HowBout This? The long shot will make a run at the wire.
Bettors expected the Dallas Cowboys’ Week 18 matchup with the Washington Commanders to be anti-climactic.
Just not like this.
The Commanders were supposed to need the game to protect a playoff berth. And the Cowboys were going to play out the string while the Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC East last weekend against the New Orleans Saints.
The Commanders eliminated themselves with a 24-10 setback to the Cleveland Browns.
And once Philadelphia laid that 20-10 egg last weekend against the New Orleans Saints, the Cowboys have a relevant final week. Yes, they need the New York Giants to upset the Philadelphia Eagles at +14 to then win the NFC East by stopping Washington.
But the Eagles have already booted two NFC East-clinching games. Do they have a third one in them?
Cowboys vs. Commanders spread
The public expects the ‘Boys to at least do their part. DraftKings bettors back them at 93% handle at -7. The backing was so solid it drove the line up from Dallas -5.5 on Thursday morning. Washington announced rookie QB Sam Howell as the starter, which is the likely reason for the movement. It will be Howell’s debut.
And a solid 83% of the handle rides on the Over 41. Seven of the last nine Cowboys games have gone Over and last week just missed. The 27-13 triumph over the Tennessee Titans had an over-under of 40.5.
There are some interesting bets that hint the Cowboys offense may not play a full game.
Dallas to score more than 23.5 points is +100, with the Under at -120 at DraftKings.
Given the prolific nature of the Cowboys’ offense, this seems like an easy “Over”, especially with Tony Pollard presumably returning.
What’s possibly being missed? The Eagles jump all over the Giants, making the Dallas game insignificant and the Cowboys play backups in the second half. The Eagles are a whopping -14 after losing two straight games.
Nonetheless, the Over is intriguing. Dallas has notched offensive totals in the 40’s and 50’s this season. Betting the “Over” on this wager indicates faith that the Cowboys can score against a disinterested Washington team and that the Giants can stay with the Eagles into the second half.
If the Giants don’t get blown out, the Cowboys will have to go full out most of the way.
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told HowBoutThem.
“The feeling with us is that Jalen Hurts will be in there for the Eagles after missing two straight games and that the Giants may use their big players only for a couple of series. But remember that this is a tough spot for the players too. It would be one thing if the Eagles got up 28-0 and everybody takes a breather and coasts, but that’s not what usually happens. This game is going to be close for a while and once the players are actually in the game, their mindset is that they want to play hard.”
The wager can be extended to the touchdown total. Dallas to score more than 2.5 touchdowns is -110, it’s most reasonable odds in several weeks. The Cowboys are usually in the -180 or -200 range to score three TD’s. Translation: the book anticipates a low-scoring Dallas victory.
Bettors will decide whether they agree.
The Cowboys are -3.5 for the first half. They have to play at least 30 minutes as if everything matters.
First score of the game:
- Dallas touchdown +175
- Dallas field goal +300
- Dallas safety +6500
- Washington touchdown +290
- Washington field goal +350
- Washington safety +6500.
Here Are Some In Game Props related to timing at DraftKings:
- Dallas to score first and win +105
- Dallas to score first and lose +550
- Washington to score first and win +370
Washington to score first and lose +200. This is one of the lowest totals associated with this possibility this year. It’s often double this price. Although the scenario makes sense, the price does not back up the risk, in this case.
Consider Linking Moneyline Parlay
The Cowboys, Eagles and Buffalo Bills are all substantial favorites on Sunday. None of them can return a good price on the moneyline.
But put all three together and the payout is close to even money across the books. Caesars Sportsbook would return more than $39 on a $20 bet, not terrible.
To pull this trigger, one would have to believe the Cowboys will still play hard enough not to lose against Washington, even if the Eagles are blowing out the Giants.
For more fun, you can toss the Green Bay Packers into the mix. They are playing a win-and-you’re—in a matchup against the visiting Detroit Lions. If the Seahawks at -6.5 beat the Los Angeles Rams in the afternoon, the Packers will play a Lions team that’s been eliminated.
If the Rams pull an upset, the Packers-Lions could become an electrifying game.
FanDuel High On Cowboys
The book reports that Micah Parsons is -250, a practical shoo-in, to win the defensive player of the year award. Hats off to gamblers who made this wager early in the season, when all players have a good price.
FanDuel has a prop established for Parsons to go out in style for the regular season. He is +380 to record two sacks. That would give Parsons 15 this year.
Do you believe in miracles? Can the ‘Boys beat the Commanders and the Giants give Dallas the division by beating the Eagles? That’s +950 if you believe that will happen.
The Cowboys are getting respect in the post-season department too. They are down to +480 to win the NFC, about half the number they were a few weeks ago. Dallas also is +1100 to win the Super Bowl, one of the top 5 teams on the Fan Duel board.
- Kansas City is the +320 chalk.
- Buffalo is next at +420.
- The Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are +550.
- The Cincinnati Bengals are +750.
- And then come the ‘Boys at +1100.