The unexpected pleasure does not occur just because of the high-profile Sunday night game in Philadelphia. Nor might it be the split betting line of support, with Philadelphia at -4.5 producing 62% of the early handle or Dallas on the moneyline at +185 notching 55% of the handle at DraftKings.
It’s a bonus because both teams are hot, simultaneously, and vie for NFC East supremacy.
The Eagles are the league’s last unbeaten team. They have already exceeded their win total from the 4-11-1 campaign in 2020, a low point.
The ‘Boys have been the darling of anyone who loves the term “comeback”. They sport a 4-0 record ever since Dak Prescott went down in Week 1 and the national media left the Cowboys for dead.
Cooper Rush’s error-free four-game stretch, combined with one of the league’s most dominant defenses, bring the ‘Boys to the brink of the NFC East lead.
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told How Bout Them:
“This game is going to be the most widely bet of the weekend, I believe. We opened the game at Philadelphia -5.5 and there was a lot of early money on Dallas. But you know that the Eagles are going to be bet. There are a lot of gamblers who want to see if the Cowboys can do it one more time.”
In the last four weeks, the ‘Boys have defeated both 2022 Super Bowl participants. They topped the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in Week 2 and drubbed the defending champion Los Angeles Rams 22-10 last week. Against the Rams, the defense accounted for nine points.
And now the rubber meets the road.
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts can scramble. He might thrive on the type of pressure the Cowboys bring by darting outside and doing his best work.
It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys play it. And if they can keep their hot streak going.
“The Cowboys would have been very happy going 2-2 in their first four games without Dak Prescott, but now they are in a great spot, especially if they are able to win this game. They have gotten more than expected out of Cooper Rush. Now the question is whether they can keep it going with that defense.”
Through the years, Avello has seen gamblers jump on the backs of defenses that carry teams. He noted the 2001 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, who won it all with a tremendous defense and a limited offense.
Cowboys vs. Eagles betting menu
Gamblers have numerous options to consider.
Each of these teams exits a recent game in which the first touchdown occurred on defense-special teams.
Two weeks ago, the Eagles yielded that via Pick 6 to the Jacksonville Jaguars before winning 29-21.
Last week, the Cowboys defense set the game tone against the Rams with a remarkable first score by the defense.
Props vary according to the books, but a game’s first score by the defense and special teams have been spotted at anywhere from +2500 to +4000. They are also in the neighborhood of +500 for an anytime score.
Who is this Prolific Scorer?
Quick, name the three leading touchdown scorers entering Week 6. Sure, you got Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns. You may have also picked out Jamaal Williams of the Detroit Lions.
But a tip of the hat if you know that the third player is Hurts.
Yes, the Eagles quarterback has tallied six rushing touchdowns. And last week he not only paid off at -105 at DraftKings as an anytime scorer, but at +650 to tally first.
Bettors have gotten behind the fact that the Eagles call his number inside the five-yard line.
Whether he can get through the Dallas defense is another matter, because this unit is special.
Other Spots for Gamblers
Tony Pollard is a nice scoring option for Dallas, but he still alternates with Zeke Elliott and it’s difficult to trust one with a wager. Contrarians who think Pollard is taking over the job (he is), may think he’s due for a breakout game.
Michael Gallup has been a dependable target for Rush, who is expected to start his fifth straight game.
CeeDee Lamb remains one of the league’s elite receivers and is always a threat to score, especially on the prime-time stage.
Both receivers had big drops in key situations on Sunday. That was uncharacteristic. They are due to bounce back.
Tight end Dalton Schultz has been playing through injuries and his status will be determined throughout the week.
Running back Miles Sanders, tight end Dallas Goedert and wide receivers A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins are big targets for Philadelphia.
Watkins is usually the deep-route choice. Smith had the bigger game in Philadelphia’s 20-17 triumph over the Arizona Cardinals last week. Does that mean Brown is more valued this week?
The Big D in Big D
During Dak’s absence, the Cowboys have yielded just 53 points in four games. They have not allowed any opponent to get 20 points this year.
The D set the tone against the Rams with a strip-sack by Dorance Armstrong and the fumble-rumble-to-paydirt by DeMarcus Lawrence.
A blocked punt by Armstrong then led to a field goal.
Armstrong helped set up nine first-quarter points. He did everything but work the concession stand.
Throw in Micah Parsons, an overall defense that notched five sacks and three turnovers and wow, this group is special.
The 1973 Doomsday Defense had been the last Cowboys group not to allow 20 points in any of the first four games. That streak ended in Week 5.
Will Cowboys fans and bettors see another Doomsday comparison r at the end of the season? They hope so.
The ’73 team allowed only 64 points in its last seven games. Yikes, that’s less that’s nine points and change over the course of half of that 14-game season.
That Cowboys team, ironically, finished seventh in points allowed.
This one has given up the second least, trailing only the San Francisco 49ers.