Dallas (0-0) at LA Rams (0-0)
When: Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Where: SoFi Stadium,
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Dallas -3/50
A new $5 billion stadium will host this year’s first Sunday Night Football game as the Los Angeles Rams play host to the Dallas Cowboys in Inglewood, Calif. A sea of empty seats is probably not how the Rams imagined opening their new stadium, but maybe it will do them some good. L.A. comes into this game 0-7-1 ATS in their last eight games as a home underdog, however, the Cowboys are 0-4-1 in their last five games as a road favorite of 1-3. The Cowboys begin a new era of coaching with Mike McCarthy taking over after Jason Garrett was fired. The Rams will try to rebound from a disappointing 9-7 season after reaching the Super Bowl the year before. Head coach Sean McVay will have some new personnel to work with as Brandon Staley takes over at defensive coordinator from Wade Phillips. Kevin O’Connell will run the offense, while John Bonamego replaces John Fassel as special teams coordinator. The only time these teams met last season resulted in a dominating 44-21 Cowboys win at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Dak Prescott threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while Ezekiel Elliott ran for 117 yards and two scores. Rams QB Jared Goff wasn’t terrible with 284 yards and two touchdowns, but former Ram Todd Gurley was held to 20 rushing yards. The Cowboys are favored by a field goal with a total of 51.5. The over is 6-1 in the Cowboys last seven games against NFC opponents.
In Dallas, there are questions regarding the offensive line after losing Travis Frederick to retirement and La’el Collins to the IR. Tyron Smith and Zack Martin anchor the group, but the right side is weak. As long as Prescott gets enough protection, this offense should be very productive in 2020. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is one of the few returning coaches which should help keep the offense stable. Tony Pollard led the team with 131 rushing yards and a touchdown in the win over the Rams last season, but star receiver Amari Cooper was held to just a single catch in that game. The Cowboys tried to shore up their defense by signing Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, but unfortunately, McCoy suffered a season-ending injury in the summer.
The Rams are relatively healthy going into their debut of SoFi Stadium and defense will again be the key to stopping the Cowboys’ offense. Something they couldn’t do a year ago. The line could pose problems for Dallas in the form of Aaron Donald, but others will have to step up. The offensive line is a question mark heading into the Week 1 opener. Goff managed to record a total of 4,683 passing yards and 22 touchdowns with 16 interceptions and was only sacked 22 times – fewest in the league. The rushing attack now falls on Cam Akers, Marshall Henderson, and Malcolm Brown, now that Gurley is gone. Wideout Tyler Higbee had 111 receiving yard on 12 catches in the loss to Dallas last year.
Both of these teams have pretty much the same rosters as last season and I just look at what Dallas did to L.A. in the 2019 meeting. The Cowboys have a new – and better – head coach and the offense will be run the same with coordinator Kellen Moore still calling the plays. The Rams have covered the spread just one time in their last 10 chances as a home dog. Lay the points.
Pick: Cowboys -3
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