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NFL Week 11: Moneyline Bet For Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys

Who: Baltimore Ravens (5-4) at Dallas Cowboys (8-1)
Where: AT&T Stadium. Arlington, Texas.
When: Sunday, November 20, 2016. 1 p.m. EST
Money Line: Dallas -120 at the Bovada Sportsbook

The hottest team in the NFL looks to make it nine straight victories and a clean sweep of AFC North opponents Sunday when the Dallas Cowboys host the Baltimore Ravens in an interconference clash of division leaders.

The Cowboys maintained their two-game lead atop the ultracompetitive NFC East with a 35-30 victory over the Steelers at Pittsburgh on Sunday. Rookie Ezekiel Elliott’s 32-yard scoring run with nine seconds to play capped a back-and-forth fourth quarter in which the lead changed hands four times. Dallas is enjoying its first eight-game in-season win streak since the 1977 team – which had a star rookie running back of its own in Tony Dorsett and won Super Bowl XII – opened 8-0.

Elliott and fellow rookie, quarterback Dak Prescott, have turned the Cowboys into an offensive juggernaut after some early growing pains. Dallas has topped 400 yards of total offense in each of its last seven games, and with 1,005 yards already, Elliott appears primed to make a run at Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808 set with the Los Angeles Rams in 1983.

The Ravens, meanwhile, have a tenuous hold atop their division by one game over the Steelers and a further half-game on the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore will be well-rested for this game after Joe Flacco threw three second-half touchdowns in a 28-7 victory at winless Cleveland on Nov. 10.

The Ravens have played well in spurts this year, opening the season 3-0 before losing the next four and then bouncing back with wins in their last two contests. The Week 10 victory over Cleveland was the first game decided by double digits all year for Baltimore.

Cowboys Need to Keep Feeding the Beast

If it works, why mess with it, right? One could make the same argument for Dallas’ offense with Elliott, the fourth overall pick who finished with 114 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. Elliott has made the most of playing behind arguably the best offensive line in the NFL – he’s been held for losses on just 16 of his 198 carries this year while racking up 29 carries of at least 10 yards and 58 first downs overall. Elliott has also fumbled just once in his last seven games after putting the ball on the floor twice in Week 2 against Washington.

Ravens Must Rise to the Challenge of Stopping Elliott

The Ravens have allowed only two teams to rush for more than 100 yards this year, and running backs in each of those games – Cleveland’s Isaiah Crowell and New York Jets veteran Matt Forte – each reached the century mark. In the other seven games, however, Baltimore has been spectacular in stuffing the run. The Ravens have yielded just 2.6 yards per rush and 48.9 yards per game in those contests.

Baltimore has allowed only 24 rushing first downs all year, which means this contest will pit strength against strength. Dallas is not going to shy away from running the ball given the quality of its offensive line, and the Ravens will have to win the battle in the trenches to have any chance of success in this game..

Why I’m Taking the Cowboys on the Money Line vs. the Ravens

It seems like a “safe” bet to take the Cowboys on the money line as opposed to giving seven points in this instance – they’re coming off a last-second victory, riding their longest in-season winning streak in almost 40 years and also have performed well against the spread. Dallas has covered in each of its eight victories and is the only NFL team without a loss against the spread.

While this space has noted the Ravens’ quality run defense, the AFC North is arguably the weakest division in the conference – two of Baltimore’s five victories have come against winless Cleveland – and no team the Ravens have beaten currently has a winning record. In fact, Baltimore’s other four victories before easing by Cleveland were by a combined 20 points.

That’s why the recommendation to players is to take the Cowboys at -120 on the Bovada Sportsbook money line.

Chris AltrudaThis article was written by Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has spent more than two decades as a sportswriter, first for ESPN SportsTicker in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he rose to the level of college sports coordinator and was NCAA Men's Basketball Columnist. From there, he moved onto The Associated Press, where Chris started as an editorial assistant in their MegaSports division in the AP's headquarters in New York City before taking on the role of Scores Manager. He most recently served as an editor for nearly 11 years for STATS' editorial department based in Northbrook, Illinois, writing game previews for all US professional and major college sports as well as the English Premier League and international soccer. Currently a freelancer, Chris is still working the international soccer beat and other assorted projects. A native New Yorker and graduate of Marquette University who still refers to them as the Warriors, Chris is now holding out hope the Jets will reach a Super Bowl in his lifetime since the Cubs proved miracles are possible by winning the 2016 World Series. Chris can be found on Twitter at @AlTruda73

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