Week 3 Football Picks – Dallas at St. LouisJosh Bailey
The Dallas Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams will both be looking for some love – and a victory – when they square off in a Week 3 matchup that is offering plenty of value, if not the excitement surrounding some other, more anticipated Week 3 matchups. Click here for more NFL week 4 betting odds.
Dallas at St. Louis
Time: 1:00 PM
Spread: St. Louis -1
Week 3 Football Picks Preview:
St. Louis (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) got its first win of the season by beating Tampa Bay 19-17 in Week 2 to cover the spread as a 4.5-point road dog just one week after getting blown out of the water in its convincing 34-6 loss to Minnesota as a 3-point home favorite.
Dallas (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) also bounced back from its humbling 28-17 season-opening loss to San Francisco to get its first win of the season in Week 2 by beating the Tennessee Titans 26-10 to cash in as a 3.5-point road dog.
Week 3 NFL Football Picks Analysis:
The Cowboys did something smart last week by getting the ball out of Tony Romo’s incapable hands to concentrate on their rushing attack. Thankfully, veteran running back DeMarco Murray responded in a big way against the Titans by rushing for 167 yards on a career-high 29 carries. For the season, Murray has rushed for a league-high 285 yards on 51 carries (5.6 ypc) helping Dallas rank second in rushing as they head into Week 3.
"I think we ran the ball a lot of different ways against a good defensive front, but certainly when DeMarco had the ball in his hands, he was a dominant runner," head coach Jason Garrett said. "There’s no question in my mind about that."
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 18, 2014
Dallas is still ranked just 22nd in passing and 19th in scoring, but the teams feels like Murray’s rushing gives them a much better chance to win games even though Romo has been sacked a league-high seven times so far.
Romo has been sacked seven times to match Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers for the league’s second-highest total. He was called upon to throw for only 176 yards against the Titans — and that was OK with Jones.
"When you can have more of a balance, which means that you’re not sitting there with a highway show of passes for Romo, then I think we’re seeing you have a better chance for your defense to be more effective, play less plays, better field position," owner Jerry Jones said. "All of it works together. And so the way we played Romo the other day fits me just fine and fits him just fine. It’s called winning and that’s what we’re all here for."
The Rams looked like a completely different team in week 2 than they did in their regular season opener – and it may have been because they actually got some competent play at quarterback where rookie Austin Davis went 22 of 29 for 235 yards with no turnovers in his first career start.
Davis however, was playing as a replacement for veteran backup Shaun Hill who missed last week’s game with a thigh injury.
St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher says that if Hill is healthy, he’ll start this contest.
"If Shaun is healthy and able to play and not gonna subject himself to re-injuring this or making it worse, then Shaun’s our quarterback and Austin’s our backup," Fisher said. "And that’s just the way it is."
— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) September 18, 2014
Despite their Week 2 win, I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in St. Louis which is why I’m going to urge you to back the Dallas Cowboys in this contest. The Rams are ranked 32nd in scoring (12.5 ppg) and just 24th in scoring (25.5), not to mention 30th against the run.
Not only are the Rams going to have trouble stopping Murray, but I believe they’re going to struggle to move the ball a bit more than they did against the Buccaneers, especially if Hill starts over Austin. Hill has gone 0-2 in two career starts versus the Cowboys, but Fisher is sticking with his guy.
"Shaun’s more of a veteran player, he’s played a long time in this league, he has a certain style but it doesn’t seem like they change drastically from a system standpoint," Garrett said. "They seem to run the same kinds of plays, and do the same kinds of things with each of those guys."
Dallas’s Murray has also gone bonkers against the Rams twice in his career, rushing for a career and franchise-best 237 yards in a 34-7 blowout on Oct. 23, 2011, and 175 yards in season’s 31-7 win on Sept. 22.
"It seems like only yesterday we had that mess happen in Dallas last year," Fisher said. "Dallas had the ball for over 41 minutes in Tennessee. That’s going to be a huge challenge for us."
The Rams may be 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games, but they’re also just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win and 1-6 ATS in their last seven Week 3 games.
You may not hear not from me much this season, but I say back the Dallas Cowboys to win and cash in!