Baltimore Ravens-Dallas Cowboys Picks Against the Spread

SportsLine analyst Josh Nagel takes a look at Sunday's matchup between the red-hot Cowboys, who have won eight straight, and the erratic but dangerous Ravens. Here is an overview and spread selection.

 

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT DALLAS COWBOYS (-7, O/U 45), Sun., 1 p.m. ET

The Cowboys will go for their ninth straight win Sunday behind the dynamic rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott when they host the inconsistent but talented Ravens.

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Baltimore +270 O/U 44.5
Dallas -300 -7
C
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DAL
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Elliott had 114 rushing yards and two scores -- including the game-winner in the final minute -- as Dallas beat Pittsburgh 35-30 for its eighth straight win and a two-game lead over the Giants in the NFC East.

Elliott also had 95 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Prescott finished with 319 passing yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Ravens have been wildly erratic, as they started the season with three wins followed by a four-game losing streaks, with all the defeats coming by single digits.

They have rebounded with two straight wins and come in with extended rest after routing Cleveland in the Thursday night game last week.

LINE MOVEMENT

This spread opened at Dallas -6.5 in most markets, but has settled in at the key number of -7 (with some offering the lucrative hook ay 7.5) as of Thursday afternoon.

Bookmaker.eu spokesman Scott Cooley said some sharp bettors bought the Ravens at the key number, but that the public is still relentlessly piling on the Cowboys.

"The public can't get enough of America's Team, and they aren't about to jump off the money train," Cooley said of the Cowboys, who have covered every game during their eight-win stretch. "Unless the wiseguys get involved in a big way, we'll need Baltimore to cover in a big way."

By Saturday, the line had risen to Dallas -7.5. The total gained half-a-point to 45.

LAST WEEK

In one of the more exciting games of the NFL season the Cowboys, who trailed most of the way against the Steelers, drove into Pittsburgh territory in the closing seconds in an apparent attempt to set up a game-winning field goal.

But Elliott burst through the line of scrimmage for a 32-yard touchdown with 9 seconds left to give the Cowboys a 35-30 win. It was their eighth straight victory and cover for their backers.  

The Ravens started slow against the Browns in their Thursday night tilt, but dominated the second half for a 28-7 win for their second straight win and cover.

TRENDS

The Ravens are 14-4-3 ATS in their past 21 road games home teams with winning records, and 4-1 ATS in their last five after covering the previous game.

The Cowboys have won and covered in eight straight since their season-opening loss to the Giants. However, they are still just 5-11-1 ATS in their past 17 home games.

SPORTSLINE EXPERTS

SportsLine contributor Micah Roberts has a play on the total in this game. Get his and all other SportsLine expert selections by clicking here.

SELECTION

Well, I've faded the Cowboys a couple of times in the past several weeks and have nothing to show it. But I'll be going for empty-wallet trifecta Sunday, as I can't resist getting a key number with a competent team against such a public-favored opponent.

The trends show the Cowboys play poorly ATS as a large home favorite in recent seasons, and Baltimore?s top-ranked defense, which allows just 71.3 rushing yards per game, should slow Elliott a bit.

I'll take a full touchdown behind the league?s top defensive club.