Three weeks ago, the Las Vegas Raiders went into their bye week atop the AFC West with a 5-2 record. They had just beaten the Denver Broncos on the road and the Philadelphia Eagles at home, and things looked sunny after the bye as well, with a trip to New York to take on the hapless Giants and a visit from the (to that point) disappointing Kansas City Chiefs. However, things could not have gone worse for the Greatness. They went to New York and could not get out of their own way in a shocking loss, and then they hosted the Chiefs and saw that Patrick Mahomes had finally figured out how to run that high-octane offense once again. Now 5-4, the Raiders play Cincinnati on Sunday before heading to Dallas on a short week. The Cowboys looked vulnerable two weeks ago after the Denver Broncos used a run-heavy offense and a mix of defensive coverages to steamroll the Cowboys’ defense and frustrate their offense. However, Dallas rebounded last week with a 43-3 spanking of the Atlanta Falcons. Let’s look ahead to the Thanksgiving Day showdown between these two teams.
Take a look at our NFL betting preview for Raiders vs Cowboys.
NFL Thanksgiving Preview: Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (Thursday, November 25)
- When: Thursday, November 25, 2021, 4:30 pm ET
- Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
- TV: CBS
- Radio: Westwood One
- Live Stream: Hulu
- NFL Odds: Dallas -5
Why should you bet on the Raiders?
Before the bye week, the Raiders had utilized a combination of optimism and baling wire to hold their offense and defense together. Neither side has a real star, but as a unit, the offense and defense were doing just enough to shut opponents down. Of course, the Broncos and even the Eagles did not really represent elite competition, but a win is a win — and Philadelphia has taken down some tough teams this season, so we see that when Derek Carr is on, the team responds on both sides of the ball.
Against Kansas City, Carr hit some huge money passes. However, way too many balls were dropped, and DeSean Jackson somehow turned a sure touchdown into a turnover. He caught a bomb from Carr, found himself past the last defender, but decided to run parallel to the goal line instead of toward it, and he had the ball punched out. That was the last time the Raiders really threatened. The Cowboys give up chunk plays (although that stopped against Atlanta, as Dallas picked off three passes), and Carr is the sort of quarterback who can hit those medium to deep passes.
Why should you put your money on the Cowboys?
Under Jason Garrett (and in the first season under Mike McCarthy), the Dallas Cowboys would have lost a lot of games that they could have won, but that is not the case this time around. Normally, the Cowboys’ culture under Jerry Jones has involved coddling the feelings of players, and you did not see players get angry after losses — and you did not see that anger come out in the form of elite play the next week. However, after that embarrassment at home against Denver, Dallas came out firing on all cylinders against the Falcons. They took the opening kickoff right down the field and scored a touchdown — something that was a regular occurrence for the Cowboys when they were winning Super Bowls in the 1990s but something that has not been a feature in recent decades.
This time around, Dallas scored 29 points in the second period to go into the locker room up 36-3 at the half. The offense can pound you with the ball, and it can eviscerate you with the deep ball, and they did both against Atlanta. The defense is aggressive and opportunistic — and after the Denver rout, they were focused.
Final Score and Betting Prediction
Over the next three weeks, the Cowboys play Kansas City, Las Vegas and New Orleans. They need to win at least two of those to stay in the hunt for the NFC’s bye to the divisional round. Win or lose in Kansas City, the Cowboys should show up focused on Thanksgiving — plus they get the Raiders traveling on a short week. I predict a final score of Dallas 30, Las Vegas 20.
Final Score of Dallas 30, Las Vegas 20 : Bet the Game Today
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