Elliott's Return Boosts Cowboys Over Seahawks in NFL Week 16

Cowboys Prescott

David Schwab

Friday, December 22, 2017 4:17 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 4:17 PM UTC

In a playoff elimination game for a pair of 8-6 teams in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks go on the road to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. The Seahawks have lost their past two games while Dallas is riding a three-game winning streak, so what's the best bet to cash in on this matchup?

NFL Week 16: Seahawks vs. Cowboys

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Free NFL Pick: Cowboys -4.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

Seattle was on the wrong end of a tough 30-24 road loss to Jacksonville two weeks ago as a 2.5-point underdog, but it completely failed to show up in last week's home game against the division rival Los Angeles Rams in a 42-7 beatdown as a one-point favorite. That loss all but ended the Seahawks’ chances to repeat as NFC West champs, and both losses have them clinging to their postseason hopes overall. They have a 2-5-1 record against the spread in their last eight games as part of a 5-8-1 record ATS overall.

When Russell Wilson is at his best, Seattle will normally win. Given just how big a part of this offense he has been this season, it is easy to see how the Seahawks got hammered by the Rams. Wilson completed 14 of his 30 passes for 142 yards, but the final stat for offensive passing yards was just 71 in light of seven sacks. He led the team in rushing with 39 yards on five carries, and he is still Seattle’s leading rusher this season with 521 yards on 81 attempts.

Dallas has turned things around in its push for a postseason spot with three SU wins in a row while going 2-0-1 ATS. Last week's 20-17 victory against Oakland at home ended as a push, and the total has now stayed under in six of Dallas' last seven games. The Cowboys are 7-6-1 ATS, including 3-4 at home. The total has stayed under in three of their last four home games.

Dak Prescott is another quarterback who is a major part of his team’s production, but his inconsistency without All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott has been striking. Over the past six games, with Elliott serving his league suspension, Prescott has thrown five touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He was picked off twice by Oakland to double the Raiders' interception total this season. Elliott will be back in the starting lineup against Seattle to add a boost during a critical part of the season.

Game Betting Trends
  • The Seahawks have gone a costly 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 road games, but have won four of their last five road games SU. The total has stayed under in four of their last five road games.
  • The Cowboys have won 10 of their last 15 home games SU, but this record falls to 2-4 SU in their last six home games. The total stayed under in four of their first seven home games this season.
  • Head-to-head, Dallas has a 5-2 edge both SU and ATS in its last seven home games against Seattle. The total has stayed under in six of the last eight meetings overall.

The Verdict

It is painfully obvious to both teams that a loss would end their chances to make the playoffs. The concern for Seattle is its current downward slide, while the momentum for Dallas should only increase with Elliott’s return. That is why my top NFL pick in this one, with the help of SBR odds, is the Cowboys ATS.

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