(1-0, 0-1 ATS)
(0-1, 0-1 ATS)
Two teams that very well could have the opposite records right now from what they actually have meet in “Big D” on Sunday for a good ol’ fashioned Texas sized NFL betting shootout, as the Dallas Cowboys play host to the Chicago Bears.
The Bears are tremendously lucky to be 1-0 right now. Had the NFL rules been changed and probably made correct, WR Calvin Johnson’s last gasp effort in the end zone would have been ruled a TD that would’ve given the Detroit Lions the victory in all likelihood. Chicago showed absolutely no offensive force whatsoever against Detroit, including getting stopped on the one yard line after having first and goal there. The Bears took four cracks at the end zone and were stopped short all four times. The defense didn’t allow much to the Lions after QB Matt Stafford left the game injured, but even then, the offense couldn’t capitalize on good field position for the entire second half until the middle of the fourth quarter. As it was, Chicago really got ten lucky points right before the half, as an 89 yard screen pass on a play that was designed to just kill the clock was followed up by the sack and forced fumble that ended Stafford’s day. The Bears turned that into a field goal at the gun before halftime.
You had better believe that the Cowboys will just be taking a knee if they get the ball right before halftime after watching Chicago do that and looking at the tape of what happened when they tried to get cute right before the intermission. RB Marion Barber fumbled a screen pass against the Washington Redskins on the final play of the half, and the ball was picked up and raced back into the Dallas end zone to put seven stupid points on the board against the Cowboys. Still, they had a chance to win at the end of the game, but what would have been the game winning TD pass was erased by a holding penalty by OT Alex Barron that instead ended the game. Dallas still has injuries all across its offensive line and will have to rely on a defense that really did a fantastic job in the loss last week to step up and shut down a questionable Chicago offense.
We continue to preach the concept of perception and have set this one up nicely. Chicago probably rightfully should be 0-1 with the one loss coming against a miserable Detroit team. Dallas should probably be 1-0 with a respectable road win against a division rival. Instead, the roles are reversed and the oddsmakers have no choice but to react. Would the Cowboys be double digit favorites in this one if that were the case? Probably. Should they be double digit favorites regardless? Absolutely. Go with the ‘Boys from “Big D” for your pro football picks on Sunday.
Selection: Dallas Cowboys -7