On Thursday of each week the Westgate in Las Vegas posts early odds for the following week’s NFL games. The New England Patriots have opened up as 8½-point favorites for their week 5 game at Dallas. The Cowboys will first be playing Sunday night at New Orleans, where the Saints are listed as 3-point favorites. The Pats will have plenty of time to prepare for the game at Jerry World, as they have a bye this week after throttling the Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 51-17. Interestingly the Cowboys don’t have any home field advantage recently; they were only 4-4 at home in 2014, but were 8-0 on the road.
The story in Dallas was expected to be how Brandon Weeden underwhelmed in relief of Tony Romo as the starting quarterback, but the Cowboys scored 28 points last week and on the season Weeden has now completed 29-33 passes (88%) for 305 yards. What was not expected was a meltdown by the Dallas defense, specifically in the run game. Backup Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns in his first NFL start; the previous week the Cowboys limited 2014 NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray to two yards on 13 carries. Dallas could not make a stop all game against the Falcons; they were on the field for 13 more snaps against Atlanta than they were for their first two games combined.
The primary issue for the Cowboys was that their defensive line was banged up, resulting in backups having to play large roles in the Atlanta game. Starting defensive end Jeremy Mincey (yes, the same player the Pats drafted in the sixth round in 2006 but was cut at the end of training camp) was out due to a concussion. Dallas also placed backup defensive tackle Terrell McClain on injured reserve prior to that game due to a sprained big toe that will require surgery. Backup Jack Crawford was forced to make his first NFL start and was on the field for 54 snaps, while fifth-round draft pick Ryan Russell was active for the first time, and logged 33 snaps. Mincey – who says he regrets playing through his concussion in week two against the Eagles – has passed the NFL’s concussion protocol and is expected to play Sunday; McClain is out for the season.
In regards to Mincey, despite being cut by Bill Belichick he has nothing but love for the Hoodie:
I’ll respect coach (Bill) Belichick until the day I die. I remember him asking me about my father, who was a former drug addict. I remember going home one time and my daddy said he talked to Bill Belichick for a good long time. I listened to him, but I didn’t believe him. I went back to New England and he called me into his office. I thought I was going to get cut, but he told me he talked to my father and I was like, “Wow.”
When I got released, he told me the truth. He said he loved my energy and I had some guys ahead of me like Roosevelt Colvin, Mike Vrabel and Junior Seau just signed, and I was playing linebacker and I barely knew how to play defensive end.
Here is a full look at Westgate’s opening NFL week 5 odds, with their current records after Baltimore’s Thursday night victory at Pittsburgh. Note: theses odds were posted prior to the Ravens-Steelers game, and do not reflect any updates since that result. Home team is listed last; won-loss record is current as of Friday, October 2.
Thursday, October 8
Sunday, October 11
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: against the spread betting line Dallas Cowboys Jeremy Mincey New England Patriots NFL odds Week 5