Cowboys-Seahawks Thursday night: NFL betting odds, picks, tips

Tony Pollard is set up to have a big night against the Seahawks. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Week 13 kicks off as the red-hot Dallas Cowboys host the struggling Seattle Seahawks.

So what is worth betting? And what should you avoid?

Betting analysts Eric Moody, Seth Walder, Anita Marks, Tyler Fulghum and Aaron Schatz are here to provide their thoughts.

Note: Odds by ESPN BET.

Seahawks at Cowboys (-9, 47.5). Are you expecting Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and the Cowboys to have a field day against the struggling Seahawks, or is this line too big against a desperate Seattle squad? How are you betting this one?

Fulghum: I am expecting Prescott and the Cowboys to continue to look dominant against inferior competition. The Seahawks come into Dallas a bit banged up on offense. Geno Smith's throwing arm is not 100%. He was dreadful in the blowout loss to San Francisco. The Dallas defense will pose just as difficult a test. Tyler Lockett has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. Kenneth Walker III (oblique) is a longshot to play on short rest after missing Week 12. I think the Cowboys win this game comfortably. Cowboys 1H -5.5 | Cowboys -9 | Cowboys Team Total OVER 27.5

Schatz: I agree here with Tyler, because the Cowboys have been very strong in recent weeks. Since Week 6, they rank second in the NFL in overall DVOA and first on offense. They've also been playing a pass-heavy style that feeds into larger scores. The Seahawks are dealing with a number of injuries on offense. The only thing that might keep me away from an over or the Cowboys' spread for the whole game is that the Seahawks have improved on pass defense and declined on run defense since a few weeks ago. (Since Week 6, they are 14th vs. the pass and 28th vs. the run in DVOA.) Perhaps that has the Cowboys slowing down in the second half and keeping the ball on the ground to salt away a victory. So my favorite bet here is Cowboys 1H -5.5.

Marks: Dallas Team Total OVER 27.5 (-125). Dallas has won 13 straight home games and has averaged 41 points at AT&T Stadium this season... hands down the best home team in the NFL. The Cowboys have gone over their team total in all five home games. Seattle's red zone defense (29th) allowed over 30 points to the 49ers and the Ravens.

Dak Prescott now has the fourth-shortest odds for MVP (+800), with only Jalen Hurts (+150), Lamar Jackson (+400) and Patrick Mahomes (+400) ahead of him. At these odds, is this a bet you're making on the Cowboys QB?

Fulghum: I don't think the time has completely passed to bet on Dak, but I was urging investment a couple weeks ago on ESPN Bet Live when he was closer to +2500 for this very reason. Dallas has a legitimate opportunity to earn a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NFC, Dak has been playing very well, and any success for this team is magnified in the media. The value has been mostly bet out of Dak, but if you're a Cowboys fan you could spend your money more recklessly than placing this bet now.

Walder: Yes. I was with Tyler, above, on thinking Prescott was undervalued before and also agree he still is. In this week's MVP Watch I voted for Prescott as the MVP thus far. He ranks second in QBR and leads the offense that ranks second in EPA per dropback -- only behind Brock Purdy and the 49ers, who have the advantage of a plethora of weapons and Kyle Shanahan's system and also rely less on the passing game. I can't guarantee Prescott holds up until the end or that voters won't be swayed by Jalen Hurts' quarterback wins (insert eyeroll here) but considering the Cowboys QB should be in pole position right now, 8-1 seems like a value.

What do you make of the Seahawks' struggles on offense this season? Do you see it as a Geno Smith issue or other factors? And how does that factor in against the Cowboys' D?

Fulghum: I see major issues in this matchup for the Seahawks offense. Smith is playing at what looks like far less than 100% due to his throwing elbow injury suffered a couple weeks ago in a loss to the Rams. This unit has had some tough injury luck this season that has prevented them from completely gelling and finding a consistent groove. I think the Dallas defense is set up for another smash spot.

Schatz: I think what we're seeing is just natural regression combined with some injuries, such as missing both starting tackles for a couple games earlier in the season. The big regression has been on the deep ball. Last year, Smith was fifth in DVOA on deep passes (16 or more air yards). But most of the positive performance came in just the first few games of the year. This year, Smith is 21st in DVOA on deep passes, much closer to where he was over the second half of 2022. The performance on shorter passes is only a little below where it was last year, and the rushing performance is the same. Maybe a healthy Smith would get some of that deep pass magic back against the Cowboys? But he may not be fully healthy, and the Cowboys are going to shut down the short passes. They rank No. 1 in DVOA against passes under 16 air yards.

What's your favorite prop bet Thursday?

Fulghum: Geno Smith UNDER 224.5 pass yds (-115). Smith mustered just 180 passing yards in last week's 31-13 loss to the 49ers. He's clearly playing with a compromised throwing arm and that's no bueno against a Dallas defense that can be dominant against the pass. They're only allowing 167.2 YPG through the air this season and have racked up 37 sacks and 12 INTs. Smith may be forced into throwing the ball a lot, but the Cowboys are perfectly equipped at home to greatly limit his efficiency.

Schatz: Jaxon Smith-Njigba UNDER 41.5 pass yards (-115). The Cowboys rank No. 1 in DVOA against third receivers and No. 1 against shorter passes, and Smith-Njigba mostly runs shorter routes. Curtis Samuel is the only third receiver to gain more than 45 yards in a game against the Cowboys this season.

Walder: Jordyn Brooks UNDER 9.5 tackles + assists (-130). Mike McCarthy passes the ball much more than most people think: Dallas has the second-highest designed pass rate on early downs and also second-highest when win probability is between 15-85%. That plays into the hands of the under, because Brooks -- like most linebackers -- records tackles at a lower rate on pass plays compared to run plays. My model projects 8.1 tackles + assists for the Seahawks linebacker Thursday.

Moody: Brandin Cooks OVER 42.5 receiving yards. Over the last three games, he has averaged 6.3 targets and 95.6 receiving yards. Cooks is being included more in the offensive gameplan by the Cowboys. This season, the Seahawks defense has allowed opponents the 11th most passing yards per game. No other team has averaged more passing yards per game than the Cowboys over the last three games. Cooks is in an excellent position to shine, especially if the Seahawks prioritize stopping CeeDee Lamb.

Marks: Tony Pollard anytime TD. Pollard has scored touchdowns in two straight games. Seattle's defense has allowed 14 rushing TDs this season, at least one in five of its last six games. Prescott has struggles vs. Pete Carroll's defense, so the Cowboys should be committed to running the ball.

Is there anything else you're playing on Thursday?

Fulghum: This sets up as another smash spot for Tony Pollard. Although Pollard has been a bit disappointing this season, he is coming off back-to-back outings with a touchdown. His involvement in the pass game has spiked the last couple weeks, so hopefully we see that trend continue. I like building a Pollard SGP OVER 85.5 rush + rec yds | Anytime TD (+231) for Thursday night.

Moody: Jake Ferguson OVER 36.5 receiving yards. He's surpassed this line in three of his last five games. Ferguson has averaged 5.8 targets per game over that time. This season, the Seahawks defense has allowed 7.0 targets, 5.2 receptions and 52 receiving yards to tight ends.

Moody: Dak Prescott OVER 2.5 passing touchdowns. My attention was drawn to this prop bet at plus odds (+170). Over the last three games, the Seahawks' defense has allowed 1.7 passing touchdowns. In recent weeks, Prescott and the Cowboys offense have been a juggernaut. The veteran quarterback has surpassed 2.5 passing touchdowns in four of his last five games.