Cowboys-Saints best bets: How we're approaching TNF
The Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints will be excited to flip the page to December after combining for a 1-7 record in November. They'll meet at the Superdome on Thursday for a game with significant playoff implications.
Here's how we're betting Cowboys-Saints:
C Jackson Cowart: Dak Prescott over 280.5 passing yards
On the surface, this number seems low for Prescott, who threw for 375 yards a week ago and is averaging 293.2 passing yards per game. It's an even better value when you consider that his No. 1 receiver, Amari Cooper, will likely be back after missing the last two weeks on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Since Cooper joined the Cowboys in 2019, Prescott has thrown for 304.4 yards per game when he's active and totaled at least 280 yards in over half of their games together, including three of their last four contests. Prescott will also benefit from the return of rising star CeeDee Lamb, who's battled injuries this year, and Michael Gallup, who went off last week in only his fourth game of the season.
Prescott has only played two games with Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup active this campaign, combining for 699 yards and five touchdowns on a 74.2% completion rate in those contests. He's due for a strong showing Thursday against a Saints defense that ranks 23rd in pass defense and has been torched by veteran starters in recent weeks. Expect more of the same.
Alex Moretto: Taysom Hill anytime TD (+275)
The reins to this Saints offense have finally been handed over to Taysom Hill, a move that's been long overdue since Jameis Winston's season-ending injury. Bereft of weapons in the passing game, New Orleans will employ a run-heavy approach that'll be full of run-pass options and misdirection.
That strategy will be especially prominent in the red zone. The Cowboys have allowed just six passing touchdowns over the last seven games, five of which have been from 20-plus yards out - the lone exception being a three-yard catch by running back Devontae Booker. Over that same span, they've allowed nine rushing touchdowns from inside the five, including two to quarterbacks.
In a game where Alvin Kamara will be eased back following a prolonged absence, Hill and Mark Ingram are equal threats to score from in close. The difference is Hill's priced at +275, while Ingram is +110. Take the value with Hill to call his own number from in close in what will be his first start in almost a year. He had eight rushing touchdowns of 10 or fewer yards last season, including six of three yards or fewer.
Matt Russell: Saints team total under 21.5
Defensively, New Orleans can handle whatever foolish attempt Dallas makes to establish Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott largely refuses to run, and while he should have his entire wide receiving corps back, the Saints are good enough to prevent the big play and keep this game close.
Even if the Cowboys can score in a big way, New Orleans' offense isn't likely to make me regret this bet.