Cowboys +7, O/U 49.5 points.
The Dak Prescott-led Dallas Cowboys won their first playoff game last week, in their 24-22 home victory over the Seattle Seahawks. It wasn’t pretty, but Dallas just about controlled the game for four quarters with their stifling run defense and punishing rushing offense.
Now the Cowboys must go on the road to play a Rams team most considered to be the best in all of football throughout most of the 2018 regular season. Dallas comes in as touchdown underdogs, and it should be expected.
Still, with the way the Cowboys are built and the way the Rams prolific offense has slowed down a bit over the last month or so, Dallas could be prime candidates to pull the seemingly-annual division round upset.
Los Angeles Rams
What is left to be said about the Los Angeles Rams this season? Coming into the year as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, the Rams made good on those preseason predictions throughout the regular season. Finishing 13-3 and with one of the more dangerous offenses in recent memory, this Rams team is as talented and elite as it gets in this season’s NFL.
The Rams earned a first round bye and home playoff game, making Saturday’s game against the Cowboys their first of this year’s postseason. This team also fits the city they play in well, filled with big names and star players which even the most casual fan can recognize.
Los Angeles finished ranked 2nd in overall DVOA, but 19th in defensive DVOA for the 2018 regular season. So, despite the marquee names on their defense (such as Aaron Donald and Aqib Talib), it looks to be a unit which could be exploited this week.
- The Rams are 4-7-2 against the spread their last 13 games. They’re 7-7-2 against the spread overall this season.
- The score total has gone over 5 of the Rams’ last 7 home games.
- The Rams are also just 1-3-2 against the spread their last 6 games at home.
- The Cowboys are 4-2 against the spread their last 6 games against the Rams.
- Dallas is 8-1 straight up their last 9 games overall.
Maybe I’m seeing this match up through fan-goggles a bit, but I really do believe the Cowboys will make a competitive game out of this on Saturday night.
Defensively, the Cowboys have the scheme and personnel to slow down Todd Gurley and the Rams rushing attack. They also have the cornerbacks to cover the talented wide outs Los Angeles has to offer.
Offensively, the Cowboys have played their best football as of late, and now look to have the weapons and offensive line to control the pace of a game like this.
If they can toughen up against play action and keep Gurley in check, making it as ugly as possible for the usually-efficient Rams, this can be a tight game throughout.
I’ll take the Cowboys +7 on Saturday night.