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  • The Cowboys’ anemic offense faces its stiffest test yet with Jacksonville’s top-ranked defense coming to town.
By Scott Gramling
October 11, 2018

Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys (+3)

Sun. 10/14, 4:25 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Jacksonville-Dallas:

1. The Jaguars and Cowboys enter this one each coming off Week 5 road losses. Jacksonville fell 30-14 to the unbeaten Chiefs in a game it played without running back Leonard Fournette, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury. The offense eclipsed 502 total yards, and a good chunk of which came from Fournette's replacement, T.J. Yeldon, who racked up 122 scrimmage yards and a receiving touchdown on 18 touches. Dallas, meanwhile, failed to reach 300 yards of offense in its 19-16 overtime loss at Houston on Sunday night. The Cowboys’ lone touchdown came on a 16-yard drive following a fumble recovery, as star running back Ezekiel Elliott managed only 84 yards from scrimmage despite carrying the ball 20 times and catching seven passes. Home teams coming off a road loss are 19-29 against the spread since the start of the 2009 season when facing an opponent coming off a road loss by 14 or more points. Another betting system that favors Jacksonville here is the fact that in October games with a spread of between +3 and -3 since the start of the 2014 season, road teams coming off two ATS losses in their previous two games are 28-10 against the spread.

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2. Dallas enters this game as one of only three NFL teams averaging fewer than 17 points per game and one of only five that’s averaging fewer than 310 total yards per game. That unit will face its stiffest test yet, as the Jaguars enter this game ranked tied for fourth among NFL teams in fewest points allowed (17.2 per game) despite having had both New England and Kansas City among its first five opponents. Meanwhile, no NFL team is allowing an average of fewer total yards per game than the 292.2 the Jaguars are giving up. After having held each of its first four opponents of 2018 to 20 points or fewer, Jacksonville allowed 30 points to Kansas City last week due in large part to the five turnovers. After a Kansas City interception was returned for a touchdown late in the first half, the Jaguars outscored the Chiefs 14-10 over the game’s final two quarters. The Cowboys have topped 20 points only once this season, scoring 26 at home versus Detroit two Sundays ago.

3. Since Jason Garrett took over head-coaching duties midway through the 2010 season, the Cowboys have gone 24-39 against the spread at home, which includes a 7-17 ATS mark at home when coming off a loss. Jacksonville comes into this one having gone 10-5 against the spread over its past 15 road games.

Pick: Jacksonville -3

Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

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