Dallas at Cincinnati
Time: NOON EST, FOX
Spread: DAL -3.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Dallas Cowboys are just 3-9 on the season and in the last place in the NFC East. It travels to face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14 as 3.5-point favorites. The over-under is set at 42.5 total points according to NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes, and the game will air at NOON (EST) on FOX.
The Dallas Cowboys have a great passing attack and a decent rush offense, but it manages just 22.3 points per game and ranks No. 22 in scoring. With a No. 8 pass offense generating 268.8 yards per game, this really puts the onus on Dallas’ defense, and it has not been good. The Cowboys are the NFL’s worst defensive group and give up 32.8 points per game, which gives it a negative differential of -10.5 points.
Dallas also enters cold. It has lost six of its last seven overall, including its last two. The Baltimore Ravens dismantled Dallas last week to the tune of a 17-34 loss, and the week prior it fell to the Washington Team by 25-points. Of course, Dallas has given up 103 points the last three weeks, which is emblematic of its defense, unable to get stops, and not good at slowing either rush or pass attacks.
Andy Dalton has started seven games, including last week which saw him throw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. But he threw an interception and was sacked once, and he finished with just an 85.9 passer rating for the game. Ezekiel Elliot was mediocre as well, with 18 rushes for 77 yards and no touchdowns. Michael Gallup was the star of the offense with seven catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, but Dallas had trouble getting much more going than that. To make matters worse, kicker Greg Zuerlein hit just 1 of 4 field goals, which kept Dallas from getting any closer but probably could not really be blamed for the loss considering it came to the tune of a 17-point pounding.
The Cincinnati Bengals are just 2-9-1 and firmly out of contention for the playoffs obviously. Even despite that, Joe Burrow has shown at least some signs of promise, even if the overall picture has hardly been pretty. The pass offense ranks just No. 22 in the NFL, and Burrows quarterback rating is just 54.5. Burrow brings immense promise as a prospect, but he has had a rocky time thus far. His 65.3 percent completion ratio is good, but he manages just 6.7 yards-per-reception and he has thrown five interceptions this season and been sacked 32 times (3.2 per game) for a massive loss of 231 yards.
Still, Burrow has benefitted from some excellent receiving at the hands of Tyler Boyd.
Boyd leads the team in receptions (73), yardage (797) and is No. 2 in touchdowns with four.
No. 2 receiver Tee Higgins has 20 fewer catches, but he averages a team-best 13.8 yards-per-catch and has the team-lead in TDs as well, with five. The Bengals have scored 15 receiving touchdowns this year, contrasted with just nine via the rush. Lead running back Joe Mixon averages just 3.6 yards-per-carry, and Giovani Bernard is good for just 3.3. Burrow has had some success in his 37 rush attempts, with a 3.8 yard-per-carry average and a tying-team-best three touchdowns.
Even so, the Bengals tally a paltry 19.8 points per game and rank fourth-to-worst in that category. Meanwhile, the defense is middle of the pack in limiting opponents to 25.7 per game, but with an offense that has failed to capitalize on so many red-zone trips, while also struggling to get there, to the red zone, the writing is on the wall that the Bengals have a lot of work to do to solidify its offense so that it can at least hope to post a .500 record next year in Year Two under Burrow. This season can hardly be called a total failure, but winning two of 12 games is hardly something that the Bengals were striving for.