NFL Betting Preview from London: Dallas Cowboys vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Dallas Cowboys vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Wembley Stadium – London, England

Sunday, November 9, 2014, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Dallas -7
Current Line: Dallas -7 1/2 (-115) 
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total: 45 1/2
Opening Money Line: Cowboys -310 / Jaguars +255
Current Money Line: Cowboys -300 / Jaguars +250

Dallas looks to snap a two game losing streak as they travel to London to take on the one win Jaguars.
Dallas looks to snap a two game losing streak as they travel to London to take on the one win Jaguars.

The 6-3 Dallas Cowboys have lost two straight games at home after a six game game winning streak. Now the Cowboys hope a trip to London to take on the 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars is just what the doctor ordered to snap their losing streak. Dallas is now a half game behind the 6-2 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.

Jacksonville leads the series 2-1 against Dallas since 2002. The Jaguars have beaten the Cowboys two straight times including 35-17 in Jacksonville in 2010 in the last meeting.

Dallas is coached by Jason Garrett. The Cowboys lost at home to the 49ers 28-17, Washington Redskins 20-17 in overtime and last week at home against the Arizona Cardinals 28-17. The Cowboys have road wins at the Titans 26-10, St. Louis Rams 34-31, and Seattle Seahawks 30-23, plus home wins over the New Orleans Saints 38-17, Texans 20-17 in overtime, and against the Giants 31-21. Dallas is 5-4 ATS and the total is 4-4-1 this season. The Cowboys were 1.5 point favorites against the Cardinals  and the total was 45.

Jacksonville is coached by Gus Bradley. The only win for the Jaguars came at home over the Cleveland Browns 24-6. Jacksonville has road losses at the Eagles 34-17, Redskins 41-17, San Diego Chargers 33-14, Tennessee Titans 16-14, and last week against the Cincinnati Bengals 33-23. The Jaguars also have home losses to the Indianapolis Colts 44-17, Pittsburgh Steelers 17-9 and Miami Dolphins 27-13. Jacksonville is 2-6-1 ATS and the total is 5-4 this season. The Jaguars were 10 point underdogs at the Bengals and the total was 44.

Dallas is outscoring teams 26-22 this season. The Cowboys are #10 in scoring and #9 in points allowed. Dallas is averaging 386 yards per game on offense including 233 passing and 153 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys are #7 in total offense and lead the league in rushing. The Cowboys were projected to have one of the worst defenses in NFL history but they have overachieved this season. Dallas is allowing 351 yards per game including 237 passing and 113 rushing yards per game. Dallas is 63/120 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 55/122. Dallas has 12 sacks and has allowed 18 this season. The Cowboys are -3 in turnovers. Dallas has two defensive touchdowns and has allowed three this season.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo injured his back against the Redskins. He missed most of the second and third quarters, but returned in the fourth. Romo was diagnosed with 2 small fractures in his back. Romo missed the Cardinals’ game but is probable this week.  If Romo can’t go then Brandon Weeden will get the start. Romo has completed 68.2% of his passes for 1,998 yards with 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Weeden has thrown for 252 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

Running back DeMarco Murray is putting up some MVP like numbers and has 225 carries for 1,133 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 30 catches for 250 yards. He became the first running back in NFL history to rush for over 100 yards in the first 8 games of the season, but has had some fumbling issues. Last week against the Cardinals was the first time he didn’t rush for over 100 yards. Joseph Randle has 22 carries for 145 yards. Receiver Dez Bryant has 50 catches for  635 yards and 6 touchdowns. Terrance Williams has 27 catches for 426 yards and 6 touchdowns. Tight end Jason Witten has 34 catches for 398 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gavin Escobar only has 7 catches but 3 touchdowns. Eleven defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Jacksonville is being outscored 28-16. The Jaguars are #30 in points allowed and last in scoring. Jacksonville is averaging 313 yards per game including 212 passing and 101 rushing yards per game. The Jaguars are 321 or worse in all three categories. On defense, Jacksonville is allowing 387 yards per game including 263 passing and 123 rushing yards per game. The Jaguars are #24 or worse in all three categories. Jacksonville is 47/128 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 59/139. The Jaguars have forced 27 sacks and allowed 35 this season. The Jaguars are -9 in turnovers. Jacksonville has allowed 5 defensive touchdowns this season.

Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blake Bortles replaced Chad Henne earlier in the season. Bortles has completed 63.9% of his passes for 1,631 yards with 8 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, along with 31 carries for 201 yards. Henne threw for 492 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He hasn’t played since week 3 when Bortles took over against the Colts.

Running back Denard Robinson has 85 catches for 420 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 57 yards. Toby Gerhart has 55 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown, plus 12 catches for 135 yards. Storm Johnson has 20 carries for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Allen Robinson has 43 catches for 488 yards and 2 touchdowns. Allen Hurns has 29 catches for 466 yards and 5 touchdowns. Cecil Shorts has 28 catches for 256 yards and a touchdown. Shorts is probable with a hamstring. Tight end Clay Harbor has 22 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown. Seven defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Dallas is 6-2 ATS in week 10, 7-19 against teams with losing records, 1-4 after a straight up loss and 1-6 in November. The last 4 games in this series have gone over the total.

Jacksonville is 6-1 ATS in week 10, 4-1-1 in November, 15-34-2 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 8-20-2 overall, 2-6-2 after a straight up loss, 2-7-1 on grass, 1-4-1 against teams with winning records, 1-5-2 after failing to cover, 1-6-1 after allowing 150 rushing yards or more, 1-7 after gaining more than 350 total yards, and 0-4 after allowing more than 30 points. The underdog is 3-0-1 ATS in this series recently.

The Dallas defense has been adequate this year but injuries are starting to take their toll on what was already a thin unit to start the season. Still, The Jaguars don’t pose much of a threat on offense, or defense for that matter. I would be much more comfortable laying the big spread with the Cowboys with a healthy Romo. The type of fractures in his back usually cost a quarterback a week and then they are back playing. However, the long flight to London didn’t help matters much. Still even a Romo at 70 or 80% is still better than a completely healthy Brandon Weeden. I think the plucky Jags hang around for a while but the Cowboys pull away late.

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