Expert Final Thoughts - How To Bets Lions vs. Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys players

Kevin Stott

Sunday, December 25, 2016 2:22 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016 2:22 PM UTC

No one has epitomized the progressive NFL in 2016 like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and the Dallas Cowboys and in this Monday Night Football date, the surprise of the league host Matthew Stafford and the upstart Detroit Lions in a game now much more important to the visitors.

Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys  

What better way to cap NFL week 16 off than with this NFC matchup between the two traditional Thanksgiving Day teams, the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, at AT&T Stadium (Matrix RealGrass AT, Retractable roof) in Arlington. Offshore sportsbooks have Dallas as 6½ to 7-point favorites—down from 7½ in some sportsbooks early Friday night after the Eagles beat the Giants on TNF—in this NFC matchup with totals of 44 and 44½ on the SBR Oddsboard, three days out.

The money line saw Dallas -284 favorites with Golden Tate and Detroit at +234 (Heritage) while the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened up the Cowboys 7-point favorites in its NFL Week 16 Advanced Line and in its prestigious NFL Games of the Year, Dallas opened 6-point chalks.

The 1st Half Odds see the Cowboys 4-points favorites with the 1st Half Total at 22½.


Monday Night Football, Side, Totals, and Series Trends

While my staff (above) here in The Lab is putting their collective noses to the grindstone desperately looking for some NFL Boxing Day Trends—don't let me wait too long ladies—the MNF Trends reveal Matthew Stafford (18-27-1 ATS on Road) and the Lions to be 5-1 ATS L6 Mondays, 4-3 ATS as a Road Underdog with the Under 6-2 in 8 Lions Away games while Dallas is a weak 1-5 ATS L6 Mondays, 6-15 ATS as a Home Favorite with the Over 19-16 on Mondays. Detroit is 7-3 ATS L10 overall, 24-9 ATS L33 after Scoring Less Than 15 Points Previous Game and 6-2 ATS L8 vs. NFC but 3-7 ATS L10 vs. Team with Winning Home Record and 5-15 ATS L20 in December but Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter hadn’t blown into Motown yet. Cooter matters.

Though vastly improved, Jason Witten and the Cowboys are 0-4 ATS L4 both overall and vs. the NFC, 0-5-1 ATS L6 December, 7-18-1 ATS L26 on FieldTurf and 6-13-1 ATS L20 games at Jerry World. The Under is 7-0 L7 Dallas December dates, 18-7-1 L26 Following ATS Loss and 4-1 ATS the L5 Week 16, Overall, FieldTurf and vs. Team with Winning Record.


Rookies Stars Prescott, Elliott Going, Playing 100% 

Dallas are Super Bowl favorites is the song we’re singing but this Dec. 26 matchup will be much more important to the Lions who started the weekend as the #4 seed in the NFL Playoff Picture while the hosts have nothing to really play for with the Giants losing on TNF and having clinched the NFC East as well as Home-field advantage in the conference.

And when asked whether or not he would start key skill guys like Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott (1,551 yards)—who is a longshot to eclipse Eric Dickerson’s 1983 Rookie Rushing record of 1,808 yards—on Monday night, Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “We’re not really focused on that. We’re focused on today’s practice.”

So Logic dictates that we’ll probably get a normal Cowboys team for most of the game, but the idea of giving backup QB Tony Romo a little live experience heading into the Postseason and the notion that a Loss here won’t hurt their Future had to be floating around the heads of both young and old in Big D this long Christmas holiday weekend.

And with Detroit having everything to play for with an underappreciated Defense (20.4 ppg, #10 Scoring) and Dallas not wanting guys like those two precious Rookies or the injury-prone Witten or WR Dez Bryant to get hurt on Dec. 26 with the #1 NFC seed in their stockings, this could be a close and relatively low-scoring affair because of what the Lions need. And with Detroit (7-2 ATS L9 FieldTurf) playing 5 straight Road Unders (23, 41, 38, 33, 31 points scored), backing the Under here—which opened at 41½—seems like the sanest approach. But just barely.


Predicted Final Score: Cowboys 23 Lions 20Free NFL Pick: Under 44½Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction

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