America loves an underdog story, however the betting public hates backup quarterbacks. Regardless of the Cowboys going 2-0 with Cooper Rush filling in for Dak Prescott, Dallas is seeing solely 16.7 p.c of bets positioned on them to take down their division rivals, the Washington Commanders on Sunday.
In accordance with OddsChecker US, the Cowboys are the largest favorites this weekend (-3) which might be receiving extra bets to lose than win. On the floor, it is smart. Why guess on Rush, a backup, when you might guess on Carson Wentz, who’s seemed surprisingly good in his first three video games in Washington? Nevertheless, the Commanders are 0-2 over the previous two weeks, dropping video games to the Lions and Eagles. Within the first halves of these video games, the Commanders have scored a mixed zero factors. They’ve been popping out of the gates gradual and counting on late-game heroics as a way to be aggressive. That’s not precisely a successful technique. Hell, even in its Week 1 win towards Jacksonville, Washington was trailing with lower than two minutes to go within the sport.
Moreover, the Commanders haven’t achieved very effectively in Dallas in current reminiscence. Of their previous 5 journeys, they’re 1-4, with their solely win coming in that magical Alex Smith comeback season the place Washington gained the division with a 7-9 document. The final time Washington took down a Cowboys group that was truly over .500 although was 2014, when Colt McCoy and Alfred Morris knocked off the 6-1 Cowboys in extra time. Later that 12 months, Dallas obtained its revenge, beating Washington at residence, 44-17, in Week 17.
Then, there’s the Saints. Beginning QB Jameis Winston will most probably not be accessible for this Sunday’s sport towards the Minnesota Vikings. Journeyman Andy Dalton seems to be like he would be the starter this weekend in London. Not like Rush and the Cowboys although, Dalton’s Saints are usually not the favorites; they’re 3.5-point underdogs. In spite of everything, the final time Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins performed in London, he threw for 458 yards, the best mark of his complete profession. You want that?
Nevertheless, Minnesota’s offense hasn’t been as explosive because the group would love it to be this season. Certain, Week 1 towards Inexperienced Bay was a stable efficiency, however since then, Cousins has accomplished lower than 60 p.c of his passes and has as many touchdowns as interceptions, whereas the Vikings barely clawed out with a 1-1 document. Justin Jefferson has been held in examine by each Darius Slay and Jeff Okudah and now attracts Marshon Lattimore. Sure, I perceive that the Saints are banged up. They’ll be with out Michael Thomas and Andrus Peat. Alvin Kamara can also be questionable, however Chris Olave confirmed final week that he’s greater than able to carrying the passing sport with out Thomas or Jarvis Landry. The Saints’ protection can also be fairly wholesome. Except for Marcus Maye, there aren’t any New Orleans defenders listed as “out” on the damage report.
That’s the place the Saints win video games. It often doesn’t matter how good their offense is, when their protection holds defenses to twenty or fewer factors, New Orleans is 7-2 for the reason that begin of 2021. When the Saints rating greater than 20 factors, they’re 6-4. Whereas doing tremendously on offense is rarely dangerous clearly, New Orleans’ key to successful the previous season and alter has been taking part in stable protection and never turning the ball over. Over their previous two video games — each losses — the Saints dedicated eight turnovers, together with 5 interceptions. At this level in Dalton’s profession, he isn’t precisely the most secure with the ball. In his previous 4 video games, he’s thrown eight interceptions — together with 4 of them in a single sport. That stated, for his complete profession, Dalton’s been fairly good at ball management. I think about the Saints will run a really conservative sport plan with the Pink Rifle, and doubtless throw in a little bit of Taysom Hill for that versatility in some unspecified time in the future. The Vikings are at the moment twenty fourth in dashing protection and nineteenth in yards per rush allowed. They’ve additionally solely recovered one fumble all season, so retaining the ball on the bottom within the early components of the sport might be their greatest transfer.
Primarily, there’s a purpose why, regardless of each the Cowboys and Saints rolling with backup QBs, Vegas tasks each groups to both compete or flat out win their matchups this weekend. The sharps are inclined to know their stuff. We’ve seen stretches the place groups go above .500 with their backup QBs taking snaps. In 2019, the Saints went undefeated with Teddy Bridgewater filling in for an injured Drew Brees. That very same 12 months, the Jaguars went 6-6 with Gardner “Jock Strap King” Minshew, the Steelers went 8-6 with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, and the Broncos in some way went 4-1 with Drew Lock. I’m not saying that each Rush and Dalton are assured to win this weekend, however the truth that so many individuals are writing off the Cowboys and Saints towards two inconsistent groups is a travesty given how effectively these groups have carried out prior to now when put in related conditions. I perceive being skeptical of backups, however generally they shock you. I might not be shocked in the event that they shock us Sunday.