Cowboys, Bears Get Early Jump on Thursday Night #DALvsCHI
Bovada Staff : December 1, 2014
For a change, nobody can complain about not having enough time to prepare for Thursday Night Football. That’s because this week’s participants, the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears, were both in action on Thanksgiving Day. They’ll meet at Soldier Field (8:25 PM ET, NFLN) with the Cowboys expected to open as small favorites on the NFL odds board.
The Cowboys (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS) will probably draw most of the betting action, despite losing 33-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles (+3 away) in Week 13. Dallas is still firmly in the NFC Wild Card hunt despite going 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS over the past five games. The Bears (5-7 SU and ATS), on the other hand, can pretty much kiss their season good-bye after dropping a 34-17 decision to the Detroit Lions (–7.5 at home).
And yet you could make a compelling argument for betting on the Bears this week. Dallas is an awful cold-weather team, going 8-8 SU and 5-11 ATS in their last 16 road games in December. That includes last year’s 45-28 loss at Soldier Field. Although to be fair, that was with Josh McCown’s amazing fill-in stint for Jay Cutler. The Bears have also won back-to-back home games SU and ATS heading into this matchup. Granted, it was against the Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4), but a win is a win.
Of course, if you’re going to give Chicago credit for those cheap victories, you also have to praise the Cowboys for their last two road wins, over the Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5) and the New York Giants (+4). But the “Boys” didn’t get paid in their 31-28 win over Big Blue. They almost didn’t win that game at all; it took a Dez Bryant touchdown with 1:01 left on the clock for Dallas to get the duke.
The big question for the Bears will be their motivation going down the stretch. This has been an awful season, filled with injuries and in-fighting, and things only got worse on Friday when linebacker Lance Briggs was lost for the year to a groin injury. Briggs missed the Thanksgiving Day tilt with Detroit after getting hurt in the win over Tampa Bay, and it showed. The 12-year veteran has already told reporters he doesn’t expect to return to Chicago once his contract runs out at the end of the season.
Dallas, meanwhile, has plenty to play for this Thursday. Plenty has been said about Tony Romo’s 12-17 winning record in December, but that’s a red herring: Romo himself has played brilliantly, throwing 34 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions stretching back to 2009. Cowboy haters have also given owner Jerry Jones plenty of flak for his drafting record, but Jones has done a very good job of rebuilding the offensive line in front of Romo, taking center Travis Frederick and offensive guard Zack Martin with his last two first-round picks. Romo might be cold out there on Thursday, but at least he’s bringing protection.