Cowboys Vs. Lions Spread: Johnny Avello Would Be ‘Absolutely Shocked’ If Dallas Loses

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ezekiel elliott

Nobody could wait for Dak to come back.

Fans, bettors and sportsbook officials celebrate the expected return of Dak Prescott Sunday against the visiting Detroit Lions.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback, sidelined since Week 1, was the subject of a DraftKings prop before he even made an official announcement about starting.

The prop calls for Dak to reach 300 passing yards and three touchdowns. If that hits, it’s +380.

It’s a tall order for anyone returning from a six-week layoff, but this is Dak facing the Lions, the worst defensive team in the NFL.

Salivating yet?

Prescott’s presumed return established the spread at Dallas  -7 as he’s considered worth at least a field goal to the line.

The over-under of 48 is tantalizing, especially if bettors tweak it down and combine the bet with something else.

Dak takes over a 4-2 Cowboys team that is close to where pre-season analysis pegged them. 

Their 4-1 run without Prescott included wins over both 2022 Super Bowl contestants – the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams – along with the Washington Commanders and New York Giants.

Backup quarterback Cooper Rush did an excellent job in Prescott’s absence.

Regardless of the 26-17 setback against the 6-0 Philadelphia Eagles Sunday Night, the Cowboys are in a good place.

They are one of only four NFC teams with a winning record.  

DraftKings has installed Dallas as a -1200 selection to reach the post-season.

By the end of the weekend, the ‘Boys should be 5-2.

They are a playoff team right now.

Dallas win totals are projected highly too.

The over-under for Cowboy victories is 10-5. The Over is a slight dog of +100 at DraftKings. The Under is  -120. 

This is a playable number on both sides and a higher victory total than anyone would have projected after Prescott left game one with a broken thumb.

Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told How Bout Them.

“That team has to feel like they are in good shape right now.

“Cooper Rush gave them more than they could have asked for.

“Maybe Dak could have played last week against the Eagles but that was a tough spot to return in. This is a much better matchup for him.”

Is it ever. The Lions have been a friend to Over bettors and to rival offensive coordinators.

They give up 34 points a game and score 28.

How bad is this defense? The Lions have given up the most points in football, 170, and that’s AFTER being off for a week. Detroit had the bye in Week 6.

Avello noted:

“The Cowboys should move the ball pretty easily against this team and you would expect them to win. I would be absolutely shocked if they do not win this game.”

Bettors have several ways to wager into high expectations.

Once the individual scoring props are up, CeeDee Lamb, Zeke Elliott, Michael Gallup and Tony Pollard are all prime touchdown threats. Lamb’s yardage and one long hookup with Prescott also will be considered for bettors who would look at an over-under on Prescott’s longest completion.

Before those props materialize, bettors already observe interesting team-betting prospects.

The Cowboys are -115 to exceed 27.5 points against the Lions.

Combine that with Detroit to score under 27.5 and one has a parlay that pays +135.

Bettors can employ several angles along this line to create a reasonable payday. Some may find an edge in one of those and make a big wager.

Bettors can gain a healthy +255 if the Cowboys gain that long-overdue offensive explosion and tally more than 34 points.

The opposing variable is that Prescott is rusty in his first outing since early September. In this scenario, he misses open receivers, throws the ball too high, has a few false starts with the offense because of the timing, etc.

Some gamblers may be tempted to take Detroit to win the first half and Dallas the second.

(Gamblers may have to revisit the book on occasion to find some of their favorite wagers. Some bets come down temporarily while others are going up).

From any vantage point, there is a wealth of betting options tied to Prescott’s return.

Which weapons will Prescott choose?

Elliott had his best game in a while against the Eagles. He delivered 81 yards on 13 carries and reached the end zone. Pollard, who has outplayed Elliott for the most part, notched 44 yards on 11 carries.

In other betting news, Avello said the Cowboys’ loss to the Eagles worked out well for the book.

The public loves to bet favorites, but they also heavily support the Cowboys, especially as underdogs. The line went up to Philadelphia -7 at game time.

Brett Maher’s 59-yard field goal, which just missed in the final seconds of the game, would have rewarded all those Cowboys bettors. Instead, the book dodged a bullet.

DraftKings bettors did cash in +175 for Elliott to score, which he did on a nice third-quarter rushing play. Zeke darted left once he’d reached the secondary and found paydirt.

FanDuel bettors collected a good chunk, +340, when Lamb had the highest reception-yardage total of the game, 68. Thirty-one of those yards came on the final drive, including a 24-yard play.

He finished one yard ahead of Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown.

How’s that for drama in a game that had been long decided? There is no such thing as garbage time for a gambler.

FanDuel bettors also collected on a multi-legged parlay calling for Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts to exceed 25 yards (he had 27), Elliott to clear 40 and Brown to go over 50 yards (he had 67). That paid +250.

Assessing the Rush period

The Cowboys accomplished two things in the Rush era.

Milestone number one was keeping their season intact.

Something else happened along the way. It wasn’t noticed by the announcers, analysts or anyone surrounding the setback against the Eagles.

Rush played with confidence.

Somewhere over the last five weeks, he managed the art of a quicker drop, a faster release and a more certain approach to the game. He led them back from a 20-0 deficit to 20-17 during the third quarter.

Even on a night with three interceptions, he showed another dimension by not folding. The ‘Boys have discovered someone they can trust should Rush be needed again.