One of the best NFL betting matchups of Week 15 features two of the hottest teams from each conference in the Dallas Cowboys and the Indianapolis Colts.
The Cowboys (8-5) are coming off a monster division win over the Eagles and have now won five straight games. Like the Cowboys, the Colts (7-6) have played like a much different team in the second half of the season. They’ve won six out of their last seven games with their only loss coming against the Jaguars in Jacksonville in Week 13.
The Colts are led by quarterback Andrew Luck, who is playing the best football of his career. Over the last seven weeks, Luck is completing more than 71 percent of his passes at an incredible 8.13 yards per attempt. His passer rating has skied to 111.7, but the credit needs to go to their offensive line.
In those seven weeks, Luck has been sacked just six total times. The Colts are keeping Luck upright, and that has made them a force to reckon with in the AFC.
The Colts will enter this game as a three-point favorite with 888Sport. On the season, the Colts are 2-1-1 as a home favorite against the spread, while the Cowboys are 3-2 as a road underdog this season.
One thing that needs to be considered is the health of both teams. The Colts are finally starting to get healthy, and that is why you are seeing a much-improved team. However, one injury to monitor in this game is the status of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
Hilton missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and he is questionable to play. But we have seen this story before. Last week, Hilton missed two days of practice but was still able to torch the Texans' secondary for 199 yards on nine receptions. If he can play, he will and expect him to do so at a high level. But if he does miss this game, the Colts' offense takes a significant hit.
On the Cowboys side of the ball, their offensive line has taken some hits. On Sunday, All-Pro guard Zack Martin re-injured his knee and hasn’t practiced all week. If he does not play, it will be rookie Connor Williams replacing him. For a team that is built around their running game, Martin’s absence would be a significant loss.
With Dallas coming off such an emotional win last week that essentially won them the division; I expect a slight letdown this week. The Colts need to finish the season on a three-game winning streak to make the playoffs; bet on them to win and cover the spread with 888Sport.
Since the trade of Amari Cooper, Dallas has looked like a different team. Over the last five weeks, the Cowboys are averaging 24.4 points per game. Still not ideal, but that’s up from 19.2 in the first eight games of the season. Cooper has provided the Cowboys with a true No.1 receiver and has improved the play of everyone on the team, including Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Speaking of Elliott, he has been on fire as of late, tallying 858 total yards over the last five weeks. Against the Eagles, Elliott touched the ball 40 times as he and Cooper carried the Cowboys’ offense to victory. If Dallas wants to win their sixth-straight game in a row, Elliott is going to need to put this team on his back once again.
NFL bookmakers, including Karamba have the over/under set at 47, which is the fifth-highest point spread of the week. While the Cowboys and Colts have improved their offensive output as of late, a line of 47 feels too high.
With the injuries to both the Cowboys and the Colts’ offense, I expect for both teams to lean on their defense to keep this one close. Over the last four games, the Colts are allowing just 15.3 points per game, while the Cowboys are giving up just 18.8. Each defense has improved significantly in the second half of the season.
While this game certainly has shoot-out potential, expect it to be fairly low-scoring for most of the game. So bet the under with Karamba.
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