NFL Picks: Rams vs. Cowboys in Week 3

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 6:22 PM GMT

The St. Louis Rams go on the road for the second week in a row to take on the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, starting at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Follow our week-by-week NFL odds coverage! Check out our NFL Week 3 Betting Odds Report!

Both of these clubs enter this contest with identical 1-1 records and are coming off losses. These two teams last met on 10/23/2011 in Dallas with the Cowboys winning 34-7 and covering as a 14-point favorite.

According to current football betting odds, Dallas is a 4-point favorite in this week's game and the total is 47. My football odds service shows 61% of early money has gone on the home favorite, and identical 61% has also been wagered on the game to go over the total.

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Injury Report

The Cowboys star defensive end Demarcus Ware is questionable. Ware left last week’s game against the Chiefs with a shoulder injury. The Cowboys linebacker Ernie Sims is also questionable. Sims didn’t practice last week due to a calf injury and sat out against the Chiefs.

The Rams defensive back Quinton Porter and safety Darian Stewart are both questionable for the Cowboys game. Both sat out the first 2 games of the season recovering from thigh injuries. Safety Matt Daniels suffered a season ending fractured ankle last week versus Atlanta. Offensive tackle Rodger Safford injured his knee last week and didn’t return. He’s listed as questionable for this week.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams late rally wasn’t enough to dig them out of an early huge hole in last week's 31-24 loss at Atlanta. St. Louis fell behind 21-0 early in the 2nd quarter following an Osi Umenyiora 68-yard interception return for a touchdown. They closed to within 31-24 with 2:09 to play on a Sam Bradford to Tavon Austin 10-yard touchdown pass. Unfortunately they were never able to regain possession again following that score. The Rams opened the season with a thrilling come-from-behind 30-27 home win over Arizona that saw them come back from a 27-17 deficit in the 4th quarter. Since Jeff Fisher has taken over as head coach the Rams they’ve made steady improvement and are expected to contend for a playoff spot this season. St. Louis is a perfect 5-0 straight up and ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog of 4.5 or less. They won all 5 of those games outright by an average of 11 points per game.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys come off a narrow 17-16 loss at Kansas City last week but were able to cover as a 3-point underdog. One of the positives that came from the loss to the Chiefs was the performance of the defense. After allowing 31 points and 428 yards to the Giants in their season opener the Cowboys held the Chiefs to 199 yards of total offense. Another thing for Cowboys fans to be happy about is the play of Tony Romo in the first 2 games. Romo has gone 66-91 (72.5%) for 561 yards and 3 touchdowns with only 1 interception. A real concern has been the absence of a consistent running game. Dallas has rushed for just 124 yards in their first 2 games and has averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. The Cowboys feature back DeMarco Murray has accounted for 111 of those 124 yards. The rest of the team has just 7 carries for a paltry 13 yards. Dallas hasn’t exactly been a great play as a home favorite in recent years. They’re a dismal 4-16 ATS in their last 20 games as a home sports betting favorite. If they’re a home favorite of 13.0 or less and are coming off a loss that ATS stat falls to 0-8 in their last 8 contests.

My Angle to a Winning Wager

Since the start of the 1981 season, any away underdog of 5.5 or less (St. Louis) who comes off an away underdog ATS loss in which they failed to cover by 15.0 or less, versus an opponent (Dallas) coming off an away loss in which they covered as an underdog is 17-2 ATS (89.5%). The underdog has won 13 of those 19 games outright. Figures don't lie, NFL odds say you should take the Rams.

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NFL Free Pick: Bet the St. Louis Rams +4 on the point spread, over Dallas at Ladbrokes

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