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Cowboys vs. Patriots Line at -7 New England

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:
Oct/16/2011
Cowboys vs. Patriots Line

The Cowboys vs. Patriots line was coming in at -7 for the Pats after opening at -8 earlier in the week.  60 percent of those betting the spread were backing New England in this one. 

Sportsbook.com Opening Line & Total: Pats -7 & 55.5

Opening Line & Total: Pats -8 & 53.5

The Cowboys wild roller-coaster season continues Sunday afternoon with a trip to 4-1 New England. All four Dallas games this season have been decided by four points or less.

There’s some misplaced confidence in Dallas because defensive coordinator Rob Ryan led the Browns to an upset of the Pats a year ago, holding the New England offense to 14 points. But that was a much different Patriots offense. This one has a 100% healthy Wes Welker and a couple of star tight ends (Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez) with a full season under their belts. Even facing the Jets’ elite pass defense in Week 5, the Patriots still put up 446 yards of offense and 30 points. And the Cowboys’ pass defense is a big step down from the Jets.

Although the Cowboys have been stewing for two weeks after blowing a 27-3 lead to Detroit, the bye helped many of their players heal. WRs Miles Austin (hamstring) and Dez Bryant (thigh) are both expected to start on Sunday. That’s good news for the much-maligned Tony Romo who has put together both heroic and game-costing performances this year. He has a middling TD-to-INT ratio of 7-to-5, but his 8.38 YPA average ranks fifth in the NFL, ahead of Cam Newton, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. The bye week also strengthened the wimpy Dallas running game (87 YPG, 26th in NFL), as RB Felix Jones (shoulder) is raring to get a heavier workload. The Cowboys have had no trouble stopping the run, leading the NFL with 62 rushing YPG allowed and 3.1 yards per carry allowed

Unlike Dallas that has played in all close games, New England’s four wins have each been by nine points or more. The Patriots late field goal against the Jets last week extended their streak of scoring 30+ points to 13 straight regular-season games, one fewer than the Rams’ record set in 1999-2000. QB Tom Brady (375 passing YPG, 14 TD, 6 INT) and WR Wes Welker (NFL-best 740 receiving yards) have been unbelievable through the air, but New England’s ground game hasn’t been too shabby either. In the past two weeks, the Pats have rushed for 335 yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 211 rushing yards (4.9 YPC) in these two games, and the hopeful return of RB Danny Woodhead (ankle), will further enhance the rushing attack.

New England’s defensive deficiencies are still present, as the team ranks last in the NFL in both total defense (433 YPG) and passing defense (327 YPG). However, the Pats held the Jets to 255 total yards last week without the benefit of any takeaways.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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