Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Predictions

Cardinals at Cowboys NFL
Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Predictions

This will be the first full game for the Dallas Cowboys without Dak Prescott after the star quarterback suffered his ankle injury last week. Andy Dalton will now take over the helm for the Dallas offense, but the Cowboys’ big issue is still its underwhelming defense that couldn’t even slow down the Giants last week. Now Arizona’s high-powered offense comes to Dallas for some primetime football, and it might end in embarrassment for the Cowboys.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Odds

Arizona’s offense has really developed in the second season under Kliff Kingsbury, though the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins certainly helped. Hopkins leads the NFL in receptions with 45 and receiving yards at 528, giving Kyler Murray a definite No. 1 option in the passing game that he didn’t have last season. Then there’s the complementary cast that includes Chase Edmunds, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk that will also prove to be a matchup nightmare for Dallas’ secondary. Kenyon Drake and Murray have done most of the heavy lifting in the ground game that ranks sixth in the league through five weeks, though Murray’s escapability is the key to this game. Dallas’ pass rush is supposed to be the strength of the defense, but if they overcommit to Murray, he’ll be able to extend plays and maybe make them pay with long scrambles against a below-average secondary.

Dallas still ranks last in scoring defense, which is the reason the Cowboys are 2-3 despite being third in scoring offense and first in total offense. Even the Giants were able to put up points against the Cowboys, and New York scored just 47 points in the first four weeks before scoring 34 last week. Dallas is one of the worst rushing defenses in the league and only slightly better against the pass, and facing a team whose core strength is an innovative offense. Then there’s the changes that will be made to Dallas’ offense without Dak Prescott and his playmaking ability. Andy Dalton is a solid NFL starter, but he is not as mobile and doesn’t have as much playmaking ability as Prescott provides. The Cowboys will need to rely more on Ezekiel Elliott to lead the offense, which bodes well against an Arizona team that ranks 19th in rushing defense. However, will Dalton be able to make the passes consistently through the game to push Dallas down the field? We saw him work well in the two-minute drills, but it will be interesting to see how he handles his first start with Dallas this week.

Dallas hasn’t held any opponent to less than 34 points since the opener against the Rams, but Arizona somehow hasn’t scored more than 30 points in a game so far this season. Something will have to change and after watching what the Giants did to Dallas, I think it will be Arizona scoring more points. So I’ll head to the NFL betting sites in New Jersey and take the over 27.5 points for the visitors at -110 odds. The real question in my mind is what will we see out of the Cowboys’ offense with Dalton at the helm for a full game. Dalton did an excellent job leading Dallas on two field-goal drives to tie then win the game last week, but is that sustainable for 60 minutes. Dalton isn’t as mobile as Prescott and I think that will hurt the Cowboys, so I’ll cautiously bet under 27.5 points for Dallas at -110 odds.

Cardinals to win

This Cowboys defense is really bad and their powerful offense won’t have the same playmaking ability without Prescott. Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ offense is pretty good and the defense is much better than people give Arizona credit. I’m honestly surprised Arizona is only a one-point favorite in this game because there is no reason to believe that Dalton can provide the same lift to Dallas’ offense that Prescott brought. So this gives us an excellent opportunity for some added value in these NFL betting predictions by using an alternate spread from the New Jersey online sports betting sites. I think Arizona wins by at least a touchdown, so I’ll take the Cardinals laying 6.5 points at +200 odds.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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