The opening week of the NFL season is finally here, and with it comes our first set of Sunday Night Football betting picks as the Rams host the Cowboys!
The NFL is the most popular sport to bet on at online sports betting sites in NJ, PA, and plenty of other states where wagering is legal. And while little touches like the Collinsworth Slide may be missing from the broadcast, fans will still be on their mobile devices during Week 1, getting in on the action as the first Sunday of the season comes to a close.
So without any further delay, let's get to our Cowboys vs. Rams predictions for Week 1!
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Week 1 SNF Betting Picks: Cowboys vs. Rams Predictions
To start the new campaign it will be the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Los Angeles Rams on September 13 at 8:20 PM in the first-ever NFL game from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. In a season unlike any other, it's going to be interesting to see how oddsmakers set lines in a sport where the home-field advantage is thought to be huge.
Despite traveling to the West Coast, Dallas enters the game as three-point favorites, according to Week 1 NFL odds from BetMGM. The total is set at 51.5 points in a contest that features two offenses expected to put up a whole lot of points this season. So how do we see things unfolding when Dallas visits Los Angeles on Sunday night?
Sunday Night Football Picks: Will Dallas Come Out Hot In Week 1?
The Cowboys finished a disappointing 2019 season at 8-8, narrowly missing the playoffs in a division they frankly should have won.
The Rams also had a host of struggles last year and missed the playoffs with a record of 9-7. Following the offseason, there could be more questions than answers when it comes to this team, especially when considering the division it plays in.
The biggest issue at the onset of this 2020 campaign is how teams will be able to get through not having a preseason, having fewer workouts, and less offseason training.
With Dallas' nucleus still intact as the Rams went through some upheaval (notably cutting Todd Gurley), it's easy to see why the 'Boys are three-point favorites heading into the inaugural edition of 2020 Sunday Night Football.
Before I make my prediction, here are a few keys to the game for me:
- Offense May Reign Supreme Early On: It may be an easier time to connect on larger plays and rip off big rushing gains early on if the offense has some continuity. Even though the system has changed, the coordinator is the same and the Cowboys have a dangerous group that has been together for a few years, minus newly-drafted WR CeeDee Lamb.
- Rams Didn't Fill The RB Hole: Look, there was a hole to begin with when Todd Gurley was on the team but not producing. Sean McVay is counting on a lot of rookies overall, but especially an unproven RB in rookie Cam Akers from Florida State. Not a good look for Week 1 when you're counting on a rookie in such an advanced position without a preseason to analyze.
- Cowboys Have Something To Prove: Yes, this is a cliche term, but when you're trying to pinpoint reasons for strong gameplay, cliches help. It was embarrassing to see the Cowboys not make it to the playoffs, and Jason Garrett was ousted for that and so many more reasons. New coach Mike McCarthy will be looking to make an impact on both sides of the ball in this game as well as the first four games, which are always looked at as a litmus test for a new coach and a new system.
The Cowboys are simply the better team on paper right now. And while it's difficult to know the impact of no preseason and no fans on football in general, giving away three points with the Cowboys is an easy prediction to make at this juncture.
Week 1 SNF Picks: Dallas Cowboys -3 (-110) - Make Week 1 NFL Picks At DraftKings Sportsbook!
2020 SNF Picks: Cowboys vs. Rams Totals Prediction
If you're looking toward the over/under total points for this Sunday Night Football contest, all signs point to the over for this even at a fairly high total of 52 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Besides the mention of offensive power early on this 2020 NFL season, here are a couple of other key components to this prediction:
- Dallas was ranked second in offensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders last year. The Rams were middle-of-the-pack at the 16th.
- Cowboys have hit the over in 13 of their last 19 games, including a 44-21 victory over the Rams last December. Los Angeles has also hit the over in four of their last six.
- Rams defense has generally gotten worse, as they've lost key players on the edge and at inside linebacker.
Take all of these into account and I feel like betting the over at 52 points is a strong play for our Sunday Night Football totals pick.
Week 1 SNF Over Under Pick: Over 52 Points (-110) - Make Week 1 NFL Picks At DraftKings Sportsbook!
Cowboys vs. Rams Best Bets: Week 1 SNF Picks
- Dallas Cowboys -3 (-110)
- Dallas Cowboys Team Total Over 26.5 (-130)
- Dallas Cowboys -8.5 Alternate Point Spread (+200) at DraftKings
For more information and advice on pro football wagering, visit our NFL Betting Guide!
Photo Credit: Associated Press