Cardinals vs. Cowboys betting preview and pick – Tony Romo inactive with back injury

romo-tony-103014-getty-ftr

Quarterback Tony Romo will be held out Sunday when the Cowboys (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) host the surprising Cardinals (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) at AT&T Stadium (1 p.m. ET, Fox). Romo took a knee to his surgically-repaired back in Monday’s home loss to the Redskins and was sent for a battery of tests this week. The tests revealed two fractured transverse processes in his back. Brandon Weeden will start his first game since Week 12 of last season with Cleveland. Weeden played well in relief Monday, hitting 4 of 6 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown.

The Cardinals have no such questions, with quarterback Carson Palmer looking fully recovered from the nerve problem in his shoulder. Arizona is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS with Palmer leading the team. He’s completed 61 percent of his throws for 1,136 yards and eight touchdowns with one interception this year.

The winner gets the inside track toward homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs. These teams haven’t played since 2011.

Line: PK, Total: 44.5

Line movement: Dallas opened -4.5 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, but as of Thursday, the line had not been reposted due to Romo's uncertain status.  CG Technology and Stations, though, have Dallas -3.5 and -4, respectively, on this game. Since news broke of Romo being inactive, the line has been moved in the Cardinals' favor. It's a PK at the SuperBook and CG Technologies, while shifting all the way to Cardinals -1 at Stations. For updated spreads and totals from around Las Vegas, visit our live odds page.

Trends that matter: The Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games. … The Cowboys are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against winning teams. … The UNDER is 7-2 in Arizona’s last nine games against NFC opponents. … The UNDER is 8-1 in Arizona’s last nine games on Fieldturf.

Murray’s toughest test? Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray has rushed for 1,054 yards and is on pace to break Eric Dickerson’s 30-year-old NFL record of 2,105 yards. Murray has eased the pressure on Romo and helped hide Dallas’ defensive liabilities. Arizona poses his stiffest test yet, as the Cardinals are tied for first in yards per carry allowed (3.3), rank third in rushing yards allowed per game (77.9) and are tied for seventh in rushing touchdowns allowed (4).

Cowboys lose leading tackler: Linebacker Justin Durant tore his biceps Monday night and is out for the season. He led the team with 49 tackles and two forced fumbles. Now, Dallas turns to rookie Anthony Kitchens, a fourth-rounder out of Iowa.

Injuries that matter: Romo did not practice Wednesday as expected and has been ruled out for Sunday's tilt.

Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson got cleared fast from his Week 8 concussion and is expected to start.

Visit here for all Week 9 NFL injuries.

Handicapping tools: Matchup analysis | Power Ratings | ARZ team page | DAL team page

The Linemakers' lean: The Cowboys have covered just eight of their last 30 games as home favorites, and while this year's version of Dallas is much different from the past three seasons, they’re 0-2 ATS in their last two chances in the role (Houston, Washington). Arizona uses its defense to compete well with favored opponents and has stayed UNDER in four of its past five as dogs. We like Arziona and the UNDER here.

Sign up for The Linemakers’ free newsletter and follow us on Twitter.