The Dallas Cowboys are at home for a Week 12 clash with the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. Dallas is sporting a 7-3 record, but need a bounce-back game after their offense was terrible against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders are struggling with a 5-5 record and are losers of three games in a row.
Our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook currently have the Cowboys as 7.5-point favorites against the Raiders. The line has moved just a bit from early in the week. The folks over at FiveThirtyEight have the Cowboys at a 76% chance of winning, while ESPN has them at 75%.
As for the Cowboys game, let’s see what people are thinking.
If these two teams decided to cancel Thursday’s game and just hug each other for four quarters, that would be completely understandable because it has definitely been a rough month for both of them. Going into November, the Cowboys and Raiders had a combined record of 11-3. However, since the start of November, the two teams have combined to go 1-5, which includes an 0-3 record from the Raiders.
To add insult to injury, the NFL is making the Raiders fly halfway across the country on a short week to play in a game on a holiday. The last place anyone wants to be around the holidays is at an airport. If I were the Raiders, I would skip the airport and just drive to Dallas. Sure it’s six times longer than flying, and yes, 18 hours of driving does seem like a lot of a road trip, but they could stop in Albuquerque along the way and I feel like the Raiders could really stand to use a stop in Albuquerque right now. If you’ve watched them play at all over the past few weeks, you may have noticed some troubling things about them: Their offense has gotten worse every week, their defense has gotten worse every week and their interim coach seems like he might be in over his head.
The only upside for the Raiders going into this game is that they’re playing a Cowboys team that has been almost as bad as they have for the month of November. Not only are the Cowboys just 1-2 in their past three games, but they will be going into this game without Amari Cooper and possibly without CeeDee Lamb (concussion). The good news for the Cowboys is that they shouldn’t need either of those guys. The Raiders are giving up 132.1 yards per game on the ground this year, which is the fourth-most in the NFL and if the Cowboys are smart, they’ll take advantage of that by running the ball roughly 50 times. However, the Cowboys haven’t looked overly smart this month, so there’s no guarantee that’s going to happen.
The pick: Cowboys 30-23 over Raiders
A win, but not quite a cover.
The Cowboys look great one week and horrible the next. Which team will show up in Week 12? Since they are coming off a rough loss to the Chiefs, we think the good version.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Raiders 20
That’s a win and a cover.
Both of these offenses looked flat-out bad this week. What should have been an exciting game between two playoff contenders now feels like it is a case of whoever does not play worse on offense will win. The Cowboys could be without both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, but they should still have too much for the Raiders.
Raiders vs. Cowboys Prediction: Cowboys 21, Raiders 17
A win, but not a cover.
Dak Prescott might be without Amari Cooper (COVID-19) and CeeDee Lamb (concussion protocol), but the Cowboys remain a touchdown-favorite against the Raiders. Las Vegas is -4 in turnover ratio in their losing streak, so watch out for Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs and the big play on defense. The Cowboys break a two-game losing streak in Thanksgiving games.
Pick: Cowboys 31, Raiders 22
A win and a cover.