NFL Betting Preview: Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals
Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio
Opening Line: Cincinnati -3
Current Line: Cincinnati -3 (-120)
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total 45 1/2
Opening Money Line: Bengals -170 / Cowboys +150
Current Money Line: Bengals -170 / Cowboys +150
The 6-6 Dallas Cowboys travel to the 7-5 Cincinnati Bengals in a crucial games fro both team’s playoff hopes. The Cowboys, coached by Jason Garrett, are tied with the Washington Redskins. Both teams are a game behind the New York Giants in the NFC East and the Seattle Seahawks for the last wildcard spot in the NFC. The Bengals are coached by Marvin Lewis, and are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last wildcard spot in the AFC. Both teams are 2 games behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.
Dallas beat the reeling Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday night 38-33. The Cowboys pretty much have to win out in order to make the playoffs. After this game they host Pittsburgh and New Orleans, before closing out the regular season at the Redskins. The Cowboys are 4-8 ATS and the total is 6-6.
The Bengals have been on a little bit of a roller coaster this season. After a season opening loss to the Ravens, the Bengals won 3 games, lost 4 games, and are currently on a 4 game winning streak. Cincinnati beat the slumping San Diego Chargers 20-13 last week on the road. The Bengals are 6-5-1 ATS and the total is 5-7 this season.
Dallas is 4-2 against Cincinnati in the last 6 meetings, but both Bengal wins came in Cincinnati. They two teams only play each other every 4 years. The Cowboys won the last meeting in Dallas in 2008 31-22.
Dallas is averaging 379.1 yards per game on offense, including 296.7 passing yards and 82.4 rushing yards. The Cowboys are #8 in total offense and #2 in passing, but #30 in rushing. Dallas is being outscoring 25-23 this season. The Cowboys are -10 in turnovers. Dallas has forced 24 sacks and has allowed 28 this season. The Cowboys are 75/169 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Dallas is allowing 336.7 yards per game including 220.2 passing yards and 116.5 rushing yards. The Cowboys have four defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Tony Romo has completed 67.1% of his passes for 3,660 yards with 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He has been sacked 28 times and has a rushing touchdown. Running back DeMarco Murray returned last week against the Eagles after missing 6 games with a torn ligament in his foot. He is probable against the Bengals. The Cowboys run the ball much better when Murray is in the line-up and the offense score more points than when Romo has to throw the ball 40 times a game. Murray has 98 carries, 413 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 137 yards. Felix Jones has 101 carries, 361 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 25 catches, 262 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Receiver Dez Bryant has 71 catches, 978 yards and 8 touchdowns. Tight end Jason Witten has 88 catches, 818 yards and a touchdown. Miles Austin has 51 catches, 773 yards and 5 touchdowns. Kevin Ogletree, Cole Beasley, and Dwayne Harris will also get a few catches as well. Ogletree has 3 touchdown catches. Harris has a punt return for a touchdown.
The Cowboy defense is banged up right now with 10 players listed as questionable or on injured reserve. The list of injured players includes Jay Ratliff, Orlando Scandrick, Bruce Carter, Kenyon Coleman, and Sean Lee.
Cincinnati is averaging 356.8 yards per game on offense, including 241.8 passing and 115.1 rushing yards. The Bengals are outscoring teams 25-22 this season. Cincinnati is even in turnovers. The Bengals have forced 39 sacks and have allowed 27. Cincinnati is 67/174 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, the Bengals are allowing 331.3 yards per game, including 221.1 passing and 110.2 rushing yards.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has completed 63.4% of his passes for 2,980 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, along with 36 carries, 98 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 226 carries, 885 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 91 yards. Cedric Peerman and Brian Leonard will get a few carries each game. Peerman is questionable with an ankle injury. Receiver A.J. Green has 76 carries, 1,107 yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 38 rushing yards. Tight end Jermaine Gresham has 51 catches, 593 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is probable with a hamstring injury, as is back-up TE Richard Quinn. Andrew Hawkins has 39 catches, 441 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Mohamed Sanu is out for the season with a broken foot. He has 4 touchdown catches in 16 receptions. Kicker Mike Nugent is questionable with a calf injury. The Bengals signed veteran kicker Josh Brown this week in case Nugent can’t go. Eight Bengal defensive players are listed on the injury report.
The Cowboys are 5-1-1 ATS in road games against teams with winning home records, 4-1 after allowing more than 30 points, 7-18-1 in December, 3-9 after failing to cover, 5-16 after a straight up win, 6-20 after allowing 350 yards or more, 3-12-2 in week 14 games, 1-4 against teams with winning records, 3-13 on fieldturf, 1-5 overall, 1-6 after scoring more than 30 points, 1-7 after allowing more than 150 rushing yards, and 0-5 after accumulating more than 350 yards.
The Bengals are 4-0 ATS overall, 7-1 after allowing 15 points or less, 5-1 after a straight up win, 4-1 after a cover, 3-7-1 at home, 3-7-2 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 3-8-2 on fieldturf, 1-4 after allowing less than 90 yards,and 0-5 in week 14.
The key for the Cowboys is pretty simple. They usually win when they don’t turn the ball over. Not always, but usually that is the case. Now, we don’t know what Romo will do. Sometimes he makes great plays that very few quarterbacks can make. Sometimes, he tries to force the ball into places he shouldn’t. Oftentimes, when Dallas gets down, Romo will try to press and ends up making more mistakes. I say the “good” Romo shows up and the Cowboys pull off the upset on the road.
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