Cowboys Field-Goal Favorites at Oakland for Sunday Night Football

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The Dallas Cowboys, with a rejuvenated Dak Prescott and a reinforced defense, also take two positive trends into a do-or-done game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.

The Cowboys are listed as a three-point road favorite against the Raiders with a 45-point total for the Week 15 Sunday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The OddsShark NFL Database shows that the Cowboys are 8-2 straight-up and 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games as a favorite on the road, as well as a commendable 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS when laying 3.5 or fewer points. Bettors sizing up the underdog Raiders and QB Derek Carr will have to measure their desultory defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14 against a 9-2 ATS mark in their last 11 games after consecutive ATS losses.

The fortunes of the Cowboys, who are 7-6 SU and ATS, have been yoked to the health of their offensive line. While RT La’el Collins (back) is listed as questionable, he has been playing without practicing over the past few games, so he should be good to go for a likely matchup against OLB Khalil Mack, edge rusher extraordinaire. Otherwise, the Cowboys, who are 5-1 SU in their last six night games, have a good matchup in the passing phase.

The Raiders allow a whopping 7.7 yards per pass and a have a NFL-low two interceptions, and Cowboys WR Dez Bryant has been very productive over the past few games.

The Dallas rushing game has been serviceable of late with an Alfred Morris-Rod Smith rotation in place of suspended star Ezekiel Elliott.

Regarding the Raiders, who are 6-7 SU and 4-8-1 ATS, the big question is whether they will come out with some urgency after mailing in the first three quarters against Kansas City. It isn’t overly auspicious that the Raiders are 3-7 SU and ATS in their last 10 home games as underdogs of 3.5 or fewer points, nor is it promising that No. 1 WR Amari Cooper (hamstring) will not be available to take advantage a young Dallas defensive secondary.

The Raiders will need to coax some consistency out of receivers such as WR Johnny Holton in order to test the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis and SS Xavier Woods. Oakland RT Marshall Newhouse could also have his hands full against DE DeMarcus Lawrence, an elite pass rusher in his own right.

Oakland RB Marshawn Lynch has five touchdowns in as many games, but the Cowboys rush defense has been fortified considerably now that OLB Anthony Hitchens and OLB Sean Lee are healthy again.

The favored team is 4-0 SU in the last four games of this matchup. Five of the Cowboys’ last six games have gone under, and the total has also gone under six of the last eight times that the Cowboys were favored on the road by 3.5 points or less.

Man City get test v. Tottenham on Matchweek 18 betting slate

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Thanks to Manchester City, the futures market in the English Premier League hinges on wagering on who will attain the top-four finish that secures an automatic berth into the 2018-19 Champions League.

Buoyed by a derby-day win at Manchester United last week, City are in deep minus money on the EPL championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Manchester United, 11 points adrift with 21 games left, is the nominal second favorite.

There is, however, some value in top four props. Aforementioned Manchester United (-900) and Chelsea (-400) offer plenty of chalk. Liverpool (-140) and Tottenham Hotspur (even) still have a modicum of value. Arsenal (+160) have been an enigma. But Burnley (+6600) are staying up with the big boys due to strong away play and tight defense

Leicester City (+4000) also loom as a value play, but the cachet the Foxes created with their 2015-16 league title means they are more likely to draw action than the other darkhorse.

Manchester City (-200 on the Matchweek 18 betting lines), with their record 15-win streak in the league are home against Tottenham Hotspur (+475, draw +330) which will be missing defenders Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez. It is hard to see how Spurs will have a path to a result with such a sub-optimal back line.

Brighton & Hove Albion (+155) have scored but once in their last five starts, and few teams defend better than Burnley (+215, draw +185). Even at -130 the under on the 2.0 total is still good value.

Leicester City (-115) offer great value at home against relegation-zone Crystal Palace (+330, draw +245). Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez has had the hot boot of late (three goals in four games). The under on the 2.5 total is tempting, to say the least, since Crystal Palace have yet to score an away goal in league play.

West Bromwich Albion (+500) take a 304-minute goal drought into action against Manchester United (-185, draw +290) in a Sunday betting matchup. Man United are just 3-3-2 over its last eight games against West Brom, and a low-scoring defensive struggle could unfold here.

Bournemouth (+500) are on a five-match winless skid as it hosts somewhat inconsistent Liverpool (-215, draw +360) on Sunday. The form says Liverpool can right itself away from the critical eyes of its supporters at Anfield, especially with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho all projected to start.

And Everton (-150), which have taken 10 of 12 possible points from its last four games, host struggling Swansea City (+425, draw +260) in a Monday matchup. Against such a lower-placed side, Everton and Wayne Rooney likely will be on the attack, and the over on the 2.5 total offers a meaty +110 payout.

Broncos favored on road against Colts for Thursday Night Football

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In a prime-time matchup between inconsistent teams that are playing for pride, bettors might want to zone in on who could be motivated to break some negative betting trends.

The Denver Broncos are listed as a 2.5-point road favorite against the Colts with a 51.5-point total for the NFL Week 15 Thursday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

It has been more than a full 365 days since the Broncos, who are 0-8 straight-up and against the spread in their last eight road games, have won away from home. Getting a struggling Colts team on a short week would seem like a golden opportunity for the Broncos to get off the schneid, although Indianapolis is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games after consecutive losses.

The Broncos are also 0-6 SU and ATS in their last six games in Indianapolis, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, but all of those were with Peyton Manning quarterbacking one team or the other. Both teams’ identities have changed dramatically in the last two seasons, and not for the better.

The Broncos, who are 4-9 SU and 3-9-1 ATS, have a promising matchup in the passing phase for a change. Wideout Demaryius Thomas (four TDs in the last six games) is on a tear and the Colts come in allowing an NFL-worst 8.2 yards per pass and missing starting CBs Nate Hairston (concussion) and Rashaan Melvin (hand). Quarterback Trevor Siemian is also coming off a turnover-free game against the New York Jets in Week 14.

Denver has shut down RG Ron Leary (back) for the season, so it’s unclear how much one should expect from RB C.J. Anderson and the running game. Of course, Denver really only needs its offense to produce 2-3 scoring drives a game and not leave OLB Von Miller and the defense in perilous positions.

The Colts, who are 3-10 SU and 6-7 ATS, are struggling to keep pass rushers off young QB Jacoby Brissett and have allowed an NFL-worst 52 sacks. That hardly seems auspicious going into a matchup against Miller and other pass rushers such as DE Shelby Harris and OLB Shaquil Barrett.

With Chris Harris and Aqib Talib on the corners for Denver, it is hard to foresee a breakout from No. 1 WR T.Y. Hilton, whom Brissett has struggled to connect with in recent games. The outlook is much better for TE Jack Doyle against a Broncos defense that does struggle covering inside receivers, so if Indianapolis is to win, it might come through Brissett and Doyle cashing in on any and all red-zone visits. Denver tied for the league worst with 26 touchdown passes allowed.

The Colts face a tough matchup in the rushing phase. Denver allows a league-low 3.3 yards per rush, and Indianapolis will have to spot RB Frank Gore after he had 36 rushes in ankle-deep snow against Buffalo last Sunday.

One should read very little into the Broncos being 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 Thursday games and the Colts being an even more sterling 11-1 SU and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Thursday contests. Both teams have tailed off considerably in the last two seasons.

The total has gone under in six of the Broncos’ last seven games against teams with losing records. The total has also gone under in nine of the Colts’ last 11 games.

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