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Cowboys Look To Move One Step Closer To Playoffs As They Host Raiders

Posted by Stan Simmons on 11/27/2013 7:40:15 PM

Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have come under fire time and again for their failure to win the big one. They may get another chance to prove their critics wrong, but first they have to get back to the postseason. Dallas took a step in the right direction with a close online sports betting win over the New York Giants to climb in to a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC East, and will look to at least temporarily take sole possession of the division lead with a win over the Oakland Raiders this Thanksgiving Thursday. The Cowboys will play three of their final five regular season games at home, and need to take advantage of a favorable match up against Oakland.

Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys
Thursday November 28, 2013 – 4:30 PM ET
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
NFL Sports Betting Line: Dallas – 9.5

The Raiders will enter Thursday night’s game with just one win in their first five road games, and they have lost three of their last four games overall. Oakland is in the middle of an awful stretch in which it plays four of five away from home, and Dallas needs to capitalize on a short week at home, where it has won four of five.

NFL Betting Preview: Oakland Raiders

Rookie quarterback Matt McGloin and company came up just short in a 23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans last week, but there was a lot to like about his performance after throwing for 260 yards and a touchdown. McGloin has thrown for over 500 yards and four touchdowns with one interception through two starts, and will likely get the start ahead of the injured Terrelle Pryor again this week. Running back Rashad Jennings averaged 4.6 yards per carry against Tennessee, but finished with just 73 rushing yards on 19 carries. He should get even more touches this week against a Cowboys’ defense that hasn’t fared well against the run, as they rank 30th in that department. The Oakland defense will also need to step up against the Romo and the Dallas passing game, as they have given up an average of 258.1 yards per game through the air to this point.

NFL Betting Preview: Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys will look to take full advantage of a defense that gave up 320 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans last week, but efficiency will be just as important as moving the ball vertically. It would certainly make sense to give running back DeMarco Murray a few more touches after Dallas averaged a season-high 6.2 yards per carry last week, especially if they can take an early lead. The Cowboys’ defense has been very inconsistent all year, so keeping them fresh will be important and there is no better way to do that then running the football. That said, the Dallas offense clearly prefers to move the ball through the air, and it will remain on Romo to get the job done.

NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Raiders are playing their third road game in four weeks and will have a rookie quarterback under center on a short week Thursday. The Cowboys have certainly squandered some quality opportunities to take command of the NFC East division in the past, but they are coming off an important win that ended the Giants’ win streak and should have no problem grasping how crucial this game is to their postseason hopes. Romo and company want another opportunity to compete on the big stage, and a win this week will be crucial to those hopes.

NFL Betting Pick: Dallas Cowboys – 9.5


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