The Dallas Cowboys will visit Caesars Superdome to battle the New Orleans Saints in the Week 13 edition of Thursday Night Football at 8:20 p.m ET on the NFL Network.
Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season is upon us. We are also heading into December, which means we are nearing the home stretch of regular season play in the NFL. With the postseason right around the corner, teams will be battling to get in or improve their seeding.
While both the AFC and NFC playoff races are wide open, this Cowboys-Saints Thursday Night Football matchup features two teams that are currently in the hunt.
The Cowboys (7-4) have lost three of their past four games, but still sit atop the NFC East and remain within reach of a No. 1 seed. Meanwhile, the Saints (5-6) are still technically in the running for the NFC South, but a Wild Card berth is a more realistic avenue to the postseason at this point.
This game is full of playoff implications with two contenders in the NFC.
Thursday Night Football Prediction Week 13
The Cowboys and Saints are both hurting on offense. For New Orleans, Alvin Kamara will be sidelined for the fourth straight game with a knee injury, putting Mark Ingram in line to lead the backfield.
Meanwhile, Dallas will be without wide receiver Cedrick Wilson (ankle), who caught 7-of-10 targets for 104 receiving yards against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving. Head coach Mike McCarthy will also miss Thursday’s contest after testing positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
On the plus side for the Cowboys, star wideouts CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are both expected to play after missing Week 12, and Ezekiel Elliott will be good to go as well.
Sportsbook Play of the Day
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Despite the offensive firepower on both sides when healthy, defense will decide the fate of the upcoming TNF matchup between the Cowboys and Saints.
The Cowboys’ defense ranks 14th in the NFL in scoring (22.7 points per game), while the Saints rank 12th in that category, ceding 22.6 points per game. It doesn’t get any closer than that.
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While the Saints have one of the best run defenses in the NFL, they deploy one of the worst secondaries. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have an elite passing attack. They must exploit that matchup early and often while mixing in the ground game to keep the Saints honest, similar to how the Bills played the Saints on Thanksgiving.
If the Saints are going to have a chance to pull off the upset, they must get better play from Taysom Hill, who is replacing Trevor Siemian under center. Since defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8, the Saints have lost all four of Siemian’s starts.
Look for Saints head coach Sean Payton to pull some rabbits out of his hat on Thursday night as well. His offense has been in dire straits sans Jameis Winston and desperately needs a spark.
In the end, however, the Cowboys’ superior offensive talent should win out.
TNF Week 13 Pick: Cowboys 27, Saints 20
Thursday NFL Betting Trends for 2021
- The Over is 4-10.
- The Underdog is 7-7 against the spread.
- The Favorite is 11-3 on the moneyline.
- The Home Team is 6-8.
*Anthony Cervino is 23-16 on his NFL Best Bets for 2021 for The Game Day.
Thursday Night Football Best Bets Week 13
*NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of Thursday, December 2 at 11 AM ET.
TNF Best Bet: Cowboys -6 (-105) at Betfred
Wager: 2 Units
The Cowboys are 8-3 against the spread this season, while the Saints are 5-6. The Saints have also struggled at home with a 1-3 mark, while the Cowboys are 3-2 on their travels.
An interesting note: The Cowboys have covered the spread in all of their wins this season, but only once in a loss, which came in the season opener against the Bucs.
- Check out our NFL Week 13 TNF Prop Bets.
If the Cowboys win, the trend suggests that they will cover. The Cowboys’ high-octane passing attack should get back on track this week and will prove to be too much for an atrocious Saints secondary.
Make Dallas your NFL pick of day. I would be comfortable betting the line up to -7.
Check out more of our NFL Week 13 betting tips:
TNF Best Bet: Under 47.5 Total Points (-105) at Betfred
Wager: 2 Units
With the Saints’ offense ailing and not very effective even with a healthy backfield, plus the fact that the Cowboys’ defense has been dominant facing inferior quarterbacks, I don’t see the Saints scoring enough points to reach the Over. New Orleans’ defense is also good enough to hold the Cowboys to fewer than 30 points at home.
- The Under has won in each of the past three meetings between the Cowboys and Saints.
- The Under is also 4-1 in the past five games the Cowboys have played, only hitting the over last Thursday.
I would be comfortable betting the under down to 46.
TNF Best Bet: Cowboys Moneyline (-260) at Betfred
Wager: 3 Units
The Cowboys are the superior team and are deserving favorites to win on TNF. The best way to play the Dallas moneyline is to use it in a Same-Game Parlay.
- Cowboys Moneyline
- Under 47.5 Total Points
- Dak Prescott Over 1.5 Touchdown Passes
Thanks for reading our NFL Week 13 TNF Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 13 Best Bets.