NFL Picks Week 13: Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, 12/4/11, 4:15 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Dallas -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Dallas -4.5
Opening Total:  45.5
Current Total:  47
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Arizona Cardinals are expected to have starting QB Kevin Kolb on the field Sunday

Dallas sits atop the NFC East division for the first time in nearly two calendar years, holding a one-game lead over the New York Giants.  The Cowboys have won four consecutive games and come off a 20-19 win over the Miami Dolphins as seven-point home favorites on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s been a very favorable schedule during the win streak, outscoring opponents by a 114-63 margin.  Dallas hasn’t put together a five-game win streak since the 2007 campaign.  Over the last two-plus years, the team is 12-20 ATS as a favorite.

The Cowboys have been led offensively by the play of quarterback Tony Romo, who comes in with a 97.5 passer rating, which is fourth in the NFL.  He was even better during the month of November, finishing second with a 113.0 passer rating.  Dallas has been very good against the run this year, ranking fifth in the NFC in giving up just 100.3 rushing yards per game.  The Cowboys lead the all-time series with the Cardinals, 55-30-1, but have dropped the last two in Arizona by a combined seven points.

Arizona doesn’t have much to play for at this point and still has won three of its last four games, sitting five games back of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West standings.  The Cardinals should be motivated in playing one of the more high-profile teams in the league.  “Hell, it’s America’s Team,” commented Cardinals defensive linemen Darnell Dockett.  Getting the ball into the hands of running back Beanie Wells is a necessity, as he comes off a 228-yard rushing performance in last week’s 23-20 win over the St. Louis Rams as one-point road underdogs.  Arizona is 3-1 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus years.

The Cardinals are hoping that starting quarterback Kevin Kolb returns to the field after missing the last four games with a toe injury, as John Skelton has been terrible over the past two games.  He has thrown for five interceptions and zero touchdowns in that span.  Arizona hopes that Kolb improves upon his numbers before his injury, as he completed just 52.6 percent of his passes and tossed three touchdowns with five interceptions in his final three starts before the injury.

Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 15-5-1 ATS mark as a home underdog of 3.5 to 10 points, while the Cowboys are 1-4 ATS as a road favorite in that range.

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