Monday Football Betting Preview: Panthers vs. Cowboys

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Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Trends:

– The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina’s last 5 games on the road
– Carolina is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
– Dallas is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Carolina
– The total has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas’s last 5 games when playing Carolina

The Dallas Cowboys opened as a 9½ point favorite over the Carolina Panthers on Monday night but the line has moved down since the news that Marion Barber is not likely to play. Odds makers have adjusted the line to 9 and some books have the point spread as low as 8½. The loss of Barber helps the Panthers’ cause as they have been terrible in the first two weeks of the season. They got absolutely hammered in Week 1 by the Philadelphia Eagles as a 1 point home dog. Then they were completely outplayed by the Falcons in last week’s loss. Now the Panthers sit at 0-2 straight up and against the spread as they head into Dallas.

The biggest problem on defense for the Panthers has been stopping the run. They have given up an average of 168 yards per game in the first two weeks but they could catch a break without Barber in the lineup. Carolina’s secondary has held it’s own in terms of yards, but Tony Gonzalez had a field day against them in last week’s loss. Tony Romo likes to throw to Jason Witten, who is one of the best tight ends in football, and could give Carolina some problems. The Panthers offense has been somewhat stagnant as well. They are not running the football the way they did a year ago averaging just 115 yards a game on the ground. When you throw in the fact that Jake Delhomme has only thrown 1 touchdown pass against 5 interceptions you can see why they have struggled to start the season.

Dallas is 1-1 both straight up and against the spread. Tony Romo has had his problems with interceptions as well as he has already thrown three INTs in two games. The Dallas defense has given up a lot of yards and big plays in the secondary. They opposition is averaging just over 300 yards passing thus far and Steve Smith could give them problems if Jake Delhomme can get him the ball and stop making costly mistakes. For the Dallas offense, they will have to get their points throwing the ball Monday night and they have the weapons to do it. This is a pressure packed situation for the Cowboys coming off a tough, hard fought loss to their division rival New York Giants last week in their new stadium.

I believe the odds makers have really nailed the price of the Cowboys here. They have the weapons to expose a lackluster Carolina defense but will miss Barbers’ production on the groud. Carolina could put up a fight if Delhomme can finally put together a couple good quarters of football. It’s a tough call and I like getting all those points, but right now Carolina looks like a team that can’t be trusted, especially on the road in a very loud, hostile environment.

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