Tuesday, October 11, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (Week 6, 2011-12)

The Dallas Cowboys will have to become the first team to win a regular-season game at Gillette Stadium since 2006 if they want to avoid .500. Rob Ryan was the defensive coordinator when the Cleveland Browns upset the New England Patriots last year.

The early spread on this game is Patriots (-5.5). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick’ em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and Injury Reports from CBS Sports as of October 11, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week.

Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
New England Patriots 4-1
Dallas Cowboys 2-2

Key Injuries
DE Jason Hatcher, S Gerald Sensabaugh, G Derrick Dockery (Out), LB Jerod Mayo (Out),

Keys to the Game
  • Will the Patriots lose their first regular-season home game since 2006 (under Brady)?
  • The Cowboys have had two weeks of preparation and rest
  • How will Tony Romo respond after his meltdown against the Detroit Lions?
  • Can either defense contain the opponent’s offense?
  • Does Rob Ryan know how to defeat Tom Brady?
  • Jason Witten, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski
  • Romo vs. Brady: Fourth Quarter

The Patriots and Cowboys feature two of the NFL’s best passing offenses. Both are averaging over 330 yards per game. The difference? The Patriots are also sixth in rushing offense as they average nearly 130 yards with their ground game at almost five yards per attempt.

There are a few reasons that make me think that this could be close. Rob Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Browns when they defeated the Patriots 34-14 in 2010. Brady was 19/36 for 224 yards with a defense that was probably less talented than the Cowboys. The Cowboys should improve defensively now that many of their defensive backs are returning from injury. They’ve also had two weeks to prepare for this contest.

What it boils down to is the fourth quarter and home-field advantage. I can’t pick against Brady at Gilette Stadium. I also can’t pick Romo against Brady in the fourth quarter. I’d recommend avoiding the spread if possible. Patriots should definitely win though.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys (+5.5)
Straight: New England Patriots 31, Dallas Cowboys 28

No comments:

Post a Comment