Wager Alarm NFL Best Bets - Thursday Night Football Week 14
Dan Servodidio brings you his best bets for Thursday's NFL Week 14 contest between the Bears and Cowboys!
The Week 14 TNF matchup features an NFC showdown between two .500 squads looking to get on a roll with the playoffs nearing. The Chicago Bears (6-6) are coming off a road win over Detroit on Thanksgiving to give them a 2-game winning streak and two games out of the Wild Card. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys (6-6) suffered a tough home loss to Buffalo last Thursday and are just a game ahead of Philadelphia for the division lead.
The Cowboys enter as 3-point road favorites and the current total sits at 43.5 points, according to the Bovada Sportsbook in Las Vegas as of Wednesday evening.
Let’s now look at the best bets you should be making ahead of Thursday night’s kickoff!
While this game features two teams that have yet to prove themselves this season, it’s not surprising to see Dallas as the road favorites. Both squads are two games back of Minnesota in the NFC Wild Card race but the Cowboys have the more realistic chance of reaching the playoffs because they are the current NFC East division leaders while the Bears are third in the North. Dallas infamously hasn’t beaten anyone with a winning record this year but they have the talent on both sides of the ball to hang with those teams. Chicago, meanwhile, is on a 2-game winning streak but those wins came against bad teams in the Giants and Lions. The Bears won those games by five and four points, respectively, but the Cowboys are a big step up in competition now. The last time Chicago faced a top-10 scoring offense like Dallas, they lost 36-25 at home to New Orleans in Week 7. While the Bears have a solid defense, their offense just can’t hang with those NFL teams that can light up the scoreboard - something the Cowboys have already done this year and can easily get right back to doing.
Under 43.5 Points
Although Dallas’ offense can be high-scoring in the right matchup, they may have a tough time racking up points against the Bears’ 4th-ranked scoring defense. Plus, the Cowboys are also solid on defense with the 8th-best scoring unit in the league. When you combine these two defenses, they are allowing a total of 37 points per game - a number that’s well under the current total. Plus, both teams have been involved in low-scoring games overall lately with 22 and 41 total points in the Cowboys last two, respectively. Meanwhile, the Bears’ last six games have totaled 33, 36, 33, 24, 32 and 44 points. Each offense is struggling right now and this one could be a grind-it-out defensive battle between two squads where defense is the strength right now.
Prop Bets To Consider
Over - Amari Cooper Receiving Yards
Two weeks ago, we saw Amari Cooper get shut down by Stephon Gilmore and the Patriots defense as he was held catchless on just two targets. Cooper had the tough individual matchup vs. Gilmore but he was also still a big banged up. Last week, though, the Cowboys’ No. 1 receiver got back on track with eight catches for 85 yards. Tonight, we should see Cooper duplicate those numbers or better with Bears’ top cornerback Prince Amukumara doubtful to play with a hamstring injury. If he sits out, Chicago will have a big disadvantage in that matchup with possibly slot corner Buster Skrine moving over to guard Cooper. We should see QB Dak Prescott target Cooper a ton and he would be able to rack up the yardage with a possibility of a long score at some point.
Over - Allen Robinson Receptions
With the Bears dealing with a couple injuries in their receiving corps, Allen Robinson is seeing a ton of target volume lately and that trend should continue tonight. Robinson has 22 targets over the last two games with six and eight catches in those outings, respectively. It’s clear that Mitch Trubisky is favoring his best pass-catcher right now with the offense struggling to move the ball at times - and Robinson should have a ton of targets again tonight. Plus, if the Cowboys get out to an early lead then the Bears will have to pass more in the second half to keep up on the scoreboard - a trend that certainly favors Robinson’s receptions prop.
Over - Ezekiel Elliott Rushing Yards
Can you believe it’s been a month since Zeke rushed for over 100 yards in a game? He’s been mostly held in check the last four games with rushing totals of 47, 45, 86 and 71 yards, respectively. However, the offensive play calling is deservedly receiving a ton of criticism for the lack of Elliott touches lately - especially in the run game. Tonight’s game could be the bounceback Zeke performance that Dallas fans and fantasy football owners have been waiting for. The Chicago defense is struggling to stop the run right now without their big run-stuffer Akiem Hicks in the middle. Plus, the game script could favor the Cowboys feeding Elliott in the second half if they have the lead and try to run out the clock and put together longer drives.