Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
SNF - Cowboys at Saints
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NFL Week 4 Sunday Night Football Betting Preview
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET)
SNF Betting Results
The Cleveland Browns issues with shooting themselves in the foot with poor play calling, poor execution, and plenty of penalties continued under the lights last Sunday night, and yet, they still had four plays from inside the 10 to try and potentially tie the game at the end, but even that didn't work out well for Cleveland.
It's on to this week's game, and while schedule makers had something a little different in mind if New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees stayed healthy, the fact that the Saints looked so good last week up in Seattle with Teddy Bridgewater under center doesn't hurt. The Superdome is one of the best home field advantages there is in the game, especially in a primetime setting, and backup QB or not, New Orleans is always a tough out at home.
That's the task the Dallas Cowboys are trying to accomplish this week, as their 3-0 straight up record is going to get tested. Considering those three wins by Dallas have come against teams that enter Week 4 with a combined 1-8 SU record, you can understand the hesitation behind getting behind the Cowboys this week for some. Yet, Dallas has won all three of those games by at least 10 points, so it's not like they aren't handling their business in an appropriate manner, they've just got to make sure they continue to step up their game as the competition level rises.
Can the Cowboys go into New Orleans and prove the skeptics wrong that have reservations about their record, or will the Superdome claim another visitor as victims with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm?
It's not quite been all 'over' support for this game on Sunday, but that's definitely the popular side of this total to back. The opener of 45 didn't last long as the number climbed to 47 relatively quickly and has stayed pretty constant there ever since. Given that both teams are coming off 30+ point efforts a week ago, and Dallas has scored 30+ in all three games so far, you can understand why an opener of 45 would appear low and got the early action that it did.
But those questions that linger about the quality of the Cowboys opponents (Miami, Washington, N.Y. Giants) in regards to their 3-0 SU record have to be posed about the offense putting up 30+ points as well. The Saints defense isn't exactly the stoutest in the league themselves having allowed 27 or more in all three games so far, but that's only that way thanks to allowing a score on the final play of an already decided game versus Seattle last week.
New Orleans has shown at times so far through their three games this year that they can force key turnovers when needed (whether they stand or not), hold teams to kicking FG's, and even last week's score looks worse then it really was as Seattle had just 7 points entering the 4th. The Saints defense knows that they are going to have to do more of the heavy lifting right now with Brees on the shelf, and they proved it for at least three quarters against Seattle before playing soft with a very big lead.
At the same time, questions about the Cowboys defense have to remain given the whole quality of foe discussion, and they do catch a break not having to face Brees here. It's still the Superdome though and using running back Ezekiel Elliott and that big offensive line to dictate the tempo and control the clock to help take the fans out of the game and negate some of the Superdome effect should be in the cards for Dallas this week. Questions may remain about this Cowboys defense, but the less time they are out on the field trying to answer those questions, the better those answers may ultimately end up looking.
The side has been an interesting one all week, as the opener of -3.5 on Dallas didn't last long at all, while it only took about a day or so to have all those +3's on New Orleans get bought up. Since then, it's been -2.5 with the juice bouncing back and forth as bettors come in on both sides.
Typically, when a spread bounces around like that but does not hit a full three points again, those backing the favorite should be slightly concerned. Obviously, whatever happens on the field happens on the field, but for it to not get back to a full three points on Dallas suggests that there is so much resistance from New Orleans backers at that number, that books will gladly hope the game doesn't land on a three-point win for Dallas and sweep up all the vig in the end.
Again, questions about the legitimacy of the Cowboys record has something to do with that action, as does the Saints being at home in prime time, but it's hard to figure there is a distinct edge either way now. It's probably best to sit back and let the action unfold, and use whatever happens to help formulate your opinion on both teams going into Week 5.
With the side being a hard pass, it's only the total I'd be interested in looking at here. While the initial 'over' money has to be respected, based on potential game script for this game – Dallas featuring a heavy dose of the run, and New Orleans potentially doing the same with a backup QB – at 47, and the total not rising since that early move there, I believe you can only look 'under' now.
Prime time games this year have been on a crazy 'under' run as it was, before Chicago/Washington and Philly/GB easily cashed 'over' tickets this week, but Sunday Night games have yet to see a high-scoring game, and I'm not sure they will get one here either – the Colts/Chiefs in Week 5 for SNF is probably a different story.
I don't think the Cowboys streak of scoring 30+ continues in this game, and for all the resistance the Saints spread bettors have created, I'm not sure their best approach to victory would be a 28-24 type affair. The Saints are on a 2-6 O/U run off a SU win as it is, 0-4 O/U off an ATS win, and Dallas has seen the 'under' cash in five of their last six games after allowing 14 points or less.
Win or lose, those that question the legitimacy of how good this Dallas team truly is this year likely get some fuel for their fire from the Cowboys performance this week, as 24-21 for either team is written all over this game.
Best Bet: Under 47 points