Cowboys vs Panthers betting preview, odds & offers

CeeDee Lamb Dallas Cowboys 2021

Carolina @ Dallas should be a stellar NFL betting matchup Sunday and our preview gives you all you need to know ahead of Cowboys vs Panthers at AT&T Stadium (kickoff 1pm ET).

The 3-0 Panthers have the NFL’s best defense – both against the run and the pass. Sunday they match up against one of the league’s best offenses led by Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. Something has to give.

Let’s dive in to the betting detail to give you all the intel you’ll require to make your own picks. We’ll give you a couple of predictions of our own too at pretty nice odds…

Cowboys vs Panthers betting odds

Despite coming into this one with a better record, Carolina is the underdog in a fascinating matchup.

Dallas, coming off that impressive 41-21 demolition of divisional rival Philadelphia on Monday night, is a 4.5-point favorite. So if you bet the Cowboys on the spread, you need them to win by 5 or more to collect.

If you prefer to bet the money line (straight up with no spread), then Dallas is -200 (bet $200 to win $100) with the Panthers +175 (bet $100 to win $175).

Offers: free money & bets on Cowboys vs Panthers

There are a ton of competing offers out there, but here are a couple of football-related bonuses:

  • DraftKings: Bet $1 on any Week 4 game, get $150 in free bets
  • WynnBet: Bet $1 on any football game, win $100 if either team scores at TD

First/anytime Touchdown Scorer Odds

Okay so this is a nice way to win money with good odds – you bet a player to score a touchdown at any time during the game, or for bigger odds you can bet them to score the game’s first TD.

Our focus is on that powerful Dallas passing attack vs a secondary which could be overmatched here without first-round draft pick Jaycee Horn – sidelined long-term following foot surgery.

Even without the injured Michael Gallup, and with Amari Cooper nursing a rib injury, Prescott was terrific on Monday night with WR CeeDee Lamb and TE Dalton Schultz picking up the offensive slack.

Dallas has a terrific ground game with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard providing a great one-two punch behind that vaunted offensive line. But running against this Panthers front will be tough – it’s the strength of the unit and is giving up just 45 yards a game.

The scenario we see Sunday is Dallas and Prescott coming out throwing to build an early lead. Carolina, without Christian McCaffrey due to a hamstring injury and Sam Darnold still feeling his way back to normality, cannot win a shootout.

Lamb, who is expected to have a big breakout year in 2021 after a fine rookie campaign in 2020, is sure to come in for plenty of attention. And his ability to feature in the slot as well as out wide means he is tough to stop.

CeeDee is currently a +900 (bet $100 to win $900) shot to score first, and that’s well worth an interest. We’d also suggest a small wager on the aforementioned Schultz, who has been really good so far in 2021 and found the endzone twice Monday night vs Philly. He merits interest both in the anytime market (+325) and the first touchdown line (+2000)

OddsCritic Predictions

CeeDee Lamb to score first touchdown in Cowboys vs Panthers at +900 (FOX Bet)

Dalton Schultz to score first touchdown in Cowboys vs Panthers at +2000 (widely available)

Dalton Schultz to score a touchdown anytime in Cowboys vs Panthers at +325 (PointsBet)

Total Points Betting

We can see some lines here set with the over/under at 54.5 – seems awfully high when you factor in Carolina’s terrific defense and underperforming offense.

It’s almost uncanny but every single Panther game so far has delivered 33 points – 19-14 vs the Jets, 26-7 vs the Saints and 24-9 vs the Texans.

We are gonna ignore that 54.5 line because the odds to go under – rightly – are too skinny. Instead we will set our sights on a line at 47.5. Take the under people. We expect low 40s maximum.

OddsCritic Prediction: Cowboys vs Panthers to be under 47.5 points at +155 (Unibet, SugarHouse)

Cowboys vs Panthers H2H stats

The Cowboys and Panthers haven’t met since Week 1 of the 2018 season when Carolina beat Dallas in Charlotte. The Panthers are 3-9 alltime against the Cowboys in the regular season but holds a 2-0 playoff edge.

Carolina did win on its last visit to AT&T Stadium – crushing Tony Romo’s collarbone (again) and Dallas during a Super Bowl run in 2015.

As for stats in the current 2021 season, here are your top-line figures – including NFL rank

Pass Offense: Cowboys 277.3 YPG (12th) vs Panthers 284.7 YPG (9th)

Run Offense: Cowboys 139.3 YPG (4th) vs Panthers 105.7 YPG (16th)

Pass Defense: Cowboys 331.7 YPG (31st) vs Panthers 146 YPG (1st)

Run Defense: Cowboys 70.3 YPG (6th) vs Panthers 45 YPG (1st)

Injury Report: who is missing for both teams?

There are several key injuries to report on – here is the latest:


Panthers: RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring)

Cowboys: DE Dorance Armstrong (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (illness) DT Carlos Watkins (knee), S Donovan Wilson (groin)


Panthers: DE Yetur Gross-Matos (ankle), OG John Miller (shoulder)

Cowboys: DE Randy Gregory (knee)

NB: The above injury report does not include players already on IR or suspended – so the likes of Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence and Panthers CB Jaycee Horn, who both have foot injuries – or suspended Dallas OT La’el Collins.

Cowboys vs Panthers, who will win?

The burning question, and we expect Dallas to rise to 3-1 and hand Carolina its first loss of the season.

The Cowboys pass rush looked good Monday night and we expect rookie duo Micah Parsons and Osa Odighizuwa to really put the pressure on Darnold – yeah he’s put up plenty of yards but the Carolina O-line does not inspire confidence.

As we already said, we expect Dallas to come out throwing to test that Carolina secondary. The fact Dak is 56 of 66 for 499 yards and a score in 2021 when he gets rid of the ball in less than 2.5 seconds always gives us heart. He’ll need that quick release Sunday against a stout Panthers front.

OddsCritic prediction: Cowboys 27 Panthers 17