Who put the Colts back in primetime? We’ll be forced to sit through Matt Ryan and the Colts’ offense on the national stage for the second week in a row, and this one could get ugly if the Cowboys’ defense can regain its early season form. Dallas looks like a legitimate contender to make a deep playoff run. Can Mike McCarthy’s group keep up the momentum against a flailing Colts team?
Let’s make predictions, dive into the depth charts, and take a look at the odds ahead of Sunday night’s matchup at AT&T Stadium.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys Odds
The Cowboys enter as 11-point favorites, sitting at -490 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 43.5 points.
Dallas is a double-digit favorite at home, which comes as no surprise. The Cowboys cruised in the second half on Thanksgiving and are one of the NFL’s most balanced teams. The Colts have had their moments since Jeff Saturday took over, but Matt Ryan instills no confidence with the way he’s playing. The Giants kept their game against Dallas close into the second half. Do the Colts have the defense to do the same?
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys Prediction
Cowboys -11 is far from a slam dunk, considering the Colts have a pretty strong defense and have only lost by double-digits twice this season. Jeff Saturday hasn’t been the perfect head coach to this point, but the Colts pass the eye test in terms of competitiveness. This game can stay competitive.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Indianapolis committed more to the running game in this one. The Cowboys did well to shut down Saquon Barkley, but Dallas’ run defense hasn’t been the greatest so far this season. The Colts can keep this game competitive but getting the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hands and into Jonathan Taylor’s. The Colts might be coming into this game off of a win if they had given Taylor some more carries early in the loss to the Steelers.
On the other side of the ball, the Colts’ run defense ranks highly and could do what the Giants couldn’t by limiting Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. If the Colts get back to what they do best and run the ball while playing solid defense, they can at cover +11.
The Colts are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games against a team with a winning record.
The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
The under is 8-1 in the Colts’ last 9 road games.
Indianapolis Colts Injuries: DE Kwity Paye is questionable after missing Week 12 with an ankle injury. LB Shaquille Leonard (back) remains out for the season. CB Kenny Moore (shin) is uncertain after leaving Monday’s game.
Dallas Cowboys Injuries: OT Tyron Smith (knee) is close to returning to practice but won’t play. CB Jourdan Lewis (foot) remains out for the season. LB Anthony Barr (hamstring) is questionable after missing the last three games.
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Colts vs. Cowboys below.
Jonathan Taylor vs. Cowboys Run Defense
It’ll help the Colts tremendously if Ryan and the passing game are able to get something going, but there’s no doubt Indianapolis can’t win this game without Jonathan Taylor putting on a show. Taylor has four consecutive games of 75+ rushing yards, including a 147-yard outburst against the Raiders that helped the Colts pick up a win. The Cowboys allow 4.7 yards per carry, which ranks 25th in the NFL. If Taylor can take advantage of that, the Colts have a chance.
CeeDee Lamb vs. Colts Secondary
CeeDee Lamb played like a superstar in the Cowboys’ win over the Giants, two weeks after he exploded for 150 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay. The Cowboys’ passing game runs through Lamb, who’s playing the best football of his life right now.
Can a Colts secondary that grades out pretty well keep him contained? Indianapolis has only allowed 13 touchdown passes this season despite playing one more game than most of the league. Kenny Moore’s status will be worth watching – he left Monday’s game with a shin injury and would be a big loss if he’s not able to go.