Tuesday, December 2, 2014

NFL Betting Preview 2014 Week 14: Cowboys Vs. Bears

Dallas Cowboys Vs. Chicago Bears

Market Watch

In the look-ahead line, the Cowboys were simply -3 points on the spread.  Both got thoroughly beat on Thanksgiving, but the stock fell more on the Bears. The line reopened at -3.5, but it's made the move to -4. It also looks like bettors agree with that adjustment, as 3 out of every 4 bets are coming in on Dallas.



Bottom Line

What angle should we approach this game from?  The Cowboys are a perfect 5-0 on the road this year (4-1 ATS), and they are very much in the hunt to win the division and/or make the playoffs. They also get to face the Bears who haven't been great at home, rank near the bottom on defense and special teams, and have next to no chance at a playoff birth.

Then there's Jay Cutler. If they fall behind, will he go into gunslinger mode and start making those bang-your-head-against-the-wall throws?

It all points to a straight-forward pick to ride the Cowboys.

Or does it? The Cowboys defense has been steadily declining after a surprising start.  Despite the ups and downs for the Bears offense, they still rank as a middle of the pack unit. Chicago's offense has also been really strong inside the red zone, while the Cowboys D is in the bottom 10 for that category. That could be more than enough to dice up the Cowboys D and make this a game.

There's also the "December/January" storyline for Dallas. Romo/Garrett have traditionally been losers when it comes down to crunch time, and that's a hurdle they have to get over - regardless of whether or not it's just a perception thing.

Would anyone be surprised if the Cowboys flopped at this point?

There is simply too much uncertainty on both sides to really know how this one will play out.  On paper, Dallas seems like a no-brainer, but once we consider all the different variables, the picture gets cloudy. Ultimately, I have to take a pass on this game.

Read more: Week 14 picks.