(3-8, 4-7 ATS)
(6-5, 6-4-1 ATS)
Neither the Dallas Cowboys nor the Indianapolis Colts are in the playoffs right now, and there is a legitimate chance that neither of these Super Bowl favorites could be involved in the second season. The two are going to meet up at Lucas Oil Field on Sunday afternoon in an NFL betting battle.
The Cowboys have been playing better football this year under the direction of HC Jason Garrett, and this is the first time this year that we will see Garrett at work on a long week. Dallas just suffered a tough loss in a game that was very winnable at home on Thanksgiving Day against the New Orleans Saints. QB Jon Kitna has played well since taking over for the injured QB Tony Romo. Since Garrett took over though, Kitna has thrown for almost 800 yards and six TDs against just two picks. We have still yet to see the emergence of a running game, though, which is shocking for a squad that has two elite backs in RB Marion Barber and RB Felix Jones. The two have only combined for 761 yards and three TDs this year, and Jones has only found the end zone one time all year, that coming through the air. WR Miles Austin and TE Jason Witten might be on their way to the Pro Bowl this year once again. Austin has caught 52 passes for 757 yards and five scores, while Witten has 60 catches for 660 yards and three TDs.
Whereas the Cowboys seem to have everything figured out with what they are doing, the Colts are sliding in the wrong direction, and they are in some real danger here of dropping further into the depths of postseason oblivion. QB Peyton Manning is leading the league’s top passing offense this year at just under 300 yards per game, and he could be on his way to a 5,000 yard season. However, “The Sheriff” has thrown seven INTs in his last two games and nine in his last four. The good news is that he has 681 yards and six scores as well in these two games. WR Reggie Wayne needs 93 yards to join the ranks of the 1,000 yard receivers on the season. However, he is the only skill player to start all 11 games on offense. TE Jacob Tamme might only have three starts in relief of the injured TE Dallas Clark, but he is already third on the team in receptions with 38 for 369 yards and three TDs. The ground game has been non-existent without RB Joseph Addai in the lineup. He won’t be back in the lineup this week though, which once again leaves the pressure on RB Donald Brown.
The Colts have some real, real issues. Dallas might not be able to win this game outright, but there is no reason to think that it is just going to get its doors blown off. Manning might have a huge game, but we tend to believe that Kitna can keep the Cowboys in the saddle. Take the points and run in Week 13.