Dallas Cowboys @

Cincinnati Bengals

Sun, Dec 13
10:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 155
Odds: Cincinnati Bengals +3.5, Total: 42.5

Game Analysis

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Note: The Under 43.5 was released to subscribers as a Best Bet early this week and is no longer a Best Bet at 42.5 or lower – although I’d still lean under.

1-Star Best Bet – *Under (43.5) – Dallas (-3.5) vs CINCINNATI

Cincinnati’s offense has been propped up in Brandon Allen’s two starts by a kickoff return against the Giants and a 72-yard Tyler Boyd touchdown on a busted play versus the Dolphins. The Bengals averaged just 3.2 yppp last week excluding the Boyd touchdown and Allen didn’t complete a pass thrown 10 or more yards in the air. Even counting the Boyd TD, Allen is averaging just 4.3 yards per pass play this season and I do not expect him to improve greatly against an underrated Dallas pass defense that is much better with rookie CB Trevon Diggs on the sideline with a fractured foot. Our metrics have the Cowboys pass defense ranked in the top half of the NFL. Jourdan Lewis is allowing just 1.00 yards per cover snap in the slot (5th) and the nickelback should shut down Tyler Boyd on the inside.

The offensive tackle play in this game is setting up to be atrocious. Allen and Andy Dalton will have to contend with plenty of collapsing pockets. Dallas has played most of the season without both starting tackles Tyron Smith and La”el Collins. Backup tackle Terence Steele ranks 54th out of 57 qualifying tackles in pass blocking efficiency and he was benched three games ago in favor of sliding All-Pro guard Zack Martin to right tackle. However, now Martin is out with a calf injury and Steele was back on the field on Tuesday night. The Bengals, meanwhile, will be without starting left tackle Jonah Williams for the rest of the season due to a knee injury and backup Hakeem Adeniji won’t be able to contain edge defender Aldon Smith, who is averaging an impressive 3.3 pressures per game. On the other side, RT Bobby Hart ranks 53rd out of 57 qualifying tackles in pass blocking efficiency and he has no chance of staying in front of DE Demarcus Lawrence (15th in pass rushing efficiency).

Cincinnati’s secondary will get a boost this week in time to face the skilled Dallas wide receivers as CB Darius Phillips has been activated after missing the last four games with a groin injury. Phillips has allowed 0.55 yards per cover snap less than backup CB LeShaun Sims, so the Bengals’ pass defense should be better than it’s been lately.

Our model favors the Cowboys by 5.4 points, with a predicted total of 40.1 points, and the Under is a 1-Star Best Bet at 43.5 points (at -115 odds or better) and a Strong Opinion under 43 points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Cowboys
  • Bengals


  • Pass Plays 44.4 33.9
  • Succ Pass Plays 48.7% 47.2%
  • Sack Rate 7.0% 6.1%
  • Int Rate 2.3% 1.3%
  • Deep Pass Rate 15.1% 18.7%
  • Big Pass Yards 35.8% 44.8%
  • NYPP 5.8 6.7


  • Rush Plays 26.7 31.8
  • RB YPR 3.9 4.7
  • Stuff Rate 20.0% 15.5%
  • Succ Rush Plays 53.3% 52.0%
  • Big Rush Yards 31.7% 36.6%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.1 4.7


  • All Snaps 71.1 65.7
  • Early Down Succ 53.6% 52.0%
  • Succ Rate 50.6% 50.6%
  • Big Yards Rate 35.8% 44.3%
  • Yards Per Play 5.3 5.8
  • Fumble Lost Rate 1.6% 0.9%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 23.8 29.3
  • Run Ratio 38.2% 48.3%
  • Starting Field Pos 27.0 32.4
  • Game Control -6.0 6.0
  • Points 22.8 32.6
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