Raiders and Cowboys Tangle with Playoff Hopes Alive
Well, the Dallas Cowboys have almost weathered the storm – meaning the six-game suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott – and they are still in contention for a playoff spot in the NFC, although they will need a little help. Of course, they will have to help themselves first, and that means they have to beat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in a game that begins at 8:30 PM ET at the Coliseum. NBC will televise this nationwide, with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth on the call, and if you are a VietBet customer, you can get reduced juice before the game starts, then the ability to stay in the action with real- time wagering, courtesy of Live Betting Ultra.
Cowboys vs Raiders Odds – Pro Football Betting Line:
In the odds at VietBet upon which will make our NFL predictions on this one, the Cowboys are favored on the road:
Dallas Cowboys -3
Oakland Raiders +3
Over 46.5 points -110
Under 46.5 points -110
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Cowboys vs Raiders Odds – NFL Betting Preview
This is the last game the Cowboys will have to play without Elliott, who had 783 rushing yards at the time of his suspension. They have gone 2-3 without him, but they made progress in the last couple of games, albeit against a couple of non-playoff teams. But the victories were decisive, as they defeated the Washington Redskins 38-14 and the New York Giants 30-10. This has brought their record to 7-6 straight-up and against the football pointspread.
The Raiders are still trying to capture the magic that brought them a playoff spot last season, and only because no team has really taken command of the final AFC wild-card, they are still breathing in the race. But last week they came out flat, going down 26-0 before scoring 15 late points to make the game look closer against Kansas City. Oakland currently has a record of 6-7 straight-up (4-8-1 ATS), and they are behind a number of teams who have 7-6 records.
For Dallas, Dak Prescott has had to step up a little, and he has proven somewhat capable of doing just that, with 332 passing yards last week against the Giants. And they got some real surprises out of running back Rod Smith, one of the people who has been trying to fill Elliott’s shoes. Smith scored two touchdowns and had 160 yards from scrimmage in the game at the Meadowlands, and that included a monster 81-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter that really blew the game wide open.
And you have to keep in mind that even though Oakland is nearly .500 plateau, they’ve only intercepted two passes all season long. That is somewhat incredible, but it is an indication as to how much the secondary has struggled. The Raiders have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 69% of their passes.
If it comes down to trading points, Oakland will be without one of its top offensive weapons. Amari Cooper has an ankle injury and is not expected to play. He made an effort to do so last week against Kansas City, but seem to have exacerbated the condition. That puts more pressure on the running game, which obviously includes Marshawn Lynch (619 yards, seven touchdowns) and quarterback Derek Carr, who has gotten good protection (17 sacks, with 420 attempts) but has had his share of problems since suffering a broken bone in his back earlier in the schedule. It’s a good thing they were able to pick up tight end Jared Cook in the off-season; he actually leads this team in receiving yards with 621.
When it comes down to it, Dallas is the team that has found answers despite adversity. Meanwhile, the Raiders have covered two of their last 11 games. Yes, we will lay the short number in this one.
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By Charles Jay