Dallas (1-0) at LA Rams (0-0)
When: Saturday, August 12th 2017
Where: L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: NFL Network
Opening Odds: Dallas -2.5/37.5
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a comeback 20-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals in last week’s Hall of Fame Game, and will travel to southern California to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night preseason action. The talk around the Dallas camp will surely be about the suspension handed down on Friday to star running back Ezekiel Elliott. The NFL has suspended the former Ohio State star for the first six games of the regular season for off-field issues, pending an appeal. He could still play in the preseason, but might not even travel with the team this week. The Rams enter their second year back in Los Angeles and will have a new head coach in Sean McVay. This will be McVay’s very first game, while the Cowboys are 10-16 under Jason Garrett in exhibition games.
Now that Elliott will miss the first part of the season, Dallas must find someone to fill his shoes and it might be a running back by committee system. The Cowboys have depth at the running back position with veteran guys like Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, Rod Smith and Ronnie Hillman. Quarterback Dak Prescott won’t see much action, so Kellen Moore will get the bulk of the snaps. He finished 12-of-17 for 172 yards, with a touchdown and an interception in last week’s win over Arizona. The Cowboys showed more than just running back depth last week, as they came back from a 14-0 deficit to win that contest in Canton.
McVay’s first job is get some confidence for second-year QB Jared Goff, who had a miserable 63.6 quarterback rating as a rookie. Now granted, he does not have much of a supporting cast around him, but the trade for wide receiver Sammy Watkins on Friday should help. Goff will get some competition over the next few weeks from Sean Mannion, who will be looking to make an impression on Thursday. On defense, the Rams will be a little shorthanded on the line with All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald is in the midst of a contract holdout and end Dominique Easley being lost for the season with a torn ACL. Making matters more challenging is that the Rams will be transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4 style of defense.
Kellen Moore has proven to be a pretty good backup and since he’s getting the most snaps tonight, I favor the Cowboys in this one. Watkins won’t be ready to go yet for the Rams and the QB depth is poor. I’ll take the road favorite.
Pick: Cowboys -3
- Cowboys are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games on grass.
- Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC.
- Rams are 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Rams are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games.
- Rams are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Rams are 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC.
- Rams are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
- Under is 10-2 in Cowboys last 12 games on grass.
- Under is 14-3 in Cowboys last 17 road games.
- Over is 4-1 in Rams last 5 vs. NFC.
- Over is 6-2 in Rams last 8 Saturday games.
- Under is 19-9 in Rams last 28 games overall.
- Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.