The Dallas Cowboys are once again looking great on paper, but they have sometimes been a little "smaller than life" when they play the better teams. The question for BetOnline patrons to ponder is whether the Seattle Seahawks represent a relative weakling or an opponent that will be tougher than usual.
Seattle seems to never get a whole lot of consideration, but the Seahawks, at 6-5, are certainly in the playoff hunt. In fact, until they lost to the San Francisco 49ers last week, they had a chance to tie for the lead in the NFC West.
The Cowboys are 8-3, having lost to the Niners, Eagles and Cardinals. Well, at least two of those losses came against teams they may have to go through in order to get to the Super Bowl. It's not likely they'll have home field advantage in the playoffs, but if that happened they will be playing a pretty good hand.
Dallas often acts like one of those college football powerhouses that will run up the score if they can so that they impress pollsters. When they have been at home, they have scored 30, 38, 43, 49 and 45 points. Seattle has been beaten by 17 points or more three times.
So here we are, with a game that has, as they say, playoff implications. The kickoff between the Seahawks and Cowboys is set for 8:15 PM ET in Arlington. Of course, it's part of Amazon Prime Video's Thursday night package.
In the Thursday Night Football odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetOnline, the Cowboys are favored:
Dallas Cowboys -9.5 (-115)
Seattle Seahawks +9.5 (-105)
Over 47.5 points -110
Under 47.5 points -110
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if you take a look at a lot of these numbers, it would probably give you the impression that Dallas is going to win in a walk. But this is a game that might, for all intents and purposes, be decided on third down. Yeah, that sounds like a cliche, but listen up - the Cowboys have been a phenomenal team converting third downs on offense, making good on 47.7% of attempts. Seattle, meanwhile, has allowed 44% in those situations. And going back the other way, Seattle, which averages just 20.8 points, is only 31.3% successful on third down, while the Dallas "D" is very stingy; second best in the league at 34.3%.
So that gives you one part of the picture.
The Cowboys have outperformed the pointspread by 93.5 points at home, so they like to keep their foot on the gas pedal if they can. Dak Prescott has been 70% accurate with 23 touchdowns. There is a new "weapon" in their arsenal, as cornerback DeRon Bland has scored five times on interceptions.
Seattle, however, has often appeared to be greater than the sum of its parts under Pete Carroll. It is indeed true that they are somewhat handicapped, with the likelihood that running back Kenneth Walker won't play and that QB Geno Smith has that elbow injury. But at the same time, we might concede that the Seattle defense might be a little different story with safety Jamal Adams back in the lineup.
This is the first time Seattle is coming off back-to-back losses. And in that situation, they have gone 20-5-1 against the spread under Carroll's leadership. So you can consider that.
You can also consider, for what it's worth, that the Seahawks have played seven of their last eight games under THIS posted total. And Dallas has played six of 11 games under 47 points.
Knowing that his team can't match firepower, we expect that Carroll, who has always been something of a defensive guru, will try to turn up the volume on the stop end. We'll go UNDER.
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