While Jay Cutler’s thumb injury might boost the Dallas Cowboys’ chances of defeating the Chicago Bears, Dallas brings a negative against-the-spread trend into the Sunday Night Football betting matchup.
The Cowboys are listed as seven-point favorites with a total of 44.5 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cowboys are 9-1 straight-up but 1-9 against the spread in their last 10 home games where they were favored by 6.5 or more points, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The visiting team is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games in this matchup.
The Bears are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. Cutler (sprained thumb) is not practicing, and if he’s down, the Bears will turn to backup QB Brian Hoyer.
Chicago’s offense is ranked 31st of 32 NFL teams after two weeks. Chicago’s primary WR Alshon Jeffery (knee) could be affected by injury, but WR Kevin White is an emerging talent. Running back Jeremy Langford and his blockers might be able to have some positive results against a Dallas defense which is allowing 4.8 yards per attempt.
Dallas, which is coming off a Week 2 victory against the Washington Redskins, is 5-2 SU in its last seven games after winning as an underdog. Rookie QB Dak Prescott has been serviceable while throwing mostly to slot WR Cole Beasley and TE Jason Witten, who has a favorable matchup. Outside WR Dez Bryant could also feast against journeyman CB Tracy Porter.
The Bears have two big-name defenders in ILB Jerrell Freeman and ILB Danny Trevathan, but have struggled to contain the running game so far this season. Dallas rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott will have the opportunity to shine in the Sunday Night Football matchup.
Chicago lost their first road game against the Houston Texans in Week 1. The total has gone under in four of the Bears’ last five games on the road after a loss on the road.
Vince Young is hoping his football career isn’t over.
Young has hired agent Leigh Steinberg, who announced on Twitter today that Young has a “dream of playing more football.”
That Steinberg used the word “dream” suggests that he and Young realize it will be an uphill battle to get back to the NFL. Young hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2011, when he threw four touchdown passes and nine interceptions for the Eagles. He has spent time with the Bills, Packers and Browns since then but never made it past the preseason.
The fledgling Spring League has already said it would be interested in Young, so he’s got someone interested in him. But the Spring League is a long, long way from the NFL. It’s highly likely that Young has played his last NFL game, even if, at age 33, he’s not quite ready to say definitively that he’s done.
Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly was not invited to the Scouting Combine. Or perhaps he was invited, only to later learn it was a non-vite or an un-vitation.
According to Bill Polian of ESPN, Kelly initially was invited to the Combine, only to have that invitation rescinded by the league office. Polian, who signed Chad’s uncle Jim Kelly in 1986 and has been close to Kelly’s family for decades, indicated that the family isn’t sure why the invitation was rescinded.
It’s obvious why Kelly won’t be at the Combine: The NFL implemented a new rule this year that players who have been convicted of violent crimes won’t be permitted, and Kelly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct two years ago as part of a case in which he was initially accused of punching two people, threatening to shoot up a bar with an AK-47 and resisting arrest.
What’s unclear is why the league would initially invite Kelly, only to rescind that invitation later. It may be that this new policy hasn’t been thoroughly considered, and the league is still deciding which types of offenses merit exclusion from the Combine. A disorderly conduct plea might not necessarily keep a player from the Combine, but when that plea stemmed from an incident in which the player was initially accused of violence and serious threats, the NFL steers clear.