Packers vs. Cowboys Wild-Card Sunday odds and predictions

The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys were both able to stay sharp in Week 18, as each team had something to play for and that meant not resting starters. The Packers needed a win to make the playoffs and the Cowboys needed a win to take down the NFC East and host this game against Green Bay.

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These are two of the better offenses in the NFL, but the oddsmakers and the betting markets view a big difference between these two defenses. Mix in a little home-field advantage and you get a second favorite on Sunday of more than a touchdown, as the Cowboys are -7.5, just a little lower than the Bills, who are the only double-digit favorite of the week.

MORE: Check out our Wild-Card Round betting hub for all of this week’s best bets and content

How To Watch Packers vs. Cowboys

Date: Sunday, January 14

Time: 4:30 pm ET

Channel: FOX

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5, 50.5)

This is the second-highest spread on the board and also the second-highest total. The Packers really rode the arm of Jordan Love to a strong offensive showing. They only finished 12th in scoring offense due to red-zone struggles and some missed kicks, but this was the fifth-best offense in the NFL by EPA/play. Only the Dolphins, Bills, Cowboys, and 49ers finished higher in that department, so the Packers found themselves in pretty special company.

Unfortunately wide receiver injuries and other mishaps led the Packers to finish with just a 51.6% TD% in the red zone. They had 64 trips inside the opponents’ 20, which ranked tied for fifth, but Green Bay’s 33 touchdowns tied for ninth. Among playoff teams, only the Buccaneers and Steelers finished with a lower TD%. The playoffs are all about the details and that could prove to be problematic for Green Bay.

That being said, Dallas, while more potent in the red zone, left some points on the field as well. Kicker Brandon Aubrey didn’t, as he was 36-of-38 on field goals, but the Cowboys, who had the most red-zone trips with 71, finished 14th in TD% at 56.3%. If you’re looking for a reason to bet the Under in this game, red-zone success might be the one to focus on.

The Dallas defense finished eighth in yards per play allowed and fourth in EPA/play. The Green Bay defense was 20th in yards per play and 23rd in EPA/play, along with the 28th-ranked unit by Dropback Success Rate against. This is one of those cases where the Packers’ positives on offense are counterfeited by Dallas’s offensive success and the gap between defenses is pretty sizable all things considered, hence the line on the game.

The Cowboys defense was also consistently solid throughout the season, finishing in the top 10 in EPA/play in the back half of the year, while Green Bay’s body of work was less productive as the season wore on. The offense took a step forward, but the defense did not. So, that’s the worry here, as defensive coordinator Joe Barry tries to slow down the Dallas offense led by former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

While 7.5 may seem like a lot, keep in mind that the Cowboys didn’t play very well late in the year, losing to Buffalo and Miami while beating Detroit by one before blowing out Washington. I think this line and the fact that the 7s from early in the week disappeared is pretty telling.

Pick: Cowboys -7.5

Packers vs. Cowboys player props

Love averaged just over 35 pass attempts per game in Green Bay’s eight losses. Given the line for this game, it does look like Green Bay will come up short and will be trailing in the second half. That will force the Packers to throw the football, so I do think Love will go Over 34.5 attempts.

I also like Rico Dowdle Over 17.5 rushing yards. Dowdle went over that number eight times this season and seven of them came in wins. I don’t know quite how lopsided this game gets, but Dowdle’s highest snap shares were in games that Dallas won and I do think the Cowboys win and cover the 7.5, so that should bode well for Dowdle.

Picks: Love Over 34.5 Pass Attempts; Dowdle Over 17.5 Rushing Yards

Head to our Pro Picks page to see how VSiN analysts are betting Packers vs. Cowboys! 

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