Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions Spread Pick
Opening Line: Detroit -3
Dallas won their second-straight game last week, a 17-3 decision over Philadelphia. Detroit was upended at home 27-24 by Cincinnati last Sunday.
The Cowboys havenít been very balanced offensively this season but because the passing game has been so dynamic, it hasnít been an issue. RB DeMarco Murray (knee) may return for this game and he has been very effective with his 91 carries (4.7 ypc). The Lions run defense hasnít been good this year (5.1 ypc) and they are vulnerable on the perimeter. QB Tony Romo may be having his best season and this is a good matchup for him. Detroitís pass defense has been susceptible deep and they were really hurt by WR A.J. Green last week. While WR Dez Bryant leads Dallas in all receiving categories, he is getting a lot of help from rookie WR Terrance Williams (TD in 3-straight games). If the Lions double Bryant, Williams can beat them deep. TE Jason Witten also poses a problem down the middle. Detroit benched CB Chris Houston last week after he was beaten for two scores. If rookie CB Darius Slay is forced into the starting lineup, look for Romo to target him. The Lions have only 13 sacks in seven games.
Detroitís running game is better this year but they have still struggled to find consistency. RB Reggie Bush has had some very good games and had games where there is no room to run. Dallas allows 102 yards per game on the ground but they have to be aware of Bushí speed, especially to the outside. QB Matthew Stafford is also having a fine year but may have a tougher go of it this week. OTs Riley Reiff and Corey Hilliard suffered injuries last week and Hilliard may be out this week (check status). Even without OLB DeMarcus Ware (check status) last week, the Cowboys notched three sacks and forced three TOs. They have become more aggressive in recent weeks, allowing 19 total points in their past two games after allowing 81 in the previous two games. WR Calvin Johnson remains an elite player but injuries have hurt the position overall.
ATS Game Pick
This should be a close contest as both offenses can throw the ball. Give the Cowboys the edge on defense and special teams. Breakdowns in the third phase of the game really hurt Detroit last week. Romo should also have a little better protection than Stafford. Weíll take the visitor and the three points in this one.
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