At this point of the season, every team needs a win, maybe apart from those seeking to tank and pick up an earlier draft pick (although no team would intentionally do that, would they, eh Colts fans?).
For the vast majority, wins are what keeps fans renewing their tickets, buying into the dream that one day their team could be in the big game and perhaps, just perhaps, lifting that famous Lombardi Trophy.
On Thursday night, two teams who harboured genuine hopes of at least the playoffs, and maybe more will meet in Louisiana at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, the New Orleans Saints have lost their last four and have dropped down to third in the NFC South and are in real danger of missing the playoffs.
Their opponents, the Dallas Cowboys stood at 7-2 a couple of weeks back and were in the talk for the top seed in the NFC, however two defeats in their last two have dropped them to 7-4 and they now need to win to secure top spot in the NFC East with Washington starting to close the gap.
It all leaves things delicately poised for Thursday Night’s game with plenty on the line for both teams. We’re going to take a closer look at the game now with odds provided by BetRivers Sportsbook.
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Personnel Issues For Both Teams
New Orleans Saints may well have a new quarterback starting the game this week. Trevor Siemian has started the last four games after Jameis Winston (pictured) went down with injury, but this week reports suggest Taysom Hill, the all-round player, could start at quarterback.
There are slight concerns about Hill’s foot injury, but the signs are that if he makes it through practices this week healthy, then he will get the start ahead of Siemian.
A change is not a surprise given that with Siemian under center, the Saints have lost all four games, while Hill has been utilised in almost all aspects of the offense, as a backup QB, receiver and runner.
In 2020, Hill started four games at QB for the Saints, hitting 82 of 114 passes for 834 yards, amassing two touchdowns but also throwing two interceptions. However, he also ran in four touchdowns and led the Saints to a 3-1 record during that run.
With the Bucs sailing clear at the top of the NFC South, the Saints need a win to boost their Wildcard chances especially with so many teams sitting around the 4, 5 and 6 win mark in the conference.
Covid Strikes Cowboys Head Coach
Four of Dallas’ first team coaching staff missed last weeks defeat to the Raiders due to testing positive for Covid-19, and this week head coach Mike McCarthy has also tested positive, meaning it will be defensive co-ordinator Dan Quinn that will handle head coaching duties against the Saints.
Having lost both their last two, and three of their last four, the Cowboys season could go seriously wrong if they don’t arrest this slide in form.
The Cowboys do have some good news on the injury front with Defensive End Demarcus Lawrence expected to start against the Saints, while wide receiver Amari Cooper, who adds an extra dimension to the Cowboys offense, is likely to be a gametime decision as to whether he is fit enough to contribute.
Cowboys @ Saints Odds And Match Tips
BetRivers have the Cowboys as the -4 favourites to win the game and they are also -190 on the moneyline bet.
I do think that is being a little generous to the Cowboys given their recent performances but I suppose it is also an indication of how out of sorts the Saints have been over the last few weeks, especially on offense, but also on their much vaunted defense too.
I do think that the Cowboys will win the game and I think they’ll cover that handicap so I’d take them with BetRivers at -114 on the spread market and also the -190 on the win.
In terms of the Over/Under bet, 47.5 points does seem a little on the low side to me, especially with the Cowboys offense able to put up 30+ points regularly, so I would take the over 47.5 points here at -112.
It should be a hugely interesting game on Thursday night, so remember to tune in to see who makes a big step towards the end of season playoffs and join us back tomorrow for our review of the game.