The Dallas Cowboys are in a tough spot to be in. First of all, Joe Burrow and the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals are coming to town. And they’re pissed off after turning the ball over five times in Week 1. Secondly, the Cowboys are banking on Cooper Rush and not Dak Prescott to get the win.

Can Cooper Rush mess around and do it again? Can he keep his 1-0 undefeated career as a starter intact? And what’s the right bet in a weird spot like this one early in the season?

Last year, we had a positive record of 9-7 on this weekly series “Betting the Cowboys.” That’s a 56.3% hit rate, over the goal of hitting 52.4% which would be our breakeven rate on -110 odds.

The odds

  • Spread: Dallas Cowboys +7 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Cincinnati Bengals -295 / Dallas Cowboys +245
  • Total: 42

Public betting heavily favors the Bengals, but…

Everyone is on the Bengals. This is quite understandable considering the Cowboys do not have their starting quarterback and show little signs of life on offense in the season opener.

Per Action Network, an overwhelming 83% of the bets are on Cincinnati. And yet the spread briefly touched eight points before being quickly shot down back to the seven-point mark. This is commonly believed to be a sharp money betting signal.

The public loves the Bengals but the sharps might just be on Dallas and the points.

Trends

  • Bengals are 6-0 against the spread (ATS) in their last 6 games as underdogs.
  • Bengals are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games.
  • Cowboys are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games as a favorite.

The pick: Bet the Cowboys and the points

Okay, okay. I realize Cowboys Nation has been down all week after such a disappointing loss in Week 1. Losing Dak Prescott for multiple weeks – and potentially – the season doesn’t help.

Yet Dallas’ defense could make this an ugly, low-scoring affair against a Bengals offense that allows sacks. Combine that with a solid running game and one or two takeaways and we’re in business.

But this bet to me is more about the numbers and situational spot than the Cowboys themselves. You see, the betting spread opened at -6 on Monday, was quickly adjusted to -7.5, and even touched 8 points in some sportsbooks. Yet it was brought back down to 7 in spite of pretty much everyone taking the Bengals.

Not to mention this is a perfect storm of potential overreaction from the public. The Cowboys were held down to 3 points, which is simply statistically unlikely to happen in today’s NFL, even with a backup quarterback. On top of this, the Cowboys showed last year they were comfortable asking Rush – who’s been with the Cowboys since 2017 – to do more than vanilla stuff on offense.

The spread moved nine full points from where it opened last week and I just can’t let this one pass. This week, the contrarian bet is the way to go. Let’s get to 2-0 on Betting the Cowboys! 

The bet: COWBOYS +7

Season bets: 1-0

Last season bets: 9-7 (56.25%) 

Odds via DraftKings