Thursday Night Football Preview

November 30, 2023

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

“Thursday Night Football” gets the Week 13 NFL slate rolling, and sports bettors have a decent matchup to dive into, as the Seattle Seahawks travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. These two playoff teams from a season ago enter this matchup with a full week’s worth of rest despite the game being on Thursday night, as both teams played on Thanksgiving.

The Cowboys have been one of, if not the, best teams in the NFL over the last few weeks, especially when playing at Jerry World. On the flip side, Seattle has cooled off in recent weeks, having lost three of its last four games after starting the season 5-2.

The Seahawks will likely be without running back Kenneth Walker, making things more complicated with how this Cowboys team is playing right now. Defensive end Leonard Williams is also listed as questionable. The Cowboys are in better shape, with a bulk of their core players ready to roll.

Let’s look at this matchup from a betting perspective, as this is an intriguing “TNF” matchup…

Dallas -8.5 (-110)

What to like about this line…

  • The Cowboys are dialed in entering this matchup against the Seahawks, having won three straight games since losing to the Eagles in Week 9. The Dallas offense has put up 42 points per game on average in their last three matchups and currently ranks first in the NFL with a season average of 31.5.
  • Dak Prescott is playing like an MVP candidate with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last four games. That’s a recipe for success against any team in the league.
  • Prescott will have his full arsenal of weapons in CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Tony Pollard, Jake Ferguson and Brandin Cooks, among others. Furthermore, Dallas has been dominant at home, with its first five wins coming by 20-plus points, and is 11-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 13 game in Arlington.
  • Offense aside, the Dallas defense is stout. With Seattle likely down Kenneth Walker, they have a chance to keep this sputtering Seahawks’ offense in check. Quarterback Geno Smith has struggled the last few weeks, throwing only three touchdown passes to two interceptions in his previous four games. The 49ers limited Smith to 180 passing yards last week at home, and his foe is no easier this week.

What not to like about this line…

  • While the Cowboys have been impressive throughout the season, they have yet to beat a team with a winning record. Seattle enters this matchup at 6-5, so a win here would give the Cowboys their first win of the season against a quality opponent. This line opened close to a field goal and has ballooned all the way up to over a touchdown, so betting the Cowboys at this point will be at the peak of the market.
  • Dallas sets up well for this game on paper, but it’s hard not to wonder if complacency could set in for them, given their dominant victories as of late. Could they be in for a reality check?
  • Seattle has also been on a downward trend the last few weeks, are the Seahawks due for a bounce back? Two things that have evaded the Cowboys since the Bill Parcells era are discipline and accountability. The Cowboys are like the Chargers and Vikings, constantly finding ways to lose games they have no business losing.
  • Is this a trap spot for a Cowboys squad that has beat up on bottom feeders? Pete Carroll owns a 54-40-3 record ATS as a betting underdog for his career.

Over/Under 47.5 (-110)

What to like about the over…

  • Well, the Cowboys managed to go over this number on their own a few weeks ago against the New York Giants. While that will likely not happen in this game, they could certainly do a lot of the heavy lifting to get it within spitting distance, needing very little from Seattle.
  • These two are 12-10 to the over combined this season. The Cowboys offense is one of the best squads in the league, while this Seahawks defensive unit is middle-of-the-pack at best, allowing 22.6 points per game (22nd) and 348.5 yards per game (23rd) on average.
  • If the Cowboys continue with their winning ways, Prescott should be able to carve up this Seattle secondary. The over has cashed in nine of the last 10 games in Dallas.

What to like about the under…

  • If this is indeed a trap game for Dallas, this game will likely be tight and low scoring. The Dallas defense is once again a premier group, allowing a mere 16.8 points per game while allowing under 300 yards of total offense for opponents. In their last three losses, the Seahawks have scored a combined 32 points. Even if Dallas struggles, Seattle may as well in their own right.
  • Primetime unders are still cashing at an absurd rate with a 29-9 clip so far this season.

Steve Quinne’s Pick: Dallas -8.5 (-110)

This Cowboys team is simply a different beast when playing at home. The Cowboys struggle against top-tier teams in the league, but they are able to clean up against lesser opponents. While the Seahawks are better than the teams Dallas has beaten in recent memory, they are still not exactly the cream of the crop in the NFL today. So long as this Dallas team is focused and locked in, they should manage to win the game.

This season, when the Cowboys win, they win big. Every one of their victories has been by at least 10+ points, with the lone exception being their 20-17 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cowboys are the better team and an absolute force at home, let’s back them to keep it rolling.