Week 13 of the NFL 2023 season begins as ever with the Thursday Night Football which this week sees a couple of division chasers in the NFC meeting when the Dallas Cowboys play host to the Seattle Seahawks.
Both teams sit second in their division behind juggernaut sides so it might be that the best that they can do this season is a wildcard spot but they won’t give up the fight for top spot just yet. This is a must-win game for those hopes though.
The Dallas Cowboys have hit a rich vein of form at the minute and are looking like one of the better sides in the league. They have won their last three matches and not just won them but done it to a cumulative score to the tune of 127-37 which highlights just how dominant they are at the minute. You can argue that they haven’t beaten a whole lot but you can’t really question how emphatically they have won those matches and that will give them plenty of confidence.
The Cowboys’ offense has been looking very good for a while now. There is an excellent balance to it with Tony Pollard offering up a strong running threat and that allows Dak Prescott the comfort of being able to pick off passes to a number of big receiving threats. Dallas are grinding teams down and really punishing them. The Dallas pass rush and defence have got stronger the longer the season has gone on and it looks like it will take a really good team to beat them at the minute.
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The Seattle Seahawks were in a position where they were on top of the NFC West a few weeks ago but three defeats in four matches since then have left them trailing in the wake of the San Francisco 49ers, who handed them their latest beating on Thanksgiving. That probably means that the best they are going to achieve this season is a wildcard but they won’t want to give up hope of winning the division too soon, but injuries are really beginning to bite.
Offensively they offered little to nothing last week. Geno Smith is clearly hampered with an injury while Kenneth Walker missed the match against San Francisco so they were unable to get anything going. They showed up defensively but in the end the amount of time that unit were on the field took its toll. You sense that Seattle will need their defence to be at its best if they are going to come out on top here. One positive is that they have had a full week to prepare for this game which isn’t always the case on a Thursday night.
You have to fear for the Seattle Seahawks here if Kenneth Walker isn’t fit enough to suit up. The consensus is that he isn’t going to play in this one and that just played into the Dallas Cowboys hands because they can go after Geno Smith and look to shut the Seahawks’ passing game down and give their own offense plenty of time to go to work. Until we know for sure that Walker is out though I don’t really want to get involved in the match outcome here.
The bet I like is the one that I took on Thanksgiving and that is for the Dallas Cowboys to score more than 28.5 points. The line was 30.5 against the Commanders on Thursday and the Cowboys covered that with a bit to spare and I expect them to do the same here. Seattle conceded 31 to the San Francisco 49ers last week and 37 to the Baltimore Ravens a few weeks ago while the average Carolina Panthers and Washington Commanders have scored 27 and 26 against this team. This Dallas offense is one of the most powerful in the league and they can score on defence as we saw last week too. I expect 29 points from the Cowboys here.
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