Thursday night NFL best bets: Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints

Week 13 of the NFL season kicks off Thursday with the Dallas Cowboys visiting the New Orleans Saints.

The Cowboys (7-4) still sit atop the NFC East but have dropped two straight and three of their last four. The Saints (5-6) have lost four in a row and are expected to move to Taysom Hill at quarterback.

ESPN betting analysts Joe Fortenbaugh (36-32-1, 2-5 last week), Doug Kezirian (13-21-2, 0-1), Tyler Fulghum (9-23, 0-0) and Anita Marks (186-175, 13-14), sports betting deputy editor David Bearman (24-20-1, 1-2), Stats & Information's Seth Walder 49-42 (4-1), Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz (38-32, 2-4) and fantasy/betting analyst Eric Moody (92-87, 7-12) have teamed up to offer their best bets.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook (as of Wednesday).

Dallas Cowboys (-4.5, 47.5) at New Orleans Saints

Fortenbaugh: I fully expect the Dallas defense to bounce back in a big way following its Thanksgiving debacle against the Raiders for two key reasons: First, the return of pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, who hasn't played since Week 1 due to a broken foot. Second, the opponent, as the New Orleans offense is averaging just 20.2 points per game since the loss of quarterback Jameis Winston. Throw in the fact that the Cowboys' coaching staff has been ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak (no Mike McCarthy on Thursday night) and you have a Dallas outfit that could continue to look out of sync on the offensive side of the ball, as it has quite a bit over the last few weeks. Take note that, including Thanksgiving, the under is 10-2 over the NFL's last 12 Thursday games.