Cowboys vs. Raiders Point Spread Preview, Picks, Thanksgiving Prediction 2013
The appetizer of the Turkey Day schedule leading up to the main feast will occur in Big D where the Dallas Cowboys will attempt to build off of last week’s enormous win at MetLife Stadium by taking it to an Oakland Raiders club that suffered yet another late game collapse and eventual defeat. Though Dallas let a 21-6 2H lead escape them, it still came up with enough big plays late to pull the 24-21 outright win over the division rival Giants. The Raiders went back and forth with Tennessee throughout the entirety of last week’s match-up, but in the end, the Titans had the ball last and went on to win after Kendall Hunter hit paydirt with just 10 ticks left on the clock.
Dallas currently checks in as lofty 9.5-point favorites for this AFC/NFC brawl with the ‘total’ lined at 45.5-points.
COWBOYS – RAIDERS 2013 THANKSGIVING LINE:
OPEN: COWBOYS -7.5 | CURRENT: COWBOYS -9.5 | O/U: 45.5
1. Why the RAIDERS will cover the spread: Though the Raiders have been a .500 club at home ( 3-3 ATS ), head coach Dennis Allen’s troops have actually been profitable for their wagering supporters when away from the “Black Hole” in covering three of their five played contests with one push. Last time in the visitor’s role, QB Matt McGloin secured his first ever win at the NFL level by leading the Raiders to the 28-23 outright win over the Texans in Houston. For Oakland to once again put itself in a position to mimic that effort, it will be up to RBs Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece to take advantage of a Cowboys defense that’s surrendered an average of 133.6 YPG on the ground (#30) at a league-worst 5.1 YPC; it just allowed the Giants to rack up over 200 yards on the ground!
2. Why the COWBOYS will cover the spread: The Cowboys were flat out embarrassed by the division rival Washington Redskins in their Turkey Day game a year ago falling 38-31 as 3.5-point favorites; the defeat snapped a streak of six straight Thanksgiving Day wins for QB Tony Romo. I mention that because good ol #9 is going to have a major say as to whether the Cowboys have enough in the tank to cover the number in this heavily watched and wagered game. Oakland has conceded an average of 257.7 YPG (#25) through the air at 7.7 YPP (#23), and has given up 21 TD passes and only picked off seven errant passes. With the Raiders more adept at limiting opposing ground attacks (#8), fantasy players should start all Dallas pass-catchers without giving it so much as a second thought!
3. Total Talk: Oakland checks in 4-6-1 to the closing O/U of their games to date, while Dallas has played to six high scorers through 11 tries. That said, the Raiders have played to the ‘over’ in three of five away from O.co while the Cowboys have played to low scorers in two of their five games played in front of the Arlington faithful. Dallas has alternated overs and unders in each of its L/4 Thanksgiving Day games with the ‘over’ cashing last season. The ‘Boys smashed the Raiders 24-7 as 13.5-point favorites on Turkey Day of 2009 when these historic franchises last met.
4. Betting Trends for Cowboys/Raiders: For all intents and purposes, there’s only one team taking to the gridiron today with anything to play for. It’s been years since the Raiders were relevant while the Cowboys currently sit atop the NFC East standings due to owning the tiebreaker over the Eagles. With this being the first time their home based fans get a glimpse of them since the beginning of November, I fully expect Dez Bryant and company to come out guns blazing and take it to a Raiders club simply just playing out the string. Dallas has covered eight of its L/11 non-con tilts and though its covered two of three vs. the AFC West to date, outright wins against the Broncos, Chargers, and Chiefs escaped them. Don’t look for that to once again to be the case in this one – WOODSHED TIME!!!
Dallas 40 – Oakland 20