Dallas -7 at Arizona O/U 45
Nothing to play for in this game except pride and right now Dallas appears to have much more of that than Arizona does. At 4-2 straight up and 5-1 against the pointspread since the firing of ex-head coach Wade Phillips, Dallas is one of the league’s hottest teams. This road venue is not likely to be a difficult one for the Cowboys as Arizona fans have little reason to enter with enthusiasm. Must also note that Dallas fans could storm the gates here and tilt this to more of a neutral crowd. The -6.5/-7 number is no doubt a high hurdle, but Arizona’s current string of 1-8 makes it a little easier to consider Dallas in this spot. In the quest for situational angles or technical trends that support Arizona, the only potentially significant one is the fact that this is the Cardinals’ final home game. That could have Arizona primed to give the home crowd a fully focused effort. A slight tax has apparently been added to the Dallas side here as my power ratings indicate they should be a -5 point favorite.
A side play in this game may not be the best way to initially look at this one. With Dallas now on a streak of 11 consecutive overs, it is becoming very mechanical to just play Cowboys games that way. Dallas contests have rung up an average of 58.5 points since week #5 of the NFL season. Fundamentally, the Cowboys big play attack has combined with their atrocious pass defense to give them the perfect ingredients for consistently getting over the total. Arizona has not faced an offense in this class since October 10th when they faced New Orleans. Despite playing opponents with mediocre to below average offenses in eight of the last nine weeks, Arizona has still yielded 25.8 points per game. Dallas figures to get at least to the 27 point mark here, the question becomes whether Arizona can reach 20. The Cardinals have not scored 20 points in five of the last six weeks but this Dallas defense is far to permissive for them to not hit that mark on Saturday. Rookie QB John Skelton showed improvement last week and should continue on that track versus the Dallas pass defense which has allowed 298.9 passing yards per game over the last nine weeks. One totals number to look at is the Cardinals versus non division foes. Seven of those nine games have resulted in 47 points or more which would be enough to win here. Expect that type of high scoring game here with the final reaching between 48 and 54.