NFL Picks: Cowboys vs. Lions Week 8

Steven Suarez

Thursday, October 24, 2013 3:26 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 3:26 PM UTC

Both teams stand at 4-3 on the season, but that will change when Sunday's over and done with. Which team will pick up the win, and who are we backing with our NFL picks?

For more information on this week's games, read our Daily NFL Week 8 Betting Odds Report!

Odds Overview

The Lions have already been field goal favorites on two occasions this season, both of which came at home. They're at it again this weekend, getting favored by three points by sportsbooks for this visit of Dallas.

A total of either 50.5 or 51 is what can be found on most NFL odds boards, with the OVER at 4-3 for Detroit and 3-4 for Dallas on the year.


Dallas Cowboys

After losing three of four, the Cowboys have come back to win two straight over the last couple of weeks. Both victories were in the division, with Dallas topping Washington 31-16 as 5.5-point favorites and then shutting down Philadelphia in a 17-3 win as three-point underdogs.

It couldn't have been a better day at the office for the Cowboys defense. They held the Eagles to 278 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers. Nick Foles struggled before getting knocked out, before Matt Barkley came in and threw three picks.

Offensively, Tony Romo threw for 317 yards and a touchdown, but  was picked off twice. Dez Bryant had 110 yards, while Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley both had at least 53 yards receiving. Joseph Randle had 93 all-purpose yards in the win.

That's now three straight covers for loyal Cowboys backers, and they'll try to make it four in a row this Sunday. 

More encouraging for Dallas has been the defensive resurgence. The Cowboys still rank #29 in total defense, but they've looked a heck of a lot better on that side of the ball since giving up 51 points to Denver in Week 5.

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Detroit Lions

The Lions lost on a field goal as time expired last week, so you know they're going to come out even harder to try and erase that painful memory. 

Detroit was incredibly poor, at least against the pass, in the Week 7 loss to Cincinnati. They let Andy Dalton throw for 372 yards and three touchdowns, and A.J. Green (6-155-1) was a menace to the Lions secondary throughout. 

Matthew Stafford, however, kept his guys in it by throwing for 357 yards and three scores himself. He connected with Calvin Johnson nine times for 155 yards and two touchdowns, which made up for a lack of production out of Reggie Bush (50 yards on 20 carries) and the run game.

We knew coming into the season that the Lions would have little trouble moving the ball – they currently rank seventh in the NFL in total offense.

However, Jim Schwartz has to be incredibly concerned about his team's defensive performances, as they rank #31 in total defense. It doesn't matter if it's on the ground (115.1 YPG allowed) or through the air (282.0 YPG) – these problems need addressing. 

Week 8 Pick

The Cowboys are killing it at the betting window, having covered the spread in six of their seven games so far. Do they improve on that record in Week 8? 

We imagine Dallas, fresh off consecutive division wins, will be a popular choice for the public's NFL picks, but we can't help but think Detroit bounces back.

The Lions have the personnel offensively to stay toe-to-toe with the Cowboys, and DeMarcus Ware looks like he'll be unavailable for this weekend's matchup at Ford Field. Dallas took advantage of some shaky QB play in their win last week, but we don't expect that kind of defensive dominance against Stafford, Megatron, and Bush. Take Detroit.

Pick: Lions -3

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