The Arizona Cardinals will visit the Dallas Cowboys in NFL Week 17. This Cardinals-Cowboys meeting is slated on Sunday afternoon with a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff on FOX.
While the Cowboys and Cardinals are 11-4 and 10-5 respectively, these teams are going in two different directions. In November, the Cowboys were reeling, losing three of four games. However, in December, the Cowboys have now won four in a row.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals once sat atop the NFC as the No. 1 seed, and they were also in first place in the NFC West. Both of those feats are now gone, as the Cardinals have lost three consecutive games, moving them down to the fifth seed in the NFC and in second place in the West.
In a Sunday afternoon matchup with tons of playoff implications in the NFC, this Cardinals-Cowboys matchup is a must-watch game and is set up to be the game of the week.
All NFL gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 30.
Cardinals vs Cowboys Prediction
Barring a change between now and kickoff, the Cowboys have one key injury to worry about, LT Tyron Smith, who is deemed day-to-day with an ankle injury. One of the best book-end left tackles in the NFL, the Cowboys are a much better team with Smith in the lineup, especially when playing superior competition.
On the Cardinals’ end, they are ailing, especially on offense. While we know CB Robert Alford (pectoral) and WR DeAndre Hopkins (knee) are both on the injured reserve list, there is a shot they get RB James Conner (heel), WR Rondale Moore (ankle), and OL Rodney Hudson (illness) back in time for their upcoming Dallas matchup.
With Kyler Murray in the midst of another second-half slump - cc 2020 - the Cardinals will need all playmakers on deck to knock off the Cowboys, who are coming off of a dominant win over the Washington Football Team.
Sportsbook Play of the Day
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While the Cowboys are star-studded on offense, the key to a Dallas win over the Cardinals falls on their defense. In six of their past seven games - including four straight games - the Cowboys’ defense has allowed fewer than 20 points.
While the Dallas defense is 88th in scoring (20.5 ppg), the most impressive stat is their 33 takeaways, good for No. 1 in the NFL.
The Cowboys’ offense must also show up, however. Remember back in November against the Chiefs, the Cowboys lost 19-9. The defense showed up, but the offense did not.
We may have finally seen Dak Prescott’s offense turn the corner in last week’s pummeling of the Washington Football Team. Sure, Dallas entered the game on a three-game win streak, but it was clear that Prescott was in a slump. He may have found life on Sunday night.
The Cardinals are very similar to the Cowboys on both sides of the football. They employ a top-end defense with an offense that pops when they show up but fizzles immensely when it does not.
The Cardinals have the sixth-best scoring defense (20.4 ppg) but must find a way to quiet down the Cowboys’ top offense, which is No. 1 in scoring (30.5) and total yards (409.5).
This might be one of those classic battles in which the team with the ball in their hands last wins. Quarterback pressures, the turnover battle, and the winner of time of position will also play an immense role on which NFC powerhouse comes out victorious on Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 24
Cardinals vs Cowboys Best Bets
Best Bet: Cowboys Moneyline (-250) at Caesars
Wager: 2 Units
The Cowboys are a much better team at home. However, the Cardinals are not too shabby in their own right on the road posting a 7-1 record. Still, without Hopkins, the Cardinals’ offense has not looked as dominant as it once had.
If the Cowboys can get going on offense and force the Cardinals to play from behind, it could be a long game for Arizona. I also don’t think they have enough firepower to come back from a 14-point deficit, especially considering how opportunistic and menacing the Dallas defense has been led by Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs.
The final score will be close, but the Cowboys will win the game, as they are getting hot at the right time.
You can put 2 units on this in our NFL pick of the day series.
Check out more of our NFL Week 17 betting tips:
Best Bet: Over 49.5 Total Points (-135) at Caesars
Wager: 2 Units
While this game features two top 10 defenses, it also features two top 10 offenses. There will be enough points scored to cover the Over, especially if the Cardinals do their part to keep up with Dallas.
I’m less comfortable with the current line at 51 total points (and higher in some spots), so I’ll stick with the opening total here on the alternate line at a higher juice.
Best Bet: Cardinals +6 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 2 Units
Six points are a lot in a game that features two of the top teams in the NFC and, arguably, the NFL. While the Cowboys have looked unstoppable at times, they also have their fair share of letdowns.
I do believe the Cowboys win and control the game, but the Cardinals will find a way to keep it close in the fourth quarter. I like the Cowboys to win by three.
*Anthony Cervino is 31-20 on his NFL Best Bets for 2021 for The Game Day.