Two of the top teams in opposing conferences will square off in the 4:00 hour of Week 16 football today as Andrew Luck travels to Dallas to do battle with Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. Both squads are immensely talented on offense, but still have some holes on defense. It should provide for an exciting battle, while both groups still jockey for playoff positioning. But perhaps one of the biggest storylines in the lead-up to this contest is the status of DeMarco Murray’s hand. While he is expected to suit up, you have to wonder just how effective he’ll be at rushing the football and in protecting Tony Romo. This should be one of the best games of the week and we’ve got your betting needs covered for the second last NFL Sunday of the year. Read on below for a detailed game breakdown and an official wager.
Colts vs. Cowboys Betting Odds:
Indianapolis Colts +3.5 (-115)
@ Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-105)
Over 54.5 (-110)
Under 54.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Colts vs. Cowboys Pick:
Even though DeMarco Murray has a broken hand it’s expected he’s going to play today and be fully active in all sets for the Cowboys. That has to be a tad worrisome for the Dallas coaching staff but in a game of this magnitude they’ll need all hands on deck if they’re to dispose of a talented Colts squad. For Indy as well they’re not without a key injury concern of their own as it’s believed that stud receiver T.Y. Hilton will need to sit out of this contest. But with Luck at the helm he can make any receiver a threat, and the likes of Fleener, Allen, Moncrief, and Wayne will all be able to step up in his absence.
Murray won’t be nearly as effective as he normally is. Aggravating the injury is a distinct possibility, while he won’t catch passes as well or block as well either. The other negative thing for the Cowboys moving the ball is the fact that Vontae Davis is a shutdown corner and should be able to take away or limit the effectiveness of Dez Bryant. Right now Dallas is far too dependent on the Romo-to-Bryant connection, and if that’s not going, without a fully healthy DeMarco Murray, Dallas could struggle to move the chains. Indy’s secondary has really stepped up in recent weeks and won’t conceded points as easily as the Eagles did last week.
On the other side of the ball, as previously mentioned even without T.Y. Hilton the Colts will roll into Texas with a ton of offensive threats. The Cowboys collection of misfits on defense was solid through the first half of the season, but recently they’ve struggled shutting down opposing offenses. Andrew Luck is a firm MVP candidate and should bolster that claim with another big-time effort today. Dallas musters virtually no pass rush and that should give Luck all kinds of time and space in the pocket to do damage. They enter with the fifth-worst sack total in the NFL and that should be welcome news to the Colts offensive line who have been under a lot of duress in recent weeks. As a result, Luck should be able to move the chains single-handedly on Sunday. Dallas is brutal against the pass and even worse against the rush. Dan ‘Boom’ Herron should be able to break off some big gains and keep the Cowboys defense in check.
With the Eagles losing somehow, some way on Saturday evening, the Cowboys can breathe a little easier and might take their foot off the pedal. The Colts are still charging hard for homefield throughout the post-season and will be eager to put on a show on one of the game’s grandest stages in Dallas, Texas. Expect a bit of letdown performance from Dallas following an emotional win last week vs. Philly, and look for the Colts to take full advantage. They’re a motivated group and will be ready to put on a show.
PICK = Colts +3.5 (-115)