NFL Saturday Night Football Betting Picks: New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys

New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas
Saturday, December 19, 2015, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network
Opening Line: New York -2 1/2 (-115)
Current Line: New York -3 (-125)
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 41 1/2
Opening Money Line: Jets -165 / Cowboys +145
Current Money Line: Jets -175 / Cowboys +155

The Jets are road favorites against the Cowboys Saturday night.
The Jets are 3 point road favorites against the Cowboys Saturday night.

The 8-5 New York Jets travel to the 4-9 Dallas Cowboys for a special Saturday night game. The Jets are in second place in the AFC East behind the 11-2 New England Patriots. The Patriots have already clinched the division title. However, the Jets are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers for the two Wild Card spots in the AFC. The Chiefs would currently be the #5 seed and the Jets the #6 seed, with the Steelers the odd team out.

Despite being five games under .500, and having a seven game losing streak earlier in the season, Dallas is still barely alive for the NFC East Division title. The other three teams in the division are tied at 6-7. It is telling that the Cowboys have a slim shot at both the division title and the #1 pick in the draft with 3 games left to play.

Dallas leads the series 7-3 against the Jets. New York won the last meeting 27-24 in 2011 in New Jersey.

New York is coached by Todd Bowles. The Jets have home wins over the Cleveland Browns 31-10, Washington Redskins 34-20, Jacksonville Jaguars 28-23, Miami Dolphins 38-20, and Tennessee Titans 30-8 last week, road wins at the Indianapolis Colts 20-7 and New York Giants 23-20 in overtime, and a win over the Dolphins 27-14 in London. The Jets have won three straight games.  New York has home losses against the Philadelphia Eagles 24-17 and Buffalo Bills 22-17, plus road losses at the Patriots 30-23, Oakland Raiders 34-20 and Houston Texans 24-17.

New York was an 8 point favorite against Tennessee and the total was 43. The Jets took a 27-0 lead into halftime on the strength of three touchdown passes from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Titans finally got on the board late in the third with a touchdown and two point conversion. The Jets added a field goal to complete the blowout win. New York had 439 total yards to 292 for Tennessee. The Jets are 7-5-1 ATS and the total is 7-6 this season.

Dallas is coached by Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have a home win over the New York Giants 27-26 and road wins at the Philadelphia Eagles 20-10, Miami Dolphins 24-14 and Washington Redskins 19-16. Dallas has  home losses to the Atlanta Falcons 39-28, New England Patriots 30-6, Seattle Seahawks 13-12, Eagles 33-27 in overtime and Carolina Panthers 33-14, plus road losses at the New Orleans Saints 26-20 in overtime, Giants 27-20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6 and Green Bay Packers 28-7 last week.

Dallas was a six point underdog against Green Bay and the total was 43. The Packers took a 14-0 lead into halftime. Dallas pulled to within 14-7 in the third, but Green Bay put the game away with 2 fourth quarter touchdowns. The Packers had 435 total yards, including 230 rushing yards. Dallas had just 270 total yards. Dallas is 4-9 ATS and the total is 5-8 this season.

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New York is outscoring teams 25-20 this season. The Jets are #10 in both categories. New York averages 371 total yards per game including 254 passing and 118 rushing yards. New York is #12 or better in all three categories. The Jets allow 324 total yards per game including 245 passing and 79 rushing yards. New York is #5 in total defense and leads the league in rush defense. New York is 86/204 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 72/208. New York has forced 33 sacks and allowed 18 this season. The Jets are +5 in turnovers. New York has allowed 2 special teams and two defensive touchdowns this season.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has a thumb injury that will eventually require surgery. He is listed as probable Fitzpatrick has completed 60% of his passes for 3,129 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with 51 carries for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns. Geno Smith came in against the Raiders after Fitzpatrick suffered the injury, but Fitzpatrick has played every down since that game. Smith threw for 265 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception, along with 2 carries for 34 yards.

Running back Chris Ivory has 217 carries for 914 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 25 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown. Bilal Powell has 57 carries for 232 yards, along with 35 catches for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. Zac Stacy has 31 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, along with 9 catches for 65 yards. He is out for the season with an ankle injury.

Receiver Brandon Marshall has 89 catches for 1,187 yards and 11 touchdowns. Eric Decker has 66 catches for 875 yards and 9 touchdowns. Jeremy Kerley has 16 catches for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a calf injury. Quincy Enunwa has 15 catches for 192 yards. Receiver Devin Smith is out for the season.  Tight ends Jace Amaro and Zach Sudfeld are both on injured reserve. Five defensive players are listed on the injury report. Kicker Nick Folk is out for the season with a quad strain. The Jets signed Randy Bullock to replace him.

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Dallas is being outscored 24-18 this season. The Cowboys are #30 in scoring. Dallas averages 326 total yards per game on offense including 208 passing and 118 rushing. The Cowboys are #28 in total offense and #29 in passing.  On defense, the Cowboys are allowing 335 yards per game including 221 passing and 114 rushing yards. Dallas is #9 or better in both total and pass defense.  Dallas is 61/170 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 67/173. Dallas has forced 25 sacks and has allowed 27 this season. The Cowboys are -15 in turnovers. Dallas has 2 defensive touchdowns and has allowed 6 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo suffered his second broken collarbone of the season against the Panthers on Thanksgiving Day. He is out for the season. Romo has thrown for 884 yards with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and has 13 rushing yards.  Matt Cassel has 1,239 yards with 5 touchdown and 6 interceptions, plus 12 carries for 72 rushing yards. Cassel will start for the rest of the year. Brandon Weeden threw for 738 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions plus 30 rushing yards. Weeden was released and signed with the Houston Texans. Romo has yet to be put on injured reserve but Kellen Moore is the only other quarterback on the roster after being promoted from the practice squad.

Running back Darren McFadden has 192 carries for 798 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 32 catches for 263 yards. Robert Turbin has 22 carries for 109 yards with 2 touchdowns, plus 4 catches. Joseph Randle had 76 carries for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 86 yards. He was released a few weeks ago due to some off the field issues.  Lance Dunbar had 67 rushing yards, but did have 21 catches for 215 yards before tearing his ACL.

Tight end Jason Witten has 65 catches for 594 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Terrance Williams has 38 catches for 592 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cole Beasley has 42 catches for 417 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Dez Bryant missed several weeks after suffering a broken foot in week one. He has 27 catches for 351 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a foot injury. Seven defensive players are listed on the injury report.

New York is 3-0-1 ATS after a cover and after rushing for 150 yards or more, 9-1-1 in December, 5-1-1 after allowing 90 rushing yards or less, 4-1 in Saturday games, 6-2-1 after a straight up win, 5-2 against teams with losing records, 5-2-1 in road games, 7-3-1 on fieldturf, 2-5 against teams with losing home records, and 4-12-1 after passing for more than 250 yards.

Dallas is 6-1 ATS in December, 6-2 after passing for less than 150 yards, 5-2 in week 15, 12-5 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 2-5 after rushing for more than 150 yards, 3-8 after a straight up loss by 14 or more points, and overall, 1-4 against teams with winning road records, 1-6 at home, 2-12 on fieldturf and 0-4 against teams with winning records.

Dallas has a strong defense this year, but still struggles against the run. The Jets should be able to move the ball on the ground with Ivory. The Cowboys’ defense might let them hang around for a while, but the offense is just terrible without Romo. The run game is decent, but the passing game is almost non-existent despite having talented players at the skill positions. I think the Jets pull away late much like the Packers did last week.

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