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Cardinals in familiar underdog role vs. Cowboys ahead of MNF game

(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

The Arizona Cardinals find themselves in a familiar position heading into the team’s Monday night clash with the Dallas Cowboys.

As of Monday afternoon, the Cardinals were a one-point underdog heading into the team’s clash with the Cowboys. Arizona has been an underdog in each of the team’s previous seven contests against Dallas.

Arizona has fared pretty well in those contests, however, going 3-4 against the Cowboys dating back to 2005.

The hometown club hasn’t garnered a lot of support from online sites, like ESPN.com, The Action Network and Pro Football Focus — with all three betting on the Cowboys to cover tonight’s razor-thin line.

All three allude to the Cardinals losing star linebacker Chandler Jones to a biceps injury for the season as a main reason for betting on the hometown Cowboys tonight.

The three outlets cited differing lines in making their predictions, with The Action Network citing the current -1 Dallas line, while ESPN and PFF took Dallas with their picks when Dallas was +2.

Stuckey of The Action Network laid out why he sees Dallas covering the one-point spread, with reserve QB Andy Dalton filling in well for injured starter Dak Prescott.

“Murray and Co. will no doubt have success moving the ball against a bad Dallas defense trying to find its identity, but this is the healthiest the Cowboys will be all season,” Stuckey said. “I personally make this line Dallas -1 after adjusting for injuries, so the line looks right. I do like some of the matchups and the spot for Dallas, which is why I teased the Cowboys to over a touchdown. If you didn’t follow my lead there, I would look to buy Dallas in-game at +3 or better.”

ESPN’s Preston Johnson described his rationale for choosing the Cowboys to cover the spread on Monday as having to do with Jones’ injury and the Cardinals enigmatic offense.

“In this matchup specifically, I’m not sure the Arizona defense without Chandler Jones can take enough advantage of the injuries Dallas has on the offensive line,” Johnson said in ESPN’s article. “On the other side of the ball, despite the hype, the Cardinals’ offense ranks only 20th in DVOA.”

PFF’s Lee Sharpe had a similar takeaway about Monday’s contest between the Cardinals and Cowboys, calling the game’s line prior to a shift in Dallas’ direction an easy call to bet on.

“With a line of +2, given the small percentage of games for which those points would make the difference,” Sharpe said. “I’d rather take the Cowboys on the moneyline at +105 and get a better return if the game goes my way.”

The Cardinals are 13-17-2 against the spread over the past two seasons, according to Sports Betting Dime. They’ve gone 2-1 against the spread away from State Farm Stadium this season.

Here’s a look at how the Cardinals have fared against the spread versus the Cowboys dating back to 2000, when the two were NFC East rivals, courtesy of Pro Football Reference.


Cardinals-Cowboys lines (5-7 record) 

2017: Cowboys -3 (28-17 loss)

2014: Cowboys -1.5 (28-17 win)

2011: Cowboys -4.5 (19-13 win)

2010: Cowboys -7.5 (27-26 win)

2008: Cowboys -5 (30-24 win)

2006: Cowboys -5 (27-10 loss)

2005: Cowboys -7 (34-13 loss)

2003: Cowboys -7.5 (24-7 loss)

2002: Cardinals -3.5 (9-6 win)

2001: Cardinals -3.5 (17-10 win)

2001: Cardinals -3 (17-3 loss)

2000: Cardinals -7 (48-7 loss)

2000: Cowboys -3 (32-31 win)


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