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Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys Predictions, Odds, Picks and Betting Preview – December 21, 2014

Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys Predictions, Odds, Picks and Betting Preview – December 21, 2014

Welcome to the playoffs, Indianapolis Colts. After taking down the Houston Texans in Week 15, Andrew Luck and the rest of the Colts are headed back to the playoffs, an accomplishment the Dallas Cowboys are also looking to duplicate. The Cowboys have positioned themselves to do just that following a win over the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.

Done reading this preview? You can also read our complete picks and predictions for all NFL Week 16 games here.

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Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview and Prediction

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington

When: Sunday, December 21, 4:25 PM ET

Line: Indianapolis Colts (+3) at Dallas Cowboys (-3); total: 55.0see all NFL lines

Betting on the Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck knows playoffs. Behind the terrific quarterbacking of Luck all season long, the Colts are once again kings of the AFC South for the second-straight time following the team’s 17-10 win Sunday over the Houston Texans.

[sc:NFL240banner ]Luck, however, wasn’t in his best element against Houston. He passed for just 187 yards—his fewest since Week 2—on 18 of 34 attempts for two touchdowns and an interception. Luck has been beleaguered by turnovers throughout the season, as evidenced by his high count of 14 interceptions—including three in the Colts’ last three games. The quarterback may have little breathing room next Sunday, though, against a Dallas’ mediocre passing defense that ranked just 27th in DVOA after 14 weeks of NFL action.

Although Luck didn’t play up to par against Houston, the Colts’ were still able keep themselves in the game by leaning on their backfield and their gradually improving defense. Led by Daniel Herron, who rushed for 60 yards on 11 carries, the Colts managed to compile 110 yards on the ground. The team’s defense, on the other hand, has limited each of their last two opponents to fewer than 290 total yards.

The Colts’ defense will be front and center against Dallas, as the Cowboys’ offense has been one of the most prolific in the league this season, particularly on the ground. The Cowboys entered Week 14 ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards with 149.1 per game.  The Colts, meanwhile, have surrendered an average of 126 rushing yards over their last two games.

The over is 8-2 in the Colts’ last 10 games as the road team.

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Betting on the Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys were a lot of things for experts and fans before the season began, and a playoff team wasn’t one of them. Dallas, however, looked every bit a team destined to make the playoffs when the ‘Boys beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-27  in a topsy-turvy game on Sunday to gain the solo lead in the NFC East.

Much-maligned quarterback Tony Romo made up for his ugly performance in their first meeting with the Eagles in Week 13 by completing 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions.  Together with Dez Bryant, Romo was able to blow the Eagles’ defense to bits. Bryant finished the game with 114 receiving yards and three touchdowns on just six catches.

Romo and Bryant have been an unstoppable duo in the Cowboys’ passing game, especially when up against inconsistent secondary groups. Indianapolis isn’t a bad team against the pass, but they’re not spectacular either. Indianapolis is surrendering 240.6 passing yards thus far this season.

Conversely, the Cowboys must also be able to find a way to contain Indianapolis’ passing game. The Colts are the best passing team in the league right now, amassing 310.9 passing yards per game. With that being said, the Cowboys’ secondary have a lot on their plate this coming Sunday. The group will be led by Bruce Carter, who paces the team with three interceptions, and J.J. Wilcox, who had one of two Dallas’ picks against Philadelphia in Week 15.

DeMarco Murray, meanwhile, will likely challenge the Colts’ rushing game in order to open things up for Romo and company in the passing game. Murray rushed for 81 yard sand two touchdowns last Sunday on 31 carries. Murray, the NFL’s leading rusher, is rushing for 120.5 yards per game thus far this season.

The Cowboys are 2-0 ATS in their last two games overall.

Writer’s Prediction

Dallas (-3) wins, 28-25.

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Written by Rex

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