The Dallas Cowboys once dominated a divisional rivalry with the Arizona Cardinals, but Arizona is 4-0 both straight up and against the spread in the last four meetings between the teams. Former rivals renew acquaintances when the Cowboys clash with the Cardinals on Monday night.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 21.4-20.2 Cowboys (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Cowboys can cover the spread
Dallas is shooting for a bounce-back effort after getting dumped in Denver last week 42-17. That game was tied at 7-7 in the second quarter, before an unsportsmanlike penalty on a Broncos field goal led to a Denver touchdown. Things then slipped away from there, as the Cowboys couldn't get anything going against that great Broncos defense.
It was not an effort to be proud of, but it might provide some motivation for this week.
Dallas opened this season with a good defensive effort of its own in a 19-3 victory over the New York Giants. The Cowboys outgained New York that night 392-233 and outrushed the Giants 129-35, on their way toward covering a six-point spread.
Even with last week's loss, Dallas is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in quarterback Dak Prescott's road starts.
Why the Cardinals can cover the spread
Arizona just bounced back from a season-opening loss at the Detroit Lions to defeat the Colts in Indianapolis last week 16-13 in overtime. The Cardinals trailed 10-0 in the first quarter and 13-3 early in the fourth, but they tied the game with 10 straight points, then won it on Phil Dawson's third field goal of the day midway through the extra period.
On the day, Arizona outgained the Colts 389-266. Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, after struggling against Detroit, threw for 332 yards and a touchdown, connecting with wide receiver JJ Nelson five times for 120 yards and that one key score that pulled Arizona to within three points midway through the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals defense limited Indianapolis to just 2.6 yards per rush, recorded four sacks and picked off a Colts pass on the opening possession of overtime, setting up Dawson's game-winner.
Arizona opened this season with a 35-23 loss to the Lions, but the Cardinals led that game through three quarters before letting it slip away.
The team that wins the ground battle and makes fewer mistakes should win and cover this game, and that team will probably be Dallas. That's why the Cowboys are the smart betting choice here.
NFL betting trends
The Cowboys are 0-4 SU and ATS in their last four games against the Cardinals.
The total has gone over in eight of the Cardinals' last nine games.
The Cowboys are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.