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Sun 1/24, 8:05 PM
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Chiefs
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Futures Bets And Over/Under Trends Headline Washington vs. Dallas

The NFC East race sets the tone for this Thanksgiving matchup

All-Pro Reels, Flickr

Quick-Hitters

  • The Dallas Cowboys hammered the over in four of their first five games this season. Since then, they tallied a four-game under streak without Dak Prescott, but the trend was finally snapped in Week 11 with the over hitting.

  • The Washington Football Team's over/under record of 1-4-1 over the past six games is largely due to their defense. They've allowed just 19.1 points per game during the span.

  • Dallas (+300) is tied as the second-favorite to win the NFC East, per BetMGM. Washington (+480) is considered a long shot to win the division, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Snapping A Streak, NFC East Odds

The Dallas Cowboys are very much alive in the NFC East race after they came out on top in a back-and-forth game against the Minnesota Vikings last week. The 31-28 win snapped a four-game losing streak and put the Cowboys at 3-7 overall. They're now in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC East, just 0.5-games behind the 3-6-1 Philadelphia Eagles. At this point, all four teams have a fighting chance to win the division, making Thursday’s game a pivotal game in the race for a playoff spot.

Dallas (+300) is tied as the second-favorite to win the NFC East, per BetMGM.

Last week’s win coincided with the return of Andy Dalton, who missed time due to a concussion and time spent on the COVID list. While Dalton didn’t blow anyone away with his performance, he finished the game with three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 1:37 left on the clock. The Cowboys will never be able to match what they did early in the season with Dak Prescott, but if Dalton can maintain this level of play, Dallas will have a viable offense. Keep in mind that the Cowboys have no shortage of capable playmakers, including Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and rookie CeeDee Lamb. In fact, this was Elliott's first 100-yard ground game of the year, so maybe Mike McCarthy is figuring something out.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, it’s on the defensive side of the ball where there isn’t much hope. Despite the win over Minnesota, the Dallas defense conceded over 100 rushing yards to Dalvin Cook and over 300 passing air yards to Kirk Cousins. The silver lining is the Cowboys forced two turnovers that helped to save them. Nevertheless, Dallas has the worst defensive record in football and have allowed a minimum of 23 points every game outside of Week 1.

Dallas hammered the over in four of their first five games this season. Since then, the Cowboys had a four-game under streak without Prescott, but the trend was finally snapped in Week 11 against the Vikings.

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Improvements In Washington

At 3-7, the Washington Football Team is in the same position as Dallas. Against all odds, Ron Rivera’s team is just 0.5-games behind the Eagles for first place in the NFC East. Washington also scored a massive win last week, knocking off the Cincinnati Bengals 20-9 after back-to-back heartbreaking losses. Washington’s problem is their upcoming schedule. They face the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks in each of the next three weeks, making this trip to Dallas a must-win to stay alive in the NFC East race.

Washington’s last five games have either been wins or close defeats, and quarterback Alex Smith is the biggest reason why. He gives the Washington offense a proven veteran at quarterback who appears to be as healthy as expected after his devastating leg injury two years ago. Washington has also started to get a little more from Antonio Gibson and the running game. Gibson rushed for 128 yards against the Cowboys last month and 94 yards last week against the Bengals. He also has five rushing touchdowns in his last four games, providing the Washington offense with some much-needed balance.

Meanwhile, the Football Team's defense is trying to hold its own. Over the last five games, Washington is giving up just 17.0 points per game. To be fair, that stretch includes two games with the New York Giants, as well as last week’s game with the Bengals in which Joe Burrow was injured. However, the Washington defense is performing better against the run, which is a step in the right direction and will be critical against Dallas on Thursday.

Over the past six games, Washington's over/under record stands at 1-4-1.

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Ultimately, this game could come down to Dalton’s performance. The Cowboys looked like a different team last week when he provided the game manager role. With the way Smith is playing, the Dallas defense isn’t likely to win the game. However, the Cowboys have the superior playmakers. It’s just a matter of Dalton being able to use them.

If Dallas can continue to ride Elliott, then things will remain more simple for Dalton, especially against a great Washington secondary. Given last week's performance, the Cowboys (-160) may receive early action on the moneyline at home.

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