Tuesday night football, anyone?
The Dallas Cowboys will travel east to face the Baltimore Ravens in a game previously scheduled for the NFL’s Week 13 edition of “Thursday Night Football.” The contest was postponed six days due to the Ravens’ COVID-19 outbreak, which had previously postponed their Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When the Cowboys take the field at M&T Bank Stadium on Tuesday, it will be their first game since Thanksgiving — 12 days ago. It also will be Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson’s first game since Week 11 — 16 days prior — after the signal-caller was among the number of players placed on the Ravens’ COVID-19/reserve list.
After winning five of their first six games, the 6-5 Ravens are in the midst of a significant slide. Baltimore has lost its last three games and four of its last five. Those losses have, however, come against playoff-caliber opponents like the Pittsburgh Steelers (twice), Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots.
The 3-8 Cowboys know quite a bit about losing streaks, too. Dallas has lost five of its last six games, most recently suffering a blowout defeat to the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving.
Anyway, here’s our betting preview ahead of the Dallas-Baltimore Week 13 game. (All odds, lines and props are via consensus data.)
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (-8)
No team in the NFL has been worse against the spread this season than the Cowboys. Dallas is 2-9 ATS, including a 1-4 record on the road.
If you’re looking for a reason to bet the Cowboys, though, there’s this: Dallas has covered in two of its last three games. The Cowboys started the 2020 season a historically bad 0-8 ATS but have had some success since early November — well, kind of. Additionally, the over has hit in six of the Cowboys’ 11 games this season but just twice in five away games.
Baltimore shouldn’t instill too much confidence, either, as its below .500 in many categories — ATS, ATS at home, Over/Under and Over/Under at home — as well.
The Ravens are 5-6 ATS and just 2-3 in home games. The over has hit in just four of Baltimore’s 11 games this season, and it’s happened only twice in five home games.
First-half line, total
Balimore -4.5, 22.5
First touchdown scorer
Ezekiel Elliott +700
Lamar Jackson +800
Marquise Brown +850
J.K. Dobbins +1200
Amari Cooper +1400
Miles Boykin +1500
Gus Edwards +1500
Devin Duvernay +1500
CeeDee Lamb +1500
Andy Dalton over/under 224.5
Lamar Jackson over/under 179.5
Ezekiel Elliot over/under 58.5
J.K. Dobbins over/under 57.5
Gus Edwards over/under 37.5
Tony Pollard over/under 22.5
Amari Cooper over/under 51.5
Marquise Brown over/under 47.5
CeeDee Lamb over/under 45.5
Michael Gallup over/under 36.5
Dez Bryant over/under 31.5
Simply, the Cowboys have been bad ever since Dak Prescott’s injury.
Ezekiel Elliott, who entered the season as an undisputed top-five running back, is fumbling the football at a career-worst rate. It has propelled Dallas to turn the ball over more than 30 other NFL teams this season.
The injuries on the Dallas offensive line have piled up to no end, too. First, it was Pro Bowl tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. And then, after moving All-Pro guard Zack Martin to tackle, he limped off the field with a calf injury on Thanksgiving. Martin has been placed on injured reserve and could miss the rest of the year, while backup tackle Cam Erving will be out Tuesday, as well.
Andy Dalton has been mediocre as the backup quarterback, but behind a patchwork offensive line, even Dallas’ weapons — and the Cowboys have a lot of them — haven’t been enough.
On top of all that, no team in the league allows more points than the Cowboys (32.6 per game). The return of linebacker Leighton Vander Esch helped midseason, but Dallas is back to where it was earlier this year, allowing the Washington Football Team to score 41 points most recently and the Minnesota Vikings to score 28 points the week prior.
Now, we’re not saying the Ravens have looked like their dominant selves from 2019. But Baltimore is much better than Dallas. The Ravens are ranked third in points allowed this season and are in the middle of the pack in points scored. A healthy backfield of Mark Ingram, Jackson and others should help the league’s second-best rushing attack win big over the abysmal Cowboys.
The eight points are a lot here, but the Ravens need a win to stay in the AFC playoff hunt, while the Cowboys need a loss to inch closer to a top-five draft pick. Both teams could get what they want Tuesday.