After winning the NFC North, the Lions head down to Big D to face the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. Dallas has lost two in a row, but remain very much in the playoff race. The Lions are led by its running back combo of Jahmyr Gibbs (872 yards) and David Montgomery (910). No NFL team has had two running backs go over 1,000 yards in the same season since 2009. The Cowboys defense ranks 19th against the run.
NFL: Lions vs. Cowboys - Odds, Prediction & Picks
Lions vs. Cowboys Analysis
The Lions clinched their first division title since 1993 with last week’s win over the Vikings. They can finish anywhere from 1-3 in the NFC depending on the results over the next two weeks. The easiest path to the 1 seed is for the Niners and Eagles to each lose a game and for the Lions to win out. But Detroit hasn’t won in Dallas since 2011.
Injury Report: The Lions remain relatively healthy for this time of year. Starting OL Taylor Decker missed practice on Wednesday with a groin injury. If he can’t go Saturday, the Lions would have to shuffle their offensive line around. DB CJ Gardner-Johnson is back to practicing since being designated to return off of the Injured list.
Dallas is a game back of the Eagles in the NFC East with two games to play. Cowboy fans (and haters) have seen this show before where the Cowboys surge midway through the season only to fade down the stretch. Dallas has lost two in a row. Quarterback Dak Prescott has played at an MVP level this season and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb leads the NFL with 109 catches.
Injury Report: The Cowboys injury list Wednesday including back-up running back Rico Dowdle, DL Chuma Edoga and starting OL Zach Martin and Tyron Smith. Martin is likely to play, but there are some questions around Smith who is dealing with a back injury. Like the Lions, the Cowboys have an outstanding offensive line when healthy.
Lions vs. Cowboys Key Points and Trends
Dallas has won 15 straight home games. The Cowboys longest home winning streak all-time is 18.
The total of 53.5 posted at sportsbooks was the highest opening total for any NFL game this season.
Detroit is 19-6 in their last 25 games against the spread. They have been underdogs twice this season and have gone 1-1 in those games.
Lions vs. Cowboys Match Prediction
The next two games are gravy for the Lions. They did the hard part already, winning the NFC North, now they can jockey for playoff positioning by beating the Cowboys and Vikings in the last two weeks.
Detroit still has a lot to play for. So do the Cowboys, who have also clinched a playoff spot, but would like an NFC East title and a first-round home game. Yes, Dallas gets overrated sometimes, but they are good. Dak Prescott is having the best season of his career and CeeDee Lamb is as good a wide receiver as you’ll find in the NFL. Prescott moves so well in the pocket, he keeps plays alive.
The Cowboys being six-point favorites is a bit of a surprise. Detroit has a better record, and if you look deep at the match-up, you can see that the Lions match up well. Detroit should be able to run the ball on the Cowboys and that opens things up for Jared Goff in the passing game.
What kind of mindset are the Lions in for this one? Will they have a let-down after the big win over Minnesota? They don’t want to get down early.
Lions vs. Cowboys Best Bet
We’ve been on a good streak with the Lions, and I like them to cover this spread, if not win the game outright. Look for the Lions to establish the run with Gibbs and Montgomery early and for it to be close late. The Cowboys track record in the final minutes of games isn’t good.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.