TNF best bets: Seahawks, Cowboys meet while heading in opposite directions
Those opposing results have created a market where the expectation is that the Cowboys are on the level of a Super Bowl contender, and Seattle might not be worthy of a playoff spot, even amongst the grim second tier of the NFC.
Before Thanksgiving, the lookahead line projected this number to be Cowboys -7. So you can see the effect of a national audience on back-to-back holiday games.
We can look at estimated market ratings or listen to the buzz via the national media about Dak Prescott's play this season, and it would be hard to make the case that Dallas is underrated ahead of this game. That said, if you have future positions on "America's Team," Prescott, or CeeDee Lamb, it's tempting to just sit back and hope the Cowboys' offense continues to vibe at home.
As for the Seahawks, even though Geno Smith and the Seahawks' passing offense has dipped over the last three games, they're still just outside of the top 10 in the NFL in yards per pass attempt and might be getting back starting right tackle Abraham Lucas. Unlike the Commanders, Panthers, and Giants, the Seahawks' offense should be able to move the ball, especially when trailing late.
It doesn't look like Kenneth Walker will be able to go for Seattle, so Zach Charbonnet gets a second chance to be the primary ball carrier - something that Seattle was trending toward - against the Cowboys, who've allowed 4.5 yards per carry to the aforementioned opponents (Washington, Carolina, and New York) with otherwise inefficient offenses.
With a week to get healthy after being questionable to play on Thanksgiving, Smith should have a better chance to use play-action to extend drives and keep Seattle in touch, with an ability to manage a late score to get inside the number if necessary.
Pick: Seahawks (+9.5)
Dak Prescott: Under 13.5 rushing yards
After a stretch where he was using his legs in important games - against the Chargers and Eagles - Prescott's taken off just five times in three games against lesser competition, content on sitting back in the pocket and picking apart defenses.
Pete Carroll is famous for playing zone, among the highest percentage in the league, which means Prescott won't have wide-open spaces with members of the secondary having their backs turned in man-to-man coverage. In a game the Cowboys are expected to win comfortably, he'll continue to let his teammates do the yardage accumulation.
Brandin Cooks: Anytime touchdown (+215)
Speaking of zone-beaters, veteran receiver Cooks fits that bill. It took about a month for the new guy in Dallas to get integrated into the offense, but he's got four touchdowns in the last six games, often hauling in contested balls in tight spaces. Cooks' snap totals have always been high, but now he's earning the targets that used to go to Michael Gallup when opponents roll coverage toward Lamb.
Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.