After two close losses, the New Orleans Saints finally hit the win column last week.
The Saints will be looking to make it two in a row when they visit a team they've dominated recently, the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday night in Arlington, Texas. New Orleans is 8-1 in its last nine games against Dallas and 8-2 against the spread in its last 10 meetings with Jerry's boys.
Point spread: The Saints opened as 2.5-point favorites; the total was 53 (line updates and matchup report).
Odds Shark computer prediction: 26.2-21.5 Saints
Why the Saints can cover the spread
The Saints are coming off a tough 20-9 victory at home over the Minnesota Vikings, covering the spread as 10-point home favorites. New Orleans led 13-0 early and then secured the cover on a Drew Brees touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans lost its first two games of this season, both on field goals on the last play of the game. A couple of plays here and there, and the Saints could be 2-1 or 3-0.
New Orleans has had some recent troubles on the road (0-6 ATS run), but at least this game will be played indoors, on fast turf with no wind.
The Odds Shark entry in the prestigious Westgate SuperContest includes the Saints among its five picks, so there is confidence behind this play.
Why the Cowboys can cover the spread
Since that miserable first half in their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys have outscored opponents 74-41 and won and covered two games in a row. Last week, Dallas rallied from down 21-0 in the second quarter at St. Louis to beat the Rams 34-31, covering as a two-point road favorite.
Despite the early deficit, the Cowboys didn't give up on the run, eventually getting 100 yards on 24 carries from DeMarco Murray, his third straight 100-yard effort. Perhaps even more importantly, Murray is averaging 25 carries per game this year. And Tony Romo only threw one interception last week, although it was returned for a touchdown.
These teams just met 10 games ago, NFL time. The Saints beat the Cowboys 49-17 last November at the Superdome, covering as six-point favorites.
New Orleans outgained Dallas that day by over 400 yards, ran for 242 yards and held the ball for almost 40 minutes. That's how you win games and cover spreads in the NFL.
The Saints probably won't beat the Cowboys by 32 points Sunday night, but they will probably win this game and cover the spread.
- The total has gone under in six of New Orleans's last eight games on the road.
- The total has gone over in four of Dallas' last five games when playing New Orleans.