The Cowboys host the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football here in Week 13 as the two teams are jockeying for playoff seeding in the NFC. Despite playing on Thursday, both these teams are on “normal” rest as they both played on Thanksgiving last week.
Thanksgiving went two different ways for these squads last Thursday as the Cowboys cruised to a 45-10 victory over the Commanders, while the Seahawks lost 31-13 at home against the 49ers.
There’s been some interesting line movement in this game, which is the focus for our play this week. Starting with the spread, we saw the market reopen at around Cowboys -8/-8.5 after a lookahead line of -6.5. That line was bet up through 10 before finally seeing some Seahawks money and stabilizing the line around -8.5/-9.5.
I don’t think the stray -8.5’s in the market will last and it’s a great opportunity to add Dallas teasers to your slate this weekend. We’ll get into why I think the Cowboys will easily handle Seattle below, but I view them as a strong teaser partner with any of the viable “Wong” options this week, (Philly, Jacksonville, Tennessee).
When looking at the total, we’re seeing the over being bet from the opener at 45.5 all the way to 47.5 on Wednesday morning. While I do understand the sentiment pushing the total over, I think we are better suited to bet the under here at 47.5 on what should be the high point in the market on the total.
We know the Cowboys offense has gone nuclear in recent weeks, severely beating up on some of the league’s worst defenses. Dak Prescott has looked very good, and the Cowboys continue to pass at an extremely high rate. This plus Daron Bland’s record-breaking season scoring on defense, has led to a Cowboys team that is 7-3-1 to the over in 2023.
My issue in this one is that I don’t think the Seahawks can hang around in this game long enough to keep it competitive enough clear a high total like 47.5 Geno Smith is clearly laboring for Seattle with an elbow injury and looked awful against the 49ers. HC Pete Carroll has spoken positively on Smith’s health, but we might just be seeing some smoke and mirrors out of the Seattle camp.
Despite the more recent injury, the Seattle offense has looked out of sync and has been without RB Kenneth Walker III. I don’t have much confidence with this unit going up against the Cowboys #3 ranked defense in terms of defensive DVOA. In addition, the Cowboys play a ton of man coverage, which has been sort of an Achilles heel for Geno and the Seahawks.
Geno appears much more comfortable throwing into zone coverage where his average depth of target and average completion yardage jump significantly. This plus and excellent pass rush leads me to believe that the Seahawks offense will struggle to move the ball in Dallas.
From a pure market rating perspective, a ten plus point spread for this matchup is probably a tad high (if it gets back there) but I wouldn’t recommend backing the Seahawks in a game that I think could get ugly very quickly for them. I’ll certainly be betting Dallas in teasers while -8.5 is available in the market but I’ll make my official play for TNF on the under 47.5 for 1%.
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