphéroïde allongé rouler.

NFL Pick: Take the Cowboys +3.5 at Pinnacle

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