NFL Pick 11-26-09
November 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm ET by Dwayne Bryant
Happy Thanksgiving! My NFL Pick for 11-26-09 is:
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys – 4:15 p.m. ET on CBS
Thanksgiving Day Game of the Year: Dallas Cowboys -13.5
Yes, I’m a Cowboys fan. Always have been. Always will be. But this is definitely not a “homer pick.” I would not put my 14-0 football streak or 7-0 GOY record in 2009 on the line with a “homer pick.” I’ve only bet two Dallas games this season. One was an early season teaser that won. The second time was when they hammered Atlanta 37-21 a few weeks ago. So I know the ebb and flow of this Cowboys team very well. This is definitely the time to back them again.
Most people underestimate how HUGE of an edge the Cowboys have by playing this annual Thanksgiving Day home game. Just think about the logistics. Both teams played on Sunday. Dallas played at home, so there is no travel issue for them. Oakland, on the other hand, played at home on Sunday. So they have to travel to Arlington, Texas on a super-short week. That in itself is a HUGE edge for the Cowboys.
This game could not set up any better for us. The Cowboys are coming off two horrible performances. Two weeks ago, they managed a late TD in a 17-7 loss at Green Bay. This past Sunday, Dallas scores another late TD to escape with an ugly 7-6 home win over the Redskins. Now they’re being asked to cover a 2 TD spread against the Raiders, who are coming off a huge upset home win over the previously 7-2 Bengals. As a result, the opening line of Dallas -14 has been bet down to 13.5 in some books. I strongly recommend betting this right now at 13.5, given that 14 is such a key number in football.
Let’s not forget that the Cowboys’ loss at Green Bay was following a huge emotional revenge win at Philadelphia, making that game an extremely tough letdown spot for Dallas. And the Packers were coming off an embarrassing 10-point loss at lowly Tampa Bay, making the Dallas game a huge emotional bounce-back spot for the Packers. Also, the Raiders upset of the Bengals wasn’t actually that big of a surprise to me, given that the Bengals were coming off a huge emotional win at Pittsburgh in a game that gave them the AFC North lead.
Now we have the Raiders coming into Texas on a super-short week and coming off a huge emotional upset victory. This is a classic letdown spot for the Raiders. Remember Oakland’s shocking 13-9 upset home win over the Eagles? Remember what happened next? The Raiders went on the road and were absolutely destroyed by the Jets, 38-0. The Cowboys are a step up in class from the Jets. Just look at Dallas’ other home games this season and you’ll see wins by 21 over Seattle, 16 over Atlanta and 14 over Carolina. So having seen that, do you really think Dallas won’t beat the Raiders at home by at least 14?
The only other time Dallas put up back-to-back stinkers this season was when they blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost in Denver, then followed that up by needing OT to escape with a win at lowly Kansas City. What happened next? They came home and hammered a pretty good Atlanta team, 37-21. As I mentioned earlier, I was on Dallas in that game and I’ll be on them in this one. I just know this team so well.
Oakland is 30th in the league in stopping the run, allowing 157.7 rushing yards per game. Dallas is #8 in the league in rushing offense, averaging 132.3 rushing yards per game. HUGE edge there for Dallas. Dallas will pound the ball at the Oakland front, which will wear down in the fourth quarter (maybe even earlier due to the short week). That success on the ground will also open things up in the passing game, especially play-action passes.
Dallas has a huge edge in talent. Sprinkle in the scheduling dynamics and each team’s emotional state after this past Sunday’s results, and we have the ingredients for a blowout. I’m calling it a 21-point win for the Cowboys. Take Dallas as my Annual Thanksgiving Day Game of the Year.
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