Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:49 AM

Cardinals vs. Cowboys Week 6 Predictions, Odds, Preview



Life without Dak Prescott officially takes hold for the Dallas Cowboys this week, as Andy Dalton takes this NFC East-leading team into MNF looking to cover their first point spread of the season. An explosive offense with a defense that only knows how to give up explosive plays is clearly not the recipe for point spread success in Dallas, and it will be interesting to see how much of a play-calling change the Cowboys implement knowing this is now Dalton's team.

But helping the Cowboys defense stay off the field as much as possible can go a long way with this team. Dallas still is going to struggle to slow down people on that side of the ball, but it doesn't need to be this way of allowing 30+ like they have the past four weeks.

Obviously trying to slow down a guy like Kyler Murray and what Arizona brings to the table isn't the best place to start for Dallas, but they've got to start somewhere. The Cardinals enter this game 0-5 O/U this year as they typically don't see both sides score 30+ in a game like the Cowboys have.

You've got a winless ATS team that only knows how to play games with 70+ points scored against a team that's yet to cash an 'over' ticket. What's going to give?

Betting Resources

Cardinals vs. Cowboys Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Arizona -1.5
  • Money-Line: Arizona -120, Dallas +100
  • Total: 55
  • Odds Subject to Change

    2020 Betting Stats

    (Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U)

    Arizona

    • Overall: 3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS, 0-4-1 O/U
    • Road: 2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, 0-2-1 O/U
    • Offense PPG: 25.6 (Rank 16)
    • Defense PPG: 20.4 (Rank 7)
    • Offense YPG: 395.4 (Rank 10)
    • Defense YPG: 346.6 (Rank 10)

    Dallas

    • Overall: 2-3 SU, 0-5 ATS, 4-1 O/U
    • Home: 2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS, 3-0 O/U
    • Offense PPG: 32.6 (Rank 3)
    • Defense PPG: 36.0 (Rank 32)
    • Offense YPG: 488.0 (Rank 1)
    • Defense YPG: 404.4 (Rank 27)

    Over vs. Under
    Handicapping the Total

    Arizona's 'under' run is something I would side with getting snapped sooner rather than later, and this does appear to be the no-brainer opponent to look at an Arizona 'over' spot with how bad the Cowboys defense has been.

    Yet, you've got to believe that the Dallas defense can't continue to be this inept every week out on the field, and it's just a bunch of other little things that will likely have me passing on this total in the end. I know I wouldn't want any part of the 'under', but it still doesn't feel like the best play to make in this game.

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    I don't know if Arizona's 0-5 O/U run has much to do with it, or the fact that the Cardinals have the 4th-best third down conversion rate on defense (opponents only convert third downs 35.59% of time vs Arizona) that I think we might be forced to see the Dallas attack slow down as well.

    The Cowboys know they can't keep hanging their defense out to dry, and they might already be leaning towards running the ball more with a backup QB in, and one of the best RB's in the game beside him.

    With Arizona's defense understanding how to get off the field when they get the chance too, I'm not sure we see this Dallas attack go up and down the field like they have been. Nor do I think Dallas really wants that for their defense to keep getting shredded all the way back.

    Recent Cowboys games may not suggest it, but you still need a lot to go smoothly to cash an 'over' 55 ticket, as it's just as fine to pass here.

    Head-to-Head History

    All-Time Series Record: Bills lead 26-21-1

    • Sept. 25, 2017 - Dallas 28 at Arizona 17, Cowboys -3, Under 46
    • Nov. 2, 2014 - Arizona 28 at Dallas 17, Cardinals -1.5, Push 45

    Cardinals vs. Cowboys
    Handicapping the Side

    The side is the more interesting handicap in that the Cowboys are too talented on offense to remain without an ATS win for long, but how confident can you be trusting them in Andy Dalton's first start? Dalton does have years of starting experience in this league so there is that working for him, but he's got a much different skill set than Prescott, and how to utilize his skills the best is still going to be a work in progress.

    From the Arizona side of things, this could be a second ATS win in a row, but it's also their third straight road game. Going from Carolina to New York to Dallas the past three weeks is far from a favorable play-on spot for any team, but again, all we've seen from this Dallas defense this year is them casually retreating down the field as the scoreboard puts up multiples of six on them. There is definitely an argument there for Arizona.

    But as road chalk that's seen the line basically move against them all week, I really want nothing to do with Arizona here. In fact, the third straight road game against a team you know is in a great spot to rally around themselves given how their season has gone really turns into an awful spot for the Cardinals when they've also got a division showdown with the Seattle Seahawks on deck.

    Dalton may not be the best option, but he's a known commodity at this point in his career. He's also working with more weapons around him than he ever had in Cincinnati, so he's not going to be asked to carry this team, just lead them. That's the better role for him with this Cowboys team right now, and he's just got to take care of the football.

    Defensively, I'll put faith in the idea that the Cowboys defense has to improve simply because I don't think they can get any worse. The Cowboys are probably owed a turnover or two for all that's gone wrong in their season so far, as a -8 turnover differential this year is worst in the league and one that should see some positive regression eventually.

    Arizona has had at least one turnover in every game so far this season, so it's not like their won't be opportunities for this Cowboys defense to capitalize.

    But Dallas as a home dog, when the Cowboys probably deserve at least a little bit of sympathy for what they roller coaster of a season they've already had to deal with is something I don't think I can pass up in this spot. Dalton could easily end up burning more units than he earns in his new gig, but I'll save those fade spots when the Cowboys start laying some significant chalk again down the line after grabbing a few wins.

    That winning streak starts for the Cowboys with this game against a road weary Cardinals team that's got a potential lookahead spot up next. Great spot for a home dog to rise up and get this difficult 2020 campaign somewhat back on track.

    Key Injuries

    Arizona

    • LB Dennis Gardeck: Foot - Questionable
    • OT D.J. Humphries: Back - Questionable
    • LB Devon Kennard: Calf - Questionable
    • DE Chandler Jones: Biceps - Out
    • OL J.R. Sweezy: Elbow - Out
    • LB Kylie Fitts: Hamstring - Out
    • DT Rashard Lawrence: Calf - Out

    Dallas

    • LB Leighton Vander Esch: Collarbone - Probable
    • QB Dak Prescott: Ankle - Out
    • DT Trysten Hill: Knee - Out
    • T Tyron Smith: Neck - Out

    Cardinals vs. Cowboys - Predictions

    • Score Prediction: Dallas 34 Arizona 24
    • Best Bet: Cowboys +1.5


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