Dallas Cowboys @

Los Angeles Rams

Sun, Sep 13
5:20 PM Pacific
Rotation: 477
Odds: Los Angeles Rams +2, Total: 51.5

Game Analysis

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Note: This game was released to subscribers as a Strong Opinion when the line was Rams +3 earlier this week. The Rams are just a lean now at +2

Lean – LA RAMS (+2) over Dallas

I wouldn’t say we’re high on the Rams or low on the Cowboys coming into the season, but this is a case where the week 1 market is getting carried away with a public team in prime time and our model sees value on the Rams.

Dallas finished as our 4th-best offense last year and they will have continuity at Offensive Coordinator (Kellen Moore) despite bringing in a new Head Coach (Mike McCarthy). We have the Cowboys rated as the 3rd-best offense for 2020 with addition by subtraction for the loss of below replacement-level TE Jason Witten and adding talented rookie WR CeeDee Lamb to the mix.

However, Dallas will be without stud RT La’el Collins in week 1. Collins missed one game last season against the Jets and the Cowboys lost as a 7-point favorite while putting up a mediocre 5.3 yards per play. Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey should lock up Amari Cooper, who gained 2.29 yprr in 2019 (8th). Although, Michael Gallup could have good success on the other side across from Troy Hill.

The Cowboys have a solid front 7 with the addition of edge rusher Everson Griffin, but the secondary is a huge question mark after losing CB Byron Jones (4th last year in yards allowed per cover snap). For all the criticism Jared Goff took following Los Angeles’ Super Bowl season, McVay is still an excellent offensive mind and the Rams finished 2019 top 10 in scoring. I expect Goff to move the ball through the air versus this soft Dallas secondary.

Overall we’re expecting home field advantage to drop to an average of 1.7 points in 2020 with mostly no fans at the games, which is in line with the market, but we have Los Angeles with a 2.4-point HFA  due to lack of divisional familiarity and greater than average travel (normally LA would get +3.1 in this spot). This means the market would have to think Dallas is 5 points better than the Rams, which I can say is simply not the case.

Compensating the win totals for strength of schedule (DAL – 9.6, LA – 8.3) reveals that the market has the Cowboys at a +3.2 rating and the Rams at +0.6. The Rams closed as a short favorite in Dallas week 15 of last season (partially due to perceived Dak Prescott hand injuries) and we’ve only seen these two teams three times since then and there hasn’t been any major personnel changes. Our model favors the Rams by 0.3 with a predicted total of 48.9, but I’ll stay away from the under because I think both these teams are prime to play in some shootouts in 2020.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Cowboys
  • Rams


  • Pass Plays 38.8 38.0
  • Succ Pass Plays 52.4% 46.8%
  • Sack Rate 3.5% 6.8%
  • Int Rate 1.9% 1.3%
  • Deep Pass Rate 18.1% 19.3%
  • Big Pass Yards 42.1% 44.9%
  • NYPP 7.8 6.0


  • Rush Plays 28.1 25.4
  • RB YPR 4.4 3.8
  • Stuff Rate 16.0% 22.4%
  • Succ Rush Plays 51.9% 47.4%
  • Big Rush Yards 35.8% 41.3%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.6 4.1


  • All Snaps 66.8 63.4
  • Early Down Succ 54.3% 51.3%
  • Succ Rate 52.6% 47.2%
  • Big Yards Rate 42.1% 44.7%
  • Yards Per Play 6.4 5.2
  • Fumble Lost Rate 0.7% 1.0%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 26.7 28.9
  • Run Ratio 42.1% 40.1%
  • Starting Field Pos 26.1 29.9
  • Game Control 1.5 -1.5
  • Points 27.1 20.1
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