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Lions vs. Cowboys: Monday Night Football picks, odds, more for Week 17

Happy Monday... uh, Saturday Night Football, NFL fans!

Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions looks to pass the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 24, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

This seasons’ Monday Night Football finale will actually take place today, a Saturday, as the Detroit Lions take on the Dallas Cowboys in a matchup between two playoff-bound teams.

The Lions (11-4) have come into their own under head coach Dan Campbell this season. Their explosive offense is one of the NFL’s best and most fun to watch, and the team as a whole is easy to root for as one of the league’s most downtrodden franchises looks primed for a playoff run. On offense, Detroit is led by stars such as wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, rookie phenom Sam LaPorta at tight end, and the thunder and lightning running back duo of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. At quarterback, Jared Goff has enjoyed a career renaissance in Detroit, currently ranked third in the NFL in both passing yards and touchdowns. On defense, the Lions haven’t been anywhere near as successful, but they still have some star power in pass-rusher Aidan Hutchinson and a strong secondary that includes Kerby Joseph, Brian Branch, and former Steeler Cam Sutton.

The Cowboys (10-5) have had a season of dizzying ups and downs, best illustrated by their latest three-game stretch. Dallas blew out a very talented Eagles team three weeks ago just to drop their next two against the Bills and Dolphins, losing by 21 to Buffalo. On offense, Dallas has been elite this year, averaging 30.1 points per game. Quarterback Dak Prescott has enjoyed a career year with nearly four thousand passing yards and a 30/7 touchdown/interception ratio, while wide receiver CeeDee Lamb has had a fantastic season in his own right with over 1,400 yards and nine touchdowns. Brandin Cooks, Jake Ferguson, and Tony Pollard round out a strong group of Dallas playmakers. On defense, the Cowboys have been very boom or bust, with excellent and terrible games scattered throughout the year. In the past three weeks, Dallas gave up 31 to Buffalo and only 13 to Philadelphia.

How to watch Lions vs. Cowboys

Date: Saturday, December 30

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET

TV channel: ESPN/ABC

Live stream: ESPN apps, Watch ESPN via desktop, ABC apps

Odds and predictions for Lions vs. Cowboys

Point spread: Cowboys -5.5
O/U: 52.5
Moneyline: Cowboys -245, Lions +200

Pick against the spread

It’s a hard matchup to predict, as both the Lions and the Cowboys have similar records and styles of play. However, the Lions are coming off a strong two-game winning streak compared to the Cowboys’ two-game losing streak to enter the game. Dallas is hungry to get back in the win column and very talented, but the Lions are too good to be 5.5-point underdogs. I expect the Cowboys to get a narrow win here, but the margin of victory will likely be closer to a field goal than a touchdown.

The pick: Lions +5.5

Point total

Both of these teams are known for high-octane offenses that win in shootouts. Expect a lot of points scored in this one. The 52.5 over/under reflects that, but the point total might still go higher. The Lions have scored 30+ in two of their last three games, while the Cowboys are only two games removed from five-straight 30 and 40+ point performances. Neither defense in this matchup looks like they’ll be stopping much here. Expect a barn-burner on Saturday night with a score along the line of 31-28 Cowboys.

The pick: Over 52.5

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.