Free NFL Picks: Cowboys at Colts Betting Predictions and Odds
by Jason Sharpe - 12/3/2010
The Dallas Cowboys (3-8 overall; 4-7 ATS) go on the road and try salvage the last bit of their season against an Indianapolis Colts (6-5 overall; 6-4-1 ATS) team that is also struggling of late, having lost three of their last four games overall. We will offer some free NFL picks for the game.
The Cowboys put up a good fight last time out, losing 30-27 to the red hot New Orleans Saints as a 4.5-point home underdog on Thanksgiving Day. That loss ended the Cowboys two-game winning streak while handing Jason Garrett his first career loss as an NFL head coach.
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Dallas continues to look much better statistically then their 3-8 record this season would indicate. The Cowboys have actually outgained their opposition in seven of their first 11 games on the year and average more than seven yards more per contest then their opponents.
The Cowboys strength continues to come from the offensive side of the football. Even with starting quarterback Tony Romo injured and still sitting on the sidelines, the Cowboys remain one of the top passing teams in the NFL this season, ranking fifth currently throwing for an average of 276 yards per game.
The much-expected drop off going from the starter Romo to backup Jon Kitna hasn’t been as drastic as most had expected. Romo’s quarterback rating on the season was at 94.9 when he went down with his shoulder injury, while Kitna currently has a rating just slightly lower at 88.2 on the year. The Cowboys passing attack will go up against a Colts defense that is ranked sixth in the NFL against the pass, allowing just more than 200 yards per game.
The big question being asked around the NFL is what is wrong with the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning of late? The Colts offense just doesn’t have the same look it has had in years past. With a rushing attack ranked 30th in the NFL this season for yards per game, the Colts have been forced to lean more on the right arm of Peyton Manning this year.
This hasn’t been close to a typical Peyton Manning season thus far as he ranks just 15th in the NFL with a quarterback rating of 90.4 on the year. Manning and the Colts will go up against a Cowboys defense that has really struggled against the pass, ranking 29th in the NFL overall and last in the NFC in yards per pass attempt.
The biggest problem for the Colts has been with injuries. Indy was missing six opening day starters in their Sunday night blowout loss to the San Diego Chargers last weekend; those six were hurt along with five key backups that were also out of action due to injury. Slowly it looks like the Colts will be getting back a few key components this week.
One of the biggest problems for the Colts of late may have more to do with not how the Colts are playing, but instead with who the Colts have actually played. The last three Indy losses have come against arguably the three hottest teams in the NFL in the past month, the Chargers, Patriots and Eagles.
The Cowboys have struggled the last few years late in the season, going just 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games in December. On the other end of things Indianapolis has turned things up late in the year going 4-1 ATS in their last five December games. The Colts have also covered nine of their last 12 games when they were favored between 3.5 and 10 points, while the Cowboys have failed to cover five of the last seven times that they have been an underdog between 3.5 and 10 points.
This Colts team is a veteran group that knows how to win football games. They have proven that late in the season many times before. As they continue to get healthier you can expect Indianapolis to play their best game of the year, especially after embarrassing themselves last weekend in front of a national TV audience. Take the Colts to win and cover this one.
Jason Sharpe has been excellent for his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, and he has shown a profit in 13 of 16 weeks for his NFL handicapping and college football picks and $100 players are up $4,600 on the season! He sees some weak NFL point spreads on the board this week and is very excited to extend his current run. Also this week he will have a 6-Unit Underdog Game of the Year. Call us toll-free at 1-866-238-6696 to find out about a free one-week football package from Sharpe or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choice (new clients only).
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