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Cowboys at Patriots Betting Preview

Published on 10/16/2021
By Scott Gramling
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is in the early conversation for NFL MVP.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) at New England Patriots
Sunday 10/17, 4:25 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Cowboys-Patriots:

1. The Patriots were a home underdog in Bill Belichick’s first game as the head coach of the team. Since that Sept. 3, 2000 game, New England has gone 11-6 straight-up and 14-3 against the spread as a home underdog, with one of those losses being against Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago. That includes marks of 8-3 straight-up and 9-2 against the spread over the past 11 times that the Patriots have been getting points at home.

2. This is the kind of spot in which the Cowboys have struggled in recent years, as Dallas is 4-8 both straight-up and against the spread as a road favorite since the start of the 2018 season, which includes records of 1-6 straight-up and against the spread as a road favorite of fewer than 4 points. All but one of the past nine games the Cowboys have played against AFC East opponents have gone Under the total—the only one of those games in which more than 41 points were scored was a 24-22 Dallas road loss to the Jets in October 2019 in a game with a total that closed at 43.5.

3. The Cowboys enter Week 6 as one of only six NFL teams that’s averaging more than 5 yards per carry. Bill Belichick tends to get his teams properly prepared for such opponents, going 15-5 straight-up and 14-6 against the spread in his coaching career against opponents that are averaging at least 5 rushing yards per attempt. Belichick’s teams have outscored such opponents by an average margin of 8.7 points over those 20 games.

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