Cowboys moneyline -130 vs Seattle—3 units
There is a lot of hype around the Seahawks right now but I feel like they’re the wrong side in this game for a few reasons. First, a lot of the big wins Seattle had at the end of the year came at home – the win against Kansas City was predictable because KC’s run defense is terrible and they were able to keep the ball away from Mahomes and hold the ball for 36 minutes. Prior to that, the Monday night win against the Vikings (a game I released Seattle for 2.5 units) looked a lot more impressive at the time until everyone saw Kirk Cousins and Minnesota bottom out afterwards.
Both teams in this game want to run the ball but it’s not even close which team has the better run defense – Seattle gives up 4.9 ypc, Dallas gives up 3.8. Seattle allowed Melvin Gordon to rush for 113 yards on 7.1 ypc, Gurley 120 yards on 7.5 ypc, and McCaffrey 125 yards on 7.4 ypc. I don’t see them slowing down Zeke.
Russell Wilson is amazing in primetime but the Cowboys shutdown Drew Brees and the Saints in primetime. If that game was played last week instead of a month ago I assure you that the public money would be on Dallas in this game instead of Seattle.
This will be a close game that comes down to a few big plays in the 4th quarter and, even though Wilson is the better quarterback, Dak doesn’t get any credit for his 4th quarter play – his passer rating in the 4th quarter this year when the game is tied or Dallas is trailing is 150.5. Dak doesn’t fear the moment and I have no problem backing him in a playoff game when he has Zeke to lean on to put him in manageable spots.
Seattle put together a great effort this year but I think the run stops tonight. They lost their last two road playoff games by a combined 23 points (@ Atlanta in ‘17 and @ Carolina in ‘16) and that was when they had the Legion of Boom. A 3 point road win @ Carolina in November this year where they gave up 476 yards looks a lot less impressive now. So does a 27-24 home win against the Packers on a short-week/Thursday Night Football spot for Green Bay in a game Mike McCarthy lost for them.
This is a close game and will come down to the wire but the Cowboys find a way to win. Cowboys win something like 20-17.