Last Updated: 2017-11-08
We are once again on hold, to a certain extent, as Ezekiel Elliott continues to appeal his six-game suspension, and obviously the Dallas Cowboys are very apprehensive about the outcome. He is the guy who really makes this team reach new heighst, and without him there might be a struggle to get a ground game going against the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons in a game that will begin at 4:25 PM ET on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Fox Network will televise this game, and while VietBet customers are watching it, they can place wagers in real time through the magic of Live Betting Ultra.
Elliott was granted a stay last week by a Court of Appeals and was available as Dallas defeated Kansas City 28-17. That was their third straight victory, bringing their record to 5-3 (both straight-up and against the points). If Elliott is unable to go, you can look for the combination of Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith, none of whom really supply the kind of explosiveness the Cowboys like to have in order to achieve proper balance. There have been 261 passing plays and 246 rushing plays for this team, and that is almost ideal.
The Falcons, to put it mildly, have had issues. They’ve lost four of their last five games, and in the game they won, they trailed going into the fourth quarter against the New York Jets. They have also failed to cover their last five games. It is too simple to blame it all on the transition this team has made from one offensive coordinator to the other, but Matt Ryan’s numbers working with Steve Sarkisian obviously don’t approach what they were in his MVP season, when he and Kyle Shanahan finally got on the same page. Ryan has averaged eight yards an attempt, which is commendable, but his ratio of 11 touchdowns to seven interceptions is ordinary.
In the odds at VietBet by which we will make our NFL picks, the Falcons are favored at home:
Atlanta Falcons -2.5 (-120)
Dallas Cowboys +2.5 (+100)
Over 50.5 points -110
Under 50.5 points -110
Atlanta averaged 32 points a game last season, and they are down a full ten points per contest this year, and obviously a lot of that has to do with the playcalling. Julio Jones, unbelievably, has only one touchdown reception, although he is on pace for more than 1300 yards. Much of the problem for the Falcons has to rest in their inability to turn yards into points. They are, in fact, second in the NFL in yards per drive, but just 25th in yards per point, and only 23rd as far as converting points in the red zone. And only two teams in the league have lousier average field position.
VietBet patrons should know that Dallas is second in the league in points per drive, as well as third-best as far as scoring touchdowns as a percentage of red zone appearances (66.7%). And over the last five games, they have been 52% successful on third down.
Atlanta’s pass rush has regressed; Vic Beasley, who led the NFL in sacks last season, has only four this year. And the Falcons have only two interceptions. We wonder if it should even matter to us about Elliott’s situation, because Atlanta’s ineptitude is definitely an operative factor, as is the Cowboys’ offensive line, which is a constant. We’re going to go ahead and move with Dallas at this number, also taking into consideration that the Falcons have already lost twice in their new building.
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