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Ravens Hope to Have Starters Back vs Dallas

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown (15) plays in an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Pittsburgh.

Less than a week after fielding a makeshift lineup for a Wednesday afternoon contest in Pittsburgh, Baltimore (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS) hosts Dallas (3-8, 2-9) as a 10-point favorite in a game that is critical to both teams’ playoff hopes. The Ravens have covered just four of their last 16 home games as double-digit chalk.

Dallas Cowboys vs Baltimore Ravens
  • Date/Time: December 8, 8:05 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
  • TV Coverage: Fox, NFL Network
  • Opening Odds: Ravens -10 | O/U 45 (Line History)
  • Cowboys vs Ravens Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

With the status of so many Ravens starters uncertain, oddsmakers took their time setting a line. Only a couple of sportsbooks had posted a number by Thursday night, more than 24 hours after Baltimore’s game against Pittsburgh on Wednesday had concluded.

Dallas News & Notes

The Cowboys aren’t technically coming off a bye, but they might as well be. Dallas hasn’t played since Thanksgiving Day’s 41-16 blowout loss against Washington and will be on 11 days’ rest when it takes the field against the Ravens, who will have had just five days off since their loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Dallas has been one of the NFL’s best teams off a bye over the last 30 years, going 21-9 SU and ATS.

The extra time off could also help several important Cowboys players who are dealing with injuries. Running back Ezekiel Elliott was one of several players to work out on the side as he nurses a hamstring injury suffered at the beginning of November, and left tackle Cam Erving might also be able to return from a knee injury suffered against Washington. The news isn’t as good for four-time Pro Bowl guard/tackle Zack Martin, who is expected to miss multiple weeks due to a calf injury.

Dallas is just 1-5 SU since Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury, scoring 19 points or less in each of those losses. Wide receiver Amari Cooper has been one of the few bright spots offensively during that stretch, recording at least 67 yards in five of six outings. Cooper caught six balls for 112 yards and a touchdown last time out against Washington, when no other Cowboys player had more than 41 receiving yards.

Baltimore News & Notes

Despite being without Lamar Jackson and eight other starters Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, the Ravens fought hard and even backdoored a point spread cover for Baltimore +10.5 backers in a 19-14 defeat. Jackson will probably be eligible to suit up against the Cowboys as his mandated 10-day quarantine should end before Tuesday, although he’ll have hardly practiced in two weeks.

If Jackson can’t play against Dallas, the Ravens might be forced to start third-string QB Trace McSorley due to the hamstring injury backup pivot Robert Griffin III suffered against the Steelers.

Griffin ran for 68 yards on seven attempts before the injury, although he was just 7-for-12 for 33 passing yards and threw an interception that the Steelers returned for a touchdown. McSorley completed two of six passes in his NFL debut, but one of those completions went for a 70-yard touchdown to Marquise Brown with 2:58 remaining in regulation.

Baltimore’s three-game losing streak has dropped the Ravens to the ninth seed in the AFC, but their postseason hopes are still very much alive. Baltimore’s remaining schedule includes just one team above .500, and ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Ravens a 76.7 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Betting Pick: Cowboys +10

Baltimore is playing for its playoff life right now, but so are the Cowboys, entering action one game out of first in the NFC East. Dallas is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games as an underdog and the extra time the Cowboys have had to prepare should help them keep things tight.

Shark Bites
  • Dallas is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games as an underdog.
  • Baltimore is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas’ last 5 games at Baltimore.