Week 13 of the NFL season starts with a Thursday night battle of division leaders as the New Orleans Saints travel to Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys. This game has a lot on the line for both teams, and plenty of star power to make it a must see television event. Can the Cowboys pull off the upset and get their biggest win of the year or will the Saints keep marching toward the #1 seed in the NFC? Kickoff inside AT&T Stadium is at 8:20 PM ET.
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New Orleans Saints
Current S/U record
2018 ATS Home
2018 ATS Away
2018 O/U Home
2018 O/U Away
New Orleans vs Dallas NFC Game Preview
Thursday’s matchup will mark the 29th time these two teams have played against each other. Currently, the Cowboys hold the advantage with a 16-12 record. However, the Saints have won 9 of the last 11 and 4 out of the last 5.
New Orleans (10-1) is 5-0 on the road this season and the consensus top team in the NFL. Not only do they boast of one of the best offenses, but their defense has really come on strong as of late. The Saints feature a balanced offensive attack, which was on display in their last game when they defeated divisional rival Atlanta. Will the Saints win their 11th game in a row?
Dallas (6-5) is 4-1 at home and coming off a solid divisional win over Washington. The victory has put Dallas at the top of the NFC East. This week, they will have to figure out how to get Elliott going on the ground against the league’s top rush defense. Furthermore, this will be the toughest offensive opponent that this team has faced all year long.
The Saints opened as a touchdown favorite at most online sportsbooks. Depending on which betting site you use, that spread went up as high as 9 points in favor of New Orleans. Currently, the majority of football oddsmakers have the Saints favored by 7.5 points. The Over/Under opened between 51.5 and 54.5 total points depending on which online betting site you use. Currently, most NFL betting sites have the spread at 52.5 total points.
Free NFL Bet and TNF Prediction: New Orleans -7.5
The New Orleans Saints come into this matchup as the top team in the conference and the NFL. They have been on a roll as of late and appear to be getting even better as the season goes on. It’s impressive how great they look on both sides of the ball.
In their last 3 games, the Saints have won via a combined score of 130 to 38. Over the last 5 games, they’ve averaged 41 ppg. In Weeks 8 and 9, the Saints beat both the Vikings and the Rams by 10 points each. No matter how you look at things, New Orleans is crushing opponents and there seems to be no end in sight.
This week’s game will come down to two key matchups: Dallas’ defense against Saints offense and the Saints rushing defense against Ezekiel Elliott. I believe New Orleans has the advantage in both areas.
First, Dallas is a run-heavy offense averaging 134.5 ypg and dependent on their top RB Elliott. However, they will be going up against the league’s top rush defense that only allows 73.2 ypg. Over the last two weeks, the Saints held the Falcons and the Eagles to a combined total of 84 rushing yards. They even held the high powered Rams offense to just 92 rushing yards and Todd Gurley to 68 yards on the ground.
Even more impressive, the Saints have not allowed a 100 yard rusher all season long and that includes going up against stud running backs like Barkley, Gurley, and Mixon. I believe New Orleans will hold Elliott under 100 yards rushing and the team below their 134.5 rushing ypg.
With that said, the Cowboys will be in trouble trying to keep pace with the Saints offense. New Orleans is one of the best offense in the NFL as they’re #1 in scoring at 37.2 ppg, 5th in total yards per game (416.6), 6th in passing (283.5 ypg), and 6th in rushing (133.1 ypg). Dallas only averages 21.3 ppg. They will definitely be in trouble when the Saints step on the gas pedal.
New Orleans is 15-5 ATS in their last 20 road games including 5-0 ATS this year, they’re 7-1 ATS versus NFC teams, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 against the NFC East, 9-3 ATS during their last 12 games in November, 5-0 ATS versus winning teams this year, and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 against the Cowboys.
Dallas is 1-3 ATS versus the NFC South, 8-10 ATS when playing against teams with winning records, 4-7 ATS when playing against winning teams in the second half of the season, 6-7 ATS following a divisional game and 2-3 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
I expect this game to have a snowball effect where the Saints get going, pick up steam and then end up beating Dallas by two touchdowns. The Cowboys have a good defense, but we’ve seen what the Saints have been doing to good defenses this year.
Once the Saints shut down the Cowboys’ running game, and score a few touchdowns quickly, Dallas will be forced to try and play catchup, which they’re not built to do. Take the Saints to cover the 7.5 points easily. Avoid New Orleans moneyline at -340 because there’s no real return on your wager. Also, I have no confidence in the O/U because I don’t think Dallas will score a lot of points.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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