There’s no question regarding which game is the best matchup on the schedule for Week 5 of the 2017 NFL season. The Green Bay Packers visit the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon in a contest between two of the Super Bowl favorites in the NFC.

The latest betting odds have Dallas favored by two points at home, via OddsShark, and the over/under is 52. Here’s a closer look at the Week 5 game, as well as a prediction against the spread:

Why the Cowboys could cover the spread

Dallas had a tough loss in Week 4, falling to the Los Angeles Rams 35-30 at home. The Cowboys relinquished the lead late in the third quarter as their offense disappeared in the second half. There are a few reasons to believe Dallas will be able to move the ball consistently against Green Bay for four quarters.

The Packers still haven’t proven that they can stop a good offense on the road. They’ve played one game away from Lambeau Field, allowing Matt Ryan to post a 108.0 passer rating in a 34-23 win for the Atlanta Falcons. Green Bay’s secondary was able to play well against Mike Glennon in Week 4, but the unit could be exposed when it faces Dak Prescott at AT&T Stadium.

Prescott had two big games against the Packers a year ago, throwing for three touchdowns at Lambeau Field during the regular season and keeping pace with Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs. Ezekiel Elliott was even better with 282 rushing yards against the Packers, and he should be in a position to have more success Sunday, taking on a defense that ranks 19th in yards allowed per carry.

Even though Elliott has had a down year by his standards, he gives the Cowboys the significant edge in the running game. Ty Montgomery might be forced to sit with broken ribs, and Green Bay’s rushing attack hasn’t done much of anything with their starter on the field. If he’s out, the Packers might be forced to rely almost exclusively on Rodgers to move the ball.

The Rams and Denver Broncos were able to beat the Cowboys by dominating the ground game. Dallas beat the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, who couldn’t get anything going with the run. A limited running game for the Packers could be what ultimately does them in.

Why the Packers could cover the spread

Dealing with so many injuries on offense, the Packers certainly needed the extra rest after beating the Chicago Bears 35-14 on “Thursday Night Football.” If Green Bay is able to get their offensive linemen and banged up playmakers healthy, they can put up a ton of points in Week 5.

Dallas’ defense has looked good in both of their victories, though that isn’t saying much against teams that rank in the bottom third of the league in scoring. Against Denver’s average offense, the Cowboys were dreadful. They let the Rams' No.1 scoring offense reach their season average of 35 points.

That probably means that the NFC’s best quarterback is going to play like an elite quarterback Sunday afternoon in Dallas.

Rodgers threw for 355 yards in the Packers’ 34-31 road win over the Cowboys in last season’s playoffs. Expect him to put up big numbers against Dallas’ secondary, just like Trevor Siemian and Jared Goff have been able to do in 2017.

Dallas’ offense has been somewhat of a disappointment this year. Jonathan Cooper and La’el Collins have been shaky in their first season as starters on the offensive line, and Elliott’s numbers have taken a hit as a result. Keeping up with Rodgers and Green Bay won’t be as easy as it was when the teams faced off a year ago.


The betting line indicates that the Packers are the better team on a neutral field. Through one-quarter of the season, that distinction isn’t exactly clear.

Green Bay has yet to prove they can slow down a top offense on the road, and they even let Andy Dalton post a 124.1 passer rating at Lambeau Field. Dallas’ defense might not look spectacular, but they’ve got the slight edge at home.

Sunday’s game at AT&T Stadium could look very similar to last week’s contest, but with the Cowboys coming out on the winning end this time.

Dallas over Green Bay, 31-26