Chiefs at Cowboys – NFL Pick for November 5th
What a whirlwind few weeks it’s been for the Dallas Cowboys and running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott’s suspension in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident has been upheld and stalled on numerous occasions over the last few weeks. Just this week alone, Elliott was suspended and then reinstated in the span of two days. So, after initially being ruled out of Sunday night’s clash with the Kansas City Chiefs, Elliott will be on the field and ready to roll.
This should be a fun one. The Chiefs come into this game at 6-2 and fresh off a solid 29-19 win over the Broncos on Monday Night Football. Kansas City had teetered a bit following a 5-0 start by losing back-to-back games to the Steelers and Raiders, but they seem to have rediscovered their footing.
While the play of rookie rusher Kareem Hunt has drawn the majority of the headlines, we can’t overlook how fantastic Alex Smith has been this season. The Chiefs traded up to draft his eventual replacement, Pat Mahomes, in April’s draft. If his play thus far is any indication, though, Smith won’t be leaving Kansas City for a while.
The 33-year-old has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate in his 13th NFL season. Through eight games, Smith has completed better than 69 percent of his throws for 2,181 yards with 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Smith has always been careful about protecting the football, but he’s been able to avoid turnovers despite averaging a career-high 8.42 yards per attempt this season. He has been near perfect under center this season.
While few think of the Cowboys’ defense as some star-studded unit, Dallas has quietly emerged as one of the league’s most ferocious pass-rushing attacks. The Cowboys already have 25 sacks as a team this season, which is good for fifth in the NFL. By comparison, the Cowboys had just 36 sacks as a team all of last season, and just 31 the season prior.
Elliott being in the lineup for the Dallas offense is rather large. Despite having to deal with not knowing whether he’s going to be eligible to play on a weekly basis, the second-year back is still putting up good numbers. Through seven games, Elliott has rushed the ball 164 times for 690 yards with six touchdowns. He’s also caught another 19 passes for 210 yards with two more scores. While he has the benefit of playing behind arguably the league’s most talented offensive line, the Cowboys’ offense is still more dangerous with Elliott in uniform.
The Chiefs have had some serious road success of late. Kansas City is 9-1 straight-up and against the spread in their last 10 road games. Kansas City is also 7-1 straight-up and 6-2 against the spread in each of their last eight games played in the calendar month of November.
Vegas had this game as a pick’em before Friday’s news that Elliott would be eligible to play. As a result of that, the line moved a little bit in the Cowboys’ favor, with Dallas at -2. Dallas is 1-2-0 at home this season against the spread.
We like the Chiefs here. We’re on board and buying into the notion that this is the most well-rounded team in football, and they have enough speedy playmakers to help offset the pressure the Dallas pass rush may be able to mount against Alex Smith. Give us the Chiefs at +2 in this one.