Week 4 NFL Betting Preview: Lions try to equal best start in 55 years at Dallas

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 10/2/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Dallas -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Dallas -1
Opening Total:  46.5
Current Total:  46
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Lions Vs Cowboys Betting Preview
Dallas QB Tony Romo gutted out a win on Monday night and will have a bigger challenge on Sunday against unbeaten Detroit.

The Detroit Lions are 3-0 for the first time since 1980 and can equal their best start in 55 years with a road victory against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.  It is hard to believe that the Lions ended an NFL-record 26-game road losing streak less than a year ago with a 23-20 win at Tampa Bay, which triggered a seven-game winning streak.

Detroit’s latest win was the team’s fourth straight away from home – tying a team record – and  required rallying back from a 20-0 halftime deficit at Minnesota.  The Lions used two touchdown passes from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Calvin Johnson and four field goals from kicker Jason Hanson to stun the Vikings 26-23 in overtime, handing them their third loss in a row when leading by double digits.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys (2-1) are just trying to get healthy and looked like anything but Super Bowl contenders on Monday night in an 18-16 home win over Washington.  Ailing QB Tony Romo played through a broken rib and punctured lung he suffered the week before at San Francisco but could not generate a touchdown for Dallas (-1, O/U 46).  Kicker Dan Bailey did all of the scoring with six field goals, three of which came from 40 yards out or further.

Cowboys running back Felix Jones had separated his shoulder in their 27-24 overtime victory against the 49ers but enjoyed his best performance of the season against the Redskins with 115 rushing yards on 14 carries and 40 receiving yards on three catches.  Romo was pretty solid as well despite his injuries, throwing for 255 yards with one interception.  The OVER had cashed in their previous eight regular-season home games before Monday night.

Dallas won last year’s meeting with Detroit 35-19 in Week 11 even though neither team played with its current starting quarterback.  Both Romo and Stafford were out with shoulder injuries, leaving Jon Kitna and Shaun Hill to lead the Cowboys and Lions, respectively.  Kitna threw three touchdown passes, including two to wide receiver Miles Austin, who remains out with a hamstring injury.  Austin caught just two passes in that game for seven yards total, but both went for scores.

Detroit is 9-1 against the spread in its last 10 games against teams with a winning record and 12-3-2 ATS in its past 17 vs. NFC opponents.  The Lions also hope first-round draft pick Nick Fairley will make his pro debut after breaking his foot in the preseason.  The 6-foot-4, 298-pound defensive tackle was selected 13th overall and practiced for the first time since the injury occurred last Friday.  Fairley did not practice on Wednesday though and is a long shot to play.

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