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Dallas Cowboys vs New Orleans Saints TNF Odds Preview, Predictions, and Picks

The Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints look to recover from disappointing Thanksgiving day turnouts, but only one side will be able to do so. Which will it be?
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Dallas Cowboys vs New Orleans Saints TNF Odds Preview, Predictions, and Picks

The Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints were part of an exciting, three-pack NFL schedule on Thanksgiving Day, and they both enjoyed the advantage of playing hosts during the national festivities. Alas, the festive mood was dampened considerably when both succumbed to defeat on home turf before their adoring fans. The Cowboys were upset by the Las Vegas Raiders in overtime at the AT&T Stadium while the Saints were eviscerated by the Buffalo Bills at the Caesar’s Superdome.

For a second-straight week, the Cowboys and Saints feature on Thursday’s NFL betting card. This time, it’s to kickstart the proceedings in Week 13 of the NFL. The season is entering its final stretch, with pressure to get back on track mounting in both camps this week. But as far as the markets are concerned, the NFL odds are predictable with books serving up the high-flying Dallas Cowboys as the favorites.

Dallas Cowboys (7-4-0) vs New Orleans Saints (5-6-0)

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021

Start Time: 8:20 PM ET

Location: Caesar’s Superdome, New Orleans

TV Broadcast: NFL Network

Saints vs Cowboys Odds

Cowboys Betting Preview

The Cowboys were upset by the Raiders in a 36-33 thriller that went the distance. The Raiders got off to a fast start and never trailed in the game, going up 7-0 in the first three minutes and fifteen seconds. The Cowboys twice tied the game to make a fist of it, including a run of eleven points in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. However, in the ensuing overtime, the offense failed to grab the initiative and then the defense committed a costly penalty that buried the game once and for all.

Penalties and officiating were the big stories of the day. Referees dropped the laundry 28 times – 14 on the Raiders and 14 on the Cowboys while an additional five were offset or declined. This marked a record in the Cowboys’ 61-year history, and the resulting 166 yards in penalties for the Cowboys represented another new franchise record (topping a previous record of 161 yards).

Putting the loss down to the penalties alone would be disingenuous though. Yes, they factored. It would be silly to argue that the 166 yards didn’t burn the Cowboys in some measure. It’s also hard to ignore the significance of Anthony Brown’s fourth penalty on the day – a passer interference call as the Raiders were on third-and-18 in their first overtime possession. The penalty resulted in a fresh set of downs that put Vegas into field-goal range, and after a spot of kicking drama, kicker Daniel Carlson finally drilled the game-winner through the posts. Game over!

But the truth is that Dak Prescott and company were out of sorts from the get-go. Dallas never looked to be in rhythm on the offensive side of the ball and the defense was sloppy and ineffective. So, inasmuch as the officiating was frustrating, so too was the overall play of the Cowboys – something that’s been symptomatic in their recent dip in form.

The Cowboys have lost three of their last four contests in November, and Thanksgiving Thursday’s loss was an extension of that negative vein of form. Ironically, all three losses came to NFC West opponents: the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Raiders.

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Saints Betting Preview

Sean Payton is one of the most respected NFL coaches in the game today, but New Orleans’ recent woes raise questions about his decision-making. Trevor Siemian had a solid moment when he replaced an injured Jameis Winston and led the Saints to a stunning victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since then, the Saints have lost four games in a row with Siemian as a starter and slip to a 5-6 record.

This poor run of form marks one of the worst stretches during Payton’s career with the Saints, but another loss would mark a new nadir – Payton’s Saints have never lost five in a row under his guidance.

Thanksgiving day’s contest against the Bills was always going to be a tough ask, but the Saints barely struck an audible chord in the 31-6 loss to the Bills. The six points were purely ornamental, the icing on top of the humble pie dished out by the Bills when they were already up 24-0 and looking all but certain to clinch the win.

Backup quarterback Taysom Hill recently penned a new deal with the Saints, but for some inexplicable reason, he was left twiddling his thumbs on the sideline. Hill has often featured in special offensive packages, but not on Thanksgiving he didn’t. The official reason was a foot injury, as per several NFL media outlets.

Word is the Saints are poised to make a quarterback switch for Week 13. The decision hinges on improvements to Hill’s foot injury, but the backup was a full participant in Monday’s practice and he got all the first-team reps. An announcement is expected on Wednesday regarding the starting job.

How this plays out remains to be seen, but under the current circumstance, the Saints owe it to their long-time tight end/quarterback to have a go as the offensive pivot. It can’t be worse than the Siemian-inspired product we’ve been treated to over the month of November. In addition, the Saints might be getting some help with the return of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara this week.

Cowboys vs Saints Odds

Dallas Cowboys-4.5-189O 47.5
New Orleans Saints+4.5+175U 47.5

Lookahead lines for this game projected Dallas at -5 before Week 12, and although the Cowboys lost to the Raiders at home, markets opened with the Cowboys as the 5-point road favorites. Similarly, the markets stayed with the lookahead game total when they opened the game total on 48 points after Week 12.

Since open doors, these NFL lines have hopped around. Initially, the point spread jumped out to 6 points with early betting going towards Dallas. By Monday, though, the betting trends shifted perceptibly. Two key factors occurred: word got out about a potential quarterback swap for the Saints and, more significantly, news of a Covid-19 outbreak within Dallas’ camp broke. As of the latest count, nine players and coaches – most notably, Mike McCarthy who tested positive for Covid-19 – won’t be making the trip to New Orleans. If Amari Cooper, who was placed on the Covid-19/reserve list on Nov. 19 doesn’t travel with the team on Wednesday, it’ll mark 10 significant absentees for Dallas in a pivotal game against.

Not surprisingly, the line began to move against Dallas. It now sits on Dallas -4.5 at most reputable sports betting shops. Some have gone down to Dallas -4. Separately, the game total trimmed down to 47.5 points as markets started to record more under bets.

Getting across Wednesday’s updates will be crucial for bettors looking to bet this game, but as far as the NFL odds and lines go, it’s more than likely that they’ll continue trending down.

Cowboys vs. Saints Betting Predictions and Picks

Upon first glance, getting the 7-4 Cowboys on a line that falls under Vegas lookahead lines feels like a steal bet. Knowing that nine players and coaches will be absent and that Dan Quinn is going to step in for Mike McCarthy as the interim head coach gives pause to that notion. These are concerning developments that can’t be glossed over, never mind the fact that the idea of Quinn as a head coach doesn’t exactly inspire anything close to confidence after his underwhelming stint in Atlanta.

Betting the Saints felt like a crapshoot a few days ago, but with Hill potentially getting the nod, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara (possibly) returning, there’s a small sliver of hope. Something for bettors to actually hang their hats on. Hill isn’t your run-of-the-mill quarterback, but his experience, confidence and understanding of Payton’s system can prove to be the catalyst the Saints offense needs right now.

To all intents and purposes, this is a must-win game for both teams. However, with the recent developments within both camps, the balance does seem to be tipping to the hosts ever so slightly. As such, the Saints as the home underdogs are starting to look more and more appealing to not only cover for ATS NFL picks but also to potentially win outright.

Dallas Cowboys vs New Orleans Saints Pick

  • NFL Picks: Saints +4.5

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Nikki Adams is a freelance sports writer that’s honed in on the world of sports betting. She joined OddsChecker in 2021 after having covered a number of major American sports, including NFL and NCAAF, for several other publications in the industry. When she’s not looking for the best betting angles and writing engaging and insightful articles, she’s likely on a tennis court or binging on reality TV.


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