BUFFALO BILLS AT DALLAS COWBOYS (-7, 45)
This is the best matchup by far if you like sports betting on Thanksgiving Day. The surprisingly good Buffalo Bills will travel to Dallas to face the under-achieving Cowboys. The Bills are trying to keep pace with the New England Patriots and the Cowboys are trying to sustain their lead in the NFC East. This has the makings of an ugly defensive brawl.
Let’s look at how these teams matchup and the keys to winning this game.
Slow Starting Teams
Both of these teams have a history of being slow out of the gate this year and I look for that to trend to continue in this game.
Dallas averages only 3.6 points per first quarter and has been beaten to the punch on the scoreboard in 8 of its 11 games so far.
Buffalo isn’t any better in the opening 15 minutes, also putting up only 3.6 points per first quarter, but has jumped out to the early lead in 5 of its last 7 games. The Bills do rank fifth in first-quarter points against, allowing only 3.2 on the year, while Dallas gives up an average of 6.3 points in the opening stanza. That poor defense out of the gate has been burned for 28 total first-quarter points over the last three outings.
The Cowboys could be a little flat in a possible letdown spot on the short week. Dallas has some key bodies banged up on the offensive line and that could slow production even more in the opening half versus a Bills defensive unit giving up only 7.3 first-half points per contest.
The Bills offense averages just 21 points on the season, with 10.4 of those tallies coming in the first half. The Bills faced a quality defense in Denver at home Sunday, settling for two field goals in the opening half.
The Bills have gone run-heavy the past three games, splitting rushing and passing 50/50, and went to the ground on more than 64 percent of snaps against the Broncos. Dallas is a poor tackling team and has been gouged on the ground at times. Buffalo will look to the ground and pound early on, sucking all the energy out of the stadium in the opening half. Another thing to remember is injuries have depleted the Cowboys at linebacker as Leighton Vander Esch will not play. You add in a starting nose tackle being out and the Dallas defense will have its hands full with a run-heavy Bills attack.
The Bills have a very real chance to win this game by controlling the game on the ground, but quarterback Josh Allen has to take care of the ball, which he has recently. The Cowboys to win will need a big game from Dak Prescott. With all of that being said, I like the Cowboys to win, but take the Bills to cover the 7 point spread.
Dallas 16 Buffalo 13