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Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys Prediction,
and Odds - 9-20-2020

Game Snapshot with Current Line

#267 Atlanta
Falcons 3.5
#268 Dallas
Cowboys -3.5

Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Two great offenses meet up for a Week 2 matchup as the Atlanta Falcons travel to Jerry World to face the Dallas Cowboys. It will be interesting as Dallas is allowed to have a limited number of fans in the stadium so the Cowboys could be able to feed off of that, coming off a 20-17 loss during Week 1 to the Los Angeles Rams.

Dallas came into this season with former Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy at the helm and an explosive offense. But he also made a controversial call with 11:46 left in the game. Instead of kicking a chip-shot field goal from the Rams 11, McCarthy went for it on 4th and 3, down 20-17 and failed to convert.

The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a 38-25 loss to the Seahawks but Matt Ryan had a great passing game. He went 37-of-54 for 450 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Of course, they were down most of the game, so he had to throw almost every down. He had three receivers with nine catches apiece (Julio Jones, Cavin Ridley, & Russell Gage). Jones had 157 yards to lead the team and Ridley had 130 with both touchdown receptions. With a passing game like that and Seattle’s ability to stop the run, the rushing game was stagnant as Todd Gurley had 14 carries for 56 yards and a trip to the endzone.

Line Movements

The Cowboys have gone from -7 down to -3.5, despite Atlanta getting 51% of the bets.

The OU Line has gone from 50 up to 53.5, with the Over getting the 91% of the bets.

Gametime Weather: Retractable Roof

Dan Quinn On The Hot Seat?

Yes, this season is going to be an adventure and will be hard to evaluate a team with no preseason games. With a franchise quarterback Matt Ryan and a top-three receiver in Julio Jones throughout his entire tenure, Dan Quinn is only 43-38 as head coach of the Falcons. He did earn a trip to the Super Bowl, but that was three-and-a-half years ago. Coming off back-to-back 7-9 seasons, the Falcons need to make a playoff push in the NFC for Quinn to keep his job.

The defense is shaky and allows 25 points per game since the beginning of the 2019 season. They can get beaten by good offenses and Dallas poses a threat. The Falcons are going to need more than 72 yards on the ground as a team and to force a turnover or two, so the defense can begin to build momentum. With a defensive line starring Dante Fowler Jr & Grady Jarrett, they are going to need to make Prescott feel uncomfortable in the pocket and improve from their combined 2.0 sacks and 4 QB hits on Russell Wilson.

Atlanta’s Injury Report

Questionable: OT Jake Matthews, DT Marlon Davidson, and DB Darqueze Dennard

Out: DE Charles Harris and DB Kendall Sheffield

Losing A Weapon Could Benefit The Wide Outs

Blake Jarwin was expected to be a vertical threat as the starting tight end as Jason Witten went to the Las Vegas Raiders free agency. Unfortunately, Jarwin suffered a torn ACL in the first half of the season opener and will miss the remainder of the year. This will definitely affect the passing game of Dallas as Jarwin was supposed to get a decent number of targets.

Quarterback Dak Prescott went 25-of-39 for 266 yards and a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams last week. Ezekiel Elliot has the “Feed Me” stomach tattoo and that’s what they did as he had 22 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. Amari Cooper led the team with 10 catches for 81 yards while first-round pick CeeDee Lamb had five catches for 59 yards in his debut.

The wide receivers are going to have to step up as Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Lamb ended up with 18 of Prescott’s 25 completions. It starts with the game preparation for Atlanta and the Falcons don’t have the defensive weapons to counter Dallas’ strength. They combined for 190 yards but they should get anywhere from 200-300 yards a game in this offense with Ezekiel Elliot running the ball.

Dallas’ Injury Report

Out: TE Blake Jarwin, LB Leighton Vander Esch, OT Cam Erving, LB Sean Lee, and WR Ventell Bryant, OT La'el Collins

Left The Team: Jamize Olawale

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Expectations are very high in Dallas, as usual, so an 0-2 start is not an option. The Cowboys should have won or at least gone overtime in the Rams game, had McCarthy not tried to gamble at the 11-yard line. Dallas played particularly well offensively against a better defense than they will see out of Atlanta. The Falcons have been able to stop anybody on defense since that Super Bowl season, despite having a former defensive coordinator in Quinn. Expect Elliott to "eat" in this game. Dallas wins by more than a touchdown and covers.

Prediction: Dallas -3.5

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Full-Game Total Pick

It’s only one week into the season and stats don’t really mean much but the Falcons are the 2nd ranked offense and the Cowboys are the 11th. Both defenses aren’t great either with Atlanta (24th) and Dallas (28th) barely able to stop the opposing offenses. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are leading the NFL in passing and receiving yards respectively. Dallas doesn’t have the scheme to stop Atlanta’s passing attack and Ezekiel Elliot and the Cowboys’ offensive line should feast in the running game to create play-action passes. It’s a big number but this could resemble the NBA All-Star Game with the offense. Expect a huge number from both teams to hit the over. 

Prediction: Over 53.5

Arthur L.

After playing sports throughout most of middle school, high school and college, Arthur has been writing about sports for nearly a decade. With years of experience he has built an interest in the betting world with a passion for writing on his back and has now landed with us here at StatSalt & Winners & Whiners.

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