Looking to improve upon last week’s results, the (1-1) Dallas Cowboys travel to University of Glendale Stadium in Phoenix to take on the (1-1) Arizona Cardinals in a clash of the NFC (8.30pm ET Monday).
Prior to the start of the season, both the Cowboys and Cardinals were being looked at as two of the best teams in their conference and were early favorites with the USA online betting firms to win their respective divisions and reach the postseason. However, the road hasn’t been as smooth as either would have hoped as both teams have experienced rough patches in the early going.
Facing off against their NFC East divisional rival to open the year, the Cowboys made quick work of the New York Giants in their home opener. Dallas led early, scoring the first 16 points of the game and ultimately holding the Giants to just a field goal. The final score was 19-3 and started the Cowboys off on the right footing for the year.
However their next game, on the road in Denver against the Broncos, told a completely different story. The Cowboys fell behind early and went into the half down 11. This deficit only increased as the Cowboys were outscored 14-0 in the third quarter. The final score was 42-17 in a game where Dallas looked overmatched on both sides of the ball but especially offense. Running back Ezekiel Elliot carried the ball nine times and recorded only eight rushing yards.
One of the biggest signs of concerns for the Cowboys in their loss to the Broncos was Elliot’s poor performance. One of the NFL’s best running backs last year, which was also his rookie season, Elliot just could not get anything going against Denver’s front line. Additionally, QB Dak Prescott struggled as well. Without much of a running game to rely on, Prescott threw the ball 50 times but recorded just 238 yards through the air, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Offensively, it was probably one of the worst combined outputs of both Prescott and Elliot’s young careers.
Also with a 1-1 record, the Cardinals pretty much did the opposite of what Dallas did. Arizona opened the year on the road at Ford Field in Detroit where they lost by 12 points to the Lions. The Cardinals opened that game with a 10-0 lead but it was a 20-point fourth quarter by Detroit and a defensive collapse by Arizona which turned a 17-15 lead after three quarters into a 35-23 final score in favor of the home team. The loss itself wasn’t the worst thing to happen to the Cardinals however as star running back David Johnson left the game with an injury with no timetable for a return.
Staying on the road, Arizona went into Indianapolis to take on the Colts in their week two matchup. This time, it was Indianapolis that took the 10-0 lead and the Cardinals that used a strong fourth quarter to get the win in overtime.
Arizona’s age is clearly catching up to them as both QB Carson Palmer and top wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald showed signs of slowing down over the past two weeks. Not to mention that without Johnson, Arizona’s backfield is a shell of its best self and that too showed last week. Despite the Cardinals managing to work out the victory, the running game combined for just 66 yards on 20 carries.
Our Preview’s Cowboys vs Cardinals Betting Trends, Predictions & Picks
Some things to keep in mind on Monday night:
- Dallas is just 1-7 straight up in their last eight games played at the University of Glendale Stadium in Phoenix. They are also 0-4 against the spread in their last four games played against Arizona, no matter the location. They’ll be looking for their first victory on the road against the Cardinals since 2006.
- Some teams are really good after a bye week whereas the Cowboys are really and inexplicably good in week three of the NFL season. Over their last 12 games, dating back over the last 12 seasons, Dallas is a remarkable 11-1 in games played in week three of the season. They are 3-1 SU in their last four and 3-1 ATS as well.
- Arizona has performed well in the underdog role, which is what they are staked at Monday night, despite all of the struggles Dallas has had playing in Phoenix. It is the first time Arizona is being labeled as a home underdog since 2014. The Cardinals are 13-5 SU and 14-3-1 ATS in their last 18 games when their opponent has been favored on the betting lines by three points or less.
- The Cardinals tend to play to the over as is evidenced by the total points scored surpassing the expected total, eight of the last nine games.
It is definitely rare to see a home underdog in this kind of situation especially given that the Cowboys just don’t seem to be able to win while playing in Arizona. Coming off a tough week they’ll obviously look to bounce back and given their impressive week three win totals it seems that will be the case.
- However, given the spread favors the Cowboys by 3 points, our betting prediction is to take the Cardinals to best that margin, regardless of whether or not they win straight up. We advise that you bet Arizona Cardinals +3.5pts @ -120 with Bovada. You get that extra half point over all other sportsbooks, but the odds are a touch shorter. The next best option would be to go +3pts @ -110 with Bookmaker.
- As for the total, it’s kind of hard to pick against the over given Arizona’s recent track record, however their offense hasn’t done much to inspire a high scoring affair. Take the under on 46.5pts @ best odds of -110 with MyBookie or 5Dimes.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.