The NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys head to the nation’s capital in Week 14 to take on the surging Washington Football Team. After starting the 2021 season at 2-6, the WFT has ripped off four straight victories while the Cowboys have dropped two of their past three games.
Any divisional clash this late in the season is intriguing, but continue reading to find out why this Cowboys at Washington matchup could present some of the top football betting wagers this week.
Are the Cowboys Healthy?
The Cowboys are just 2-3 in their past five after winning six straight games following their Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition, Dallas has been without several key pieces in recent games after staying relatively healthy in the first half of the season.
Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb were absent in a Week 12 loss to Las Vegas. While not missing any time, star back Ezekiel Elliott has managed a knee injury for weeks.
After a brutal stretch where the team played three games in less than 14 days, Dallas will, fortunately, receive some extra rest before heading to Washington. These additional few days are due to playing on Thursday night last week. They will be crucial for a Cowboys team looking to get back to full strength entering the season’s final leg.
Is This the Real WFT Defense?
Despite a shaky start to the 2021 season, the Washington Football Team has put together an impressive four-game winning streak heading into Week 14. One of the most significant contributors to the turnaround has been the team’s defense.
Washington has limited opponents to 17.5 points per game during the win streak, compared to nearly 29 points per game in the first eight games.
This dominance on the defensive side of the ball has allowed Washington to lean on Antonio Gibson and the running game. The talented back has posted season-highs in touches the past two games and has taken some of the offensive load off quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
Cowboys (-4) at Washington
In this critical divisional battle, I’ll take the Cowboys to cover the four-point spread and widen the gap in the NFC East. While the defense-inspired WFT win streak is notable, this rested Dallas offense presents a unique challenge that I see Washington struggling to contain.
With Dak Prescott at quarterback, the Dallas passing offense ranks 4th in the NFL in yards while the WFT passing defense is 30th in yards allowed. When looking at the Cowboys’ offense vs. the Football Teams’ defense, one stat stood out to me more than any other. Washington’s defense allows 355.2 yards per game. The Cowboys average 416.3 yards per game. What’s interesting is that when the Cowboys gain over 355.2 yards, they’re 8-2 overall.
One issue Washington has had during their win streak is putting up points. They are 29th in red zone percentage (50%). On the other hand, the Cowboys are 12th, converting 61% of their trips into touchdowns.
Additionally, the Cowboys are undefeated (4-0) against the spread this season in games where they are favored by less than 6.5 points. On the other hand, Washington is 3-3 ATS as an underdog of 6.5 points or fewer. These numbers put the Cowboys in an excellent spot to end the WFT win streak.
Top Wagers for Cowboys at Washington
While I expect the Dallas offense to succeed against the WFT, the over-under of 47.5 points for this game seems high. In the past six games for both teams, only three of the 12 total matchups featured a greater point total than 47.5.
I plan to see a heavy dose of Gibson and the Washington running game to slow down a high-flying Cowboys offense. Although I believe Dallas wins and covers, I like a Cowboys 27-20 victory leading to the under.
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