The suddenly resurgent Detroit Lions look for a second consecutive victory on Sunday when they visit the Dallas Cowboys at 1 p.m. ET. Dallas is a 2.5-point favorite in the latest Cowboys vs. Lions odds, down from an opener of -3.5 in most markets. The over-under for total points scored has held steady at 44. Both NFC clubs need a win to get their seasons headed in a positive direction. The Cowboys have lost two of three but performed well in their lone home game, while the Lions are coming off an impressive upset of the Patriots following two losses to start the season. Before you make any Cowboys vs. Lions picks, check out the results from the SportsLine Projection Model.
Their proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.
It also nailed its two top-rated picks in Week 3, including the Ravens (-5.5) against the Broncos. It’s now 7-2 on top-rated picks this season, extending its run to 55-36.
Now, it has simulated Lions vs. Cowboys 10,000 times. We can tell you that the model is leaning toward the Under, but its much stronger play is on the side. It has generated a point-spread selection that should hit better than half the time, and that pick is available at SportsLine.
The model knows the Cowboys have struggled to fill the vacancies left behind by the departures of retired tight end Jason Witten and physical receiver Dez Bryant. Dallas has the second-worst passing offense in the NFL, generating 435 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions through three games. Its inability to hit plays in the passing game was a major factor in last week’s loss at Seattle.
However, Dallas has remained solid on the defensive side. The Cowboys are allowing just 132.7 passing yards per game, No. 4 in the entire NFL, and have yielded just two touchdowns through the air. The Cowboys’ 17.7 points per game allowed is good for seventh.
Just because the Cowboys have shown signs of life on defense doesn’t mean they’ll cover on Sunday.
The Lions (1-2) appeared to turn the corner in last week’s 26-10 prime-time upset of the defending AFC champion Patriots. First-year coach Matt Patricia defeated his mentor, Bill Belichick, as Detroit took command from the outset and never let New England threaten. The Lions’ defense allowed only 209 total yards and one touchdown while dominating time of possession.
Matthew Stafford threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. Detroit’s long-dormant running game broke out for 159 yards, led by rookie Kerryon Johnson (101 yards on 16 carries). The Lions’ rushing attack will be helped on Sunday by the absence of Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring).