Not many teams with postseason aspirations can survive a three-game losing streak in December. However, the Arizona Cardinals got off to the best start of any group by winning seven straight games to kick off the season. Since then, the Cardinals are 3-5, but they’ve already punched their postseason ticket thanks to a Vikings loss to the Rams. One thing about the NFC is that it’s a bit top-heavy. Five teams already have double-digit wins, and they’re at least two games ahead of the remaining teams in the conference.
There’s no question that the Cardinals have benefited from their start to the season. It looked like the team was clicking on all cylinders with five double-digit wins in the first seven weeks. However, the offense has stalled of late with an average of 14 points in their past two games. And who can forget Arizona’s 30-12 loss to the Lions, who have just two wins on the season.
As for the Cowboys, they’ve won and covered the spread in each of their past four games. Three of those four victories have been by double digits. Dallas now looks more like the team that started the season on a 7-0 ATS run. The Cowboys are ranked first overall in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA and eighth in offensive DVOA.
Few teams have two running backs who can run the ball as effectively as the Cowboys. That’ll be key down the stretch and particularly in the playoffs. According to Next Gen Stats, Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott posted his fastest top speed (17.88 mph) since Week 6. That’s a good sign considering that Elliott’s been battling a knee injury in recent weeks.
My model has the Cowboys as the right side in this spot, but I see even more value in playing them as part of a two-team six-point teaser.
All NFL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.
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