DFS Thursday Night Football: DraftKings Showdown for Week 13
Before we get into the specifics of this matchup and how to approach it for the DraftKings showdown slate, I want to point people back to a few pieces of evergreen content that I think are extremely valuable if you’re serious about winning showdown all season. I’d recommend reading/listening to this content before proceeding, especially if you’re new to showdown.
1. How to Win Showdown Contests: A detailed article looking at the data and strategy behind winning showdown lineups.
2. DFS Showdown Strategy Podcast: A thorough discussion on how to beat showdown, looking at the game theory and how to leverage the field.
DraftKings Sportsbook Lines
Spread: DAL -4.5
Team Totals: Cowboys (26.0), Saints (21.5)
Thursday night’s contest features two teams looking to get over their Thanksgiving hangover after both clubs lost on Turkey day a week ago. The Cowboys at 7-4 travel to New Orleans sans head coach Mike McCarthy (Covid) to take on the 5-7 Saints, who are desperate for a win after dropping four straight and haven’t won since the calendar read ‘October.’
The injuries on this slate are likely to play a crucial role in deciding the outcome as well as deciding how we attack this game in DFS (more on that soon), but before we get into the injury break down, let’s discuss how these teams want to run their offense. Since Week 8, Dallas is running the fastest offense in football in neutral situation pace while New Orleans is 4th in that sample, suggesting we should see plenty of play volume if both teams can move the ball. As Dallas is 4.5-point road favorites, it is notable that Dallas tends to lean more heavily on the run game, especially in recent weeks as their rush rate skyrockets from 35% in neutral situations to 49% when they’re playing with a lead of at least three points.
As for New Orleans, they tend to run a balanced offense when given the choice. Over the last four weeks, when games are being played within one score, they’re throwing at just a 57% clip, When trailing by at least a TD, Sean Payton has shown a willingness to increase the pass rate a little bit, but only to 67%. With Taysom Hill likely to start and and Mark Ingram back in the lineup, it’s likely we see Payton try to get the ground game going against the Cowboys at home Thursday Night.
As for team outlooks, it’s hard to say many positive things about the way the Saints are playing football right now, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve gotten tagged for 31, 40, 23, 27 and 27 real life points over their last five games, and as a result, New Orleans games are hitting the over in four of their last five weeks.
The Cowboys offense has been up and down since their Week 7 bye with only one game hitting the over thanks to Dallas’ offense being a bit Jekyll and Hyde over the last five weeks of the year. Based on the fact that Dallas is getting healthy, and the Saints have been among the worst defenses in football in recent weeks, I like betting on Dallas to have success Thursday on the road.