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Cardinals vs. Cowboys: NFL Week 17 betting odds, preview, and pick

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December 29th, 2021

NFC playoff seeding will be on the line Sunday, as the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys host the playoff-bound Arizona Cardinals in NFL Week 17 action.

Sun, January 2 2022, 9:25 PM

DAL Cowboys

Moneyline

-230

Spread

-5.5

Total

O 52

ARI Cardinals

Moneyline

+185

Spread

+5.5

Total

U 52

Cardinals in playoffs despite three-game skid

After being the lone unbeaten team in the NFL at 7-0, the Cardinals have lost the plot since their 24-21 defeat to the Packers. That loss, which ended on an interception in the end zone by quarterback Kyler Murray, saw Murray go down with an injury and miss the next three games. However, since returning after their bye week, the Cardinals have won just one of his four starts.

Their latest defeat, a 22-16 loss to the Colts at home, saw Arizona commit 11 penalties for 85 yards — including an intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety — and turn the ball over on downs twice.

Kicker Matt Prater missed two of his three field-goal attempts, and the offense has sputtered the past two weeks without wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Running back James Conner also missed the game against Indianapolis, and Chase Edmonds was able to run for just 56 yards and a score on 16 carries. Murray was erratic, completing just 27 of his 43 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown, and his 57-yard run in the first half was the Cardinals' only big play in the first half hour.

The Cardinals have now scored just 28 points in their last two games, including their embarrassing defeat to the Lions. After topping the 30-point mark in seven of their first nine games of the season, Arizona’s offense has reached that mark just once in the last six games. The good news is the Cardinals have clinched a spot in the playoffs, but they now trail the Rams by one game in the NFC West race.

The defense has done its best, holding teams to a sixth-best mark of 20.4 points per game. However, the unit had just two sacks against the Colts, which was one of the defense's strengths to start the season.

The run defense did perform well against Jonathan Taylor, holding him to just 108 yards on 27 carries.

Cowboys roll after historic win over Washington

Dallas recorded its biggest victory over its division rival last weekend, rolling over the Washington Football Team, 56-14. The Cowboys defense recorded a pick-six and recovered a blocked punt in the end zone, to go along with four touchdown passes from quarterback Dak Prescott. The win, combined with other results around the NFL, saw the Cowboys clinch the NFC East title.

Five different players caught a touchdown in the victory, including running back Ezekiel Elliott, who ran for just 37 yards on nine carries. Prescott threw for 330 yards and did not turn the ball over, while the defense came up with a pair of interceptions. Corner Trevon Diggs hauled in his 11th interception of the year, putting him just three shy of Dick “Night Train” Lane’s record of 14 in a single season.

The Dallas defense also registered five sacks, six pass breakups, and 10 hits on the quarterback in the win, and it now leads the NFL in takeaways.

The Cowboys are allowing the 12th fewest rushing yards per game in the league, and have allowed just 56 points during their four-game win streak, albeit against teams struggling and dealing with COVID-19.

Cardinals vs. Cowboys injury report

Arizona CardinalsDallas Cowboys
LB Zeke Turner: Questionable (shoulder)
OT Tyron Smith: Questionable (ankle)
CB Breon Borders: Questionable (illness)
OT Josh Ball: Questionable (ankle)
WR Rondale Moore: Questionable (ankle)
TE Blake Jarwin: Out (hip)
RB James Conner: Questionable (heel)
CB Jourdan Lewis: Questionable (illness)
LB Markus Golden: Questionable (illness)
LB Francis Bernard: Questionable (illness)

Cardinals and Cowboys Trends

  • The Cardinals are 7-1 ATS in their eight road games this season
  • The Under is 3-2 in the Cardinals’ last five games
  • The Cardinals are 5-1 in their last six games with the Cowboys
  • The Cowboys are 12-3 ATS this season
  • The Under is 7-2 in the Cowboys’ last nine games
  • The Cowboys have won their last nine games against NFC opponents

The Verdict

Dallas might be a bit overvalued at the moment due to its four-game win streak. Three of those wins came against Washington and the Giants, who have a combined record of 10-22 this season. While Prescott had a great game last weekend, he had thrown just three touchdowns in his previous three games, with three interceptions.

That said, the Dallas defense is playing quite well, and it is very opportunistic when opposing offenses make mistakes. Arizona is making plenty of those lately, and if Micah Parsons & Co. can keep Murray in the pocket and force him to throw, it could be a long day for the visitors.

During Arizona’s three-game losing streak, it ranked near the bottom of the NFL in points per play on offense and points allowed per play on defense. Without Hopkins, Murray is struggling to get big plays in the passing game, and even if Conner returns this week from a heel injury, he will not be at 100 percent against a strong Dallas run defense.

Dallas needs the win to hold onto the No. 2 seed, while Arizona must win to have a chance to rank atop the NFC West. That said, with how both defenses are playing, I love the Under in this game.

Take the Under as the safer bet, and buy the hook for protection. For a Same Game Combo, pair the Under with a Cowboys victory.

Score prediction: Dallas 21, Arizona 17

NFL Week 17 pick: Under 52.5 (-120)

Same Game Combo: Under 52.5 / Cowboys ML (+155)

Cardinals vs. Cowboys Pick powered by The Quant Edge

Our predictive engine is calling for the Cowboys to win outright.

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