Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills: Prediction, Odds, Depth Charts (12/17/23)

Having each knocked off the defending champion of their respective conference last week, the Buffalo Bills will play host to the Dallas Cowboys in a mega-clash of two of the league’s hottest teams. Get Bills vs. Cowboys odds, picks and predictions below. Our best bet is the Cowboys moneyline at odds of +105.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills Prediction

Before this week, there were some who said the Dallas Cowboys couldn’t beat a good team. There’s not a lot they can say right now after a total dismantling of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. With the win, Dallas took over first place in the NFC East, and is tied with the 49ers for the conference’s top seed (although San Francisco does own the head-to-head tiebreaker). Perhaps more important than any boost in the standings, however, is the statement made by Mike McCarthy’s squad with the win. They can play with anyone in this league.

The Bills have begun to surge a bit after a terrible start to the year. A win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead is always a tremendous one, and the victory over the defending Super Bowl champs has Buffalo back on track to at least contend for an AFC playoff spot. This team is getting healthy and hot at the right time, with the offense firing on all cylinders and the defense rounding into form. If they’re able to make it to the postseason as a wild card, no division winner is going to want to see them come to town in the first round.

Another commonality between these teams, beyond the fact that both are coming off of by far their biggest win of the season, is the excellent play of their oft-embattled quarterbacks. Both Dak Prescott and Josh Allen have endured a fair amount of criticism, both within this season and beyond. But they’re playing like two of the league’s best right now.

Prescott is the highest-graded passer in PFF’s system, with a phenomenal ratio of a league-best 32 big-time throws to just eight turnover worthy plays. Allen is third in the same rankings, even without accounting for his game-changing rushing ability. When you factor in that aspect of his game, Allen is second in the rankings-behind Prescott.

Even with the recent improvement, the Buffalo pass defense is below average by DVOA, and clamping down on the Chiefs’ air offense does not mean what it used to mean. They’re definitely a unit that can keep Buffalo in every game, but up against the MVP frontrunner and an arsenal of weapons, they may have a tough time.

The Cowboys have already shown the ability to contain the physical threat of Jalen Hurts despite his own excellent supporting staff. They can do the same with Allen. The Bills also probably can’t make the Cowboys pay for a relatively weak run defense, as their own ground offense has been mediocre by most counts. This should be one of the best games of the week, if not year, but the Cowboys are the better squad, and should get the job done, even on the road.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills Prediction: Cowboys ML (+105)

Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills Best Odds

The Bills are narrow road favorites with the spread hovering around the two-point mark depending on your sportsbook of choice, and a moneyline of just -125. The Cowboys are in slight plus-odds at +105 to win on the road, while the total is a lofty 50.5.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills Key Injuries

Both teams are fairly healthy right now, with just defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins on the injury report for Dallas, while safety Micah Hyde is the biggest name listed as questionable for Buffalo.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills Key Matchups

MVP frontrunner Dak Prescott will look to pick apart a questionable Bills pass defense, while Buffalo will need an MVP-like performance from their own offensive stars to make any headway against a great Cowboys defense.

Dallas Cowboys Air Offense vs. Buffalo Bills Pass Defense

These aren’t your dad’s Cowboys. After years of establishing a run-first identity, Dallas has racked up the second-most air yards per game this season, behind only the supercharged Miami Dolphins. They’ve done it efficiently too. Prescott’s QB passer rating of 107.5 trails only Brock Purdy amongst passers who have made more than five starts. The Dallas O-line has been uncharacteristically average in pass protection. But Prescott has had the benefit of a true top wideout, as CeeDee Lamb has already racked up 1,253 receiving yards via 96 catches.

Buffalo’s pass defense, which has been missing perennial leader Tre’Davious White for most of the season, has been anchored by Rasul Douglas. He has done a fantastic job leading the secondary in his place. He hasn’t had much help in the defensive backfield, although the pass rush has been relatively productive. Leonard Floyd’s 9.5 sacks have been key, while AJ Epenesa has really established himself as a force on the edge.

Buffalo Bills Air Offense vs. Dallas Cowboys Air Defense

While the interceptions are still there for Allen, it could be argued that his luck has been poor, as his turnover worthy play rate is down to 2.5% after reaching a concerning 4.2% last year. His top target, as always, is Stefon Diggs, who is approaching the marks of 1,000 yards and 100 catches once again. Gabe Davis has done a fine job as a No. 2 option and youngsters Khalil Shakir and tight end Dalton Kincaid are coming on strong.

Dallas’s pass prevention effort begins up front, with the third-highest ranked pass rush grade in PFF’s system. The effort has of course been led by the transcendent Micah Parsons, with a PFF grade of 93.4 in that department and 12.5 sacks. Secondary play has also been solid for the Cowboys, highlighted by the breakout of second-year cornerback DaRon Bland.

Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart

QB: Dak Prescott
RB1: Tony Pollard
RB2: Rico Dowdle
LWR: CeeDee Lamb
RWR: Michael Gallup
SWR: Brandin Cooks
TE1: Jake Ferguson

Buffalo Bills Depth Chart

QB: Josh Allen
RB1: James Cook
RB2: Damien Harris
LWR: Stefon Diggs
RWR: Gabe Davis
SWR: Khalil Shakir
TE1: Dalton Kincaid

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From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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