On Sunday (12/24/23), the Miami Dolphins host the Dallas Cowboys in a showdown with huge playoff implications. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full breakdown of the matchup. In addition, find our Cowboys vs. Dolphins best bet which is the Cowboys +1.5.
Dallas Cowboys Vs. Miami Dolphins Prediction
The Cowboys found themselves in a rough spot last week on the road at Buffalo. In brutal December weather, they had to avoid a letdown after a massive, emotional win over their divisonal rival Eagles. They didn’t – Dallas lost 31-10 to the Bills – but that one game doesn’t change the fact that they’re one of the best teams in the NFL. In fact, it makes me very inclined to back them in a bounceback spot.
We know all about the the Dolphins’ high-flying offense with Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill continuing to torch opposing defenses. Even with Hill absent last week, the Dolphins ran up the score with 30 points against a tough Jets defense. However, I have major concerns about the team’s offensive line this week. The Dolphins will be without center Connor Williams for the rest of the season after he tore his ACL, and that’s huge for their pass protection.
Three other starters – OT Austin Jackson, OG Isaiah Wynn, and OG Robert Hunt – could be out this week. With Micah Parsons leading the way, Dallas leads the NFL in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric. Tagovailoa hasn’t been nearly the same quarterback under pressure this season as evidenced by the following metrics:
- Completion rate: 77.6% when kept clean, 43.2% when under pressure
- Yards per attempt: 9.4 when kept clean, 5.7 when under pressure
- PFF passing grade: 93.6 when kept clean, 56.1 when under pressure
- Passer rating: 117.5 when kept clean, 60.1 when under pressure
To give credit to the Dolphins, Miami’s defense has also been much improved – they lead the NFL in defensive EPA/play since former All Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey returned from injury in Week 8. However, it’s important to note the level of competition they’ve faced over that span has not been impressive – Mac Jones, Aidan O’Connell, Tim Boyle, Sam Howell, Will Levis, and Zach Wilson.
They did face Patrick Mahomes in that span, but the Chiefs have had well documented offensive issues and rank just 16th in offensive EPA/play since Week 8. The Cowboys rank 2nd over that same stretch even with the egg they laid last week. Dak Prescott has played at an MVP level all season, and I expect him to bounce back in much friendlier weather conditions after Buffalo’s defense shut him down last week.
I wish this game was on Sunday Night Football as there’s a chance it’s the best game of the week. Dallas and Miami are both in the top six in Super Bowl odds. The ultimate difference here is the Cowboys’ dominant pass rush should create a ton of issues for a banged up Dolphins offensive line. I’ll back Dak Prescott to get a much needed win here with the NFC East still very much on the table.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins Prediction: Cowboys +1.5
Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins Best Odds
The odds have this game as incredibly difficult to call with the Dolphins as 1.5-point favorites at the time of writing. Most models have homefield advantage worth around 1.5 points, so this line says the Cowboys and Dolphins are evenly rated on a neutral field. With an over/under of 51 points, this is expected to be one of the higher-scoring games of the week. The current numbers lead to an implied score of around 26-24.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins Key Injuries
As we get closer to the end of the season, injuries will continue to mount. Dallas is fortunate to enter this game fairly healthy, although the status of future Hall of Fame guard Zack Martin is certainly important to monitor after he suffered a quadriceps injury last week. Miam’s injury report is much more extensive with a handful of offensive linemen and defensive players crucial to pay attention to. The big one is wide receiver Tyreek Hill, though, after he missed last week’s game with an ankle injury.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins Key Matchups
In this matchup between Super Bowl contenders, there are some fascinating players to take stock of. Let’s break down each team’s top wide receiver and how the opposing defense might attempt to slow them down.
Tyreek Hill Vs. DaRon Bland
The Dolphins were without Tyreek Hill last week as he missed with an ankle injury, and while their offense was still potent, they’re a different team when he’s not on the field. Hill leads the league with 1,542 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, and he needs to average 152 yards per game over the Dolphins’ final three games to reach his stated goal of 2,000 yards this season. While that seems lofty, I wouldn’t put it past Hill with how impossible to cover he has been.
The Cowboys lost their top cornerback when Trevon Diggs suffered a season-ending injury, but DaRon Bland’s emergence into an elite player has been a godsend for the defense. Bland ranks second among 126 qualified cornerbacks in PFF’s coverage grades and has allowed just a 49.9 passer rating in coverage, the fourth-best mark in the league. Covering Hill is an entirely different ball game, though, with his game breaking speed and elusiveness.
TYREEK HILL 42 YARD TOUCHDOWN 🐆 pic.twitter.com/vzl4RvXz2u
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) October 29, 2023
CeeDee Lamb Vs. Jalen Ramsey
While Hill is the best receiver in this game, CeeDee Lamb isn’t too far behind with nearly a career high 1,306 receiving yards and eight touchdowns this season. Lamb ranks top ten in the league with 2.53 yards per route run and a 122.2 passer rating when targeted. After a quiet game for the Dallas offense, I expect the Cowboys to get Lamb the ball early and often this week.
Lamb has played 58.8% of his snaps from the slot this season, and while Ramsey has only spent 5 of his 388 snaps for the Dolphins in the slot, he’s played plenty there throughout his career. I expect Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to craft a gameplan where Ramsey will be covering Lamb as often as possible. Ramsey has allowed an impossibly low 19.9 passer rating in coverage, the best mark in the league, and this is about as good as it gets for a WR-CB matchup in this league.
CeeDee Lamb, what a grab!pic.twitter.com/DfeokXTsPt
— Underdog NFL (@Underdog__NFL) November 12, 2023