This is why the NFL loves legalized betting.
The air has popped out of the hype balloon regarding the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles’ matchup on Saturday.
The immediate consequence of the 13-1 Eagles invading the 10-4 Boys? Nothing.
Philadelphia is going to win the NFC East and the Cowboys would play the deflated Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on the road, should the playoffs start tomorrow.
Nonetheless, there’s a game to play and Dallas bettors have to decide where to load up. This is a game that lays right for them. Philly has a game to burn, the Cowboys could use a win, and the combo suggests a good day for them.
The reality became starker after the Cowboys blew last week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and then Jalen Hurts reported a shoulder strain early this week.
He is likely to sit more than play, as the FanDuel line of Dallas -5 suggests. It was -1 before the Hurt news broke, -6 after Cowboys bettors collided with one another trying to lock in a number before it got too high, and then it receded when Hurts said he might play.
Here’s an overview of where bettors may consider taking a stand, at FanDuel.
Dallas defense/special teams score +500
It could be Gardner Minshew starting for the Eagles. He’s a proven quarterback but hasn’t played. One errant pass to a spot Jalen Hurts would never go, one good angle toward the end zone after a pick and this is possible. Furthermore, the ‘Boys defense has been hearing it since blowing the 27-10 second-half lead against the Jags. They might be motivated to answer critics.
Minshew to Throw A Pick
Check the odds on that when it goes up. Anything near even money is a fair shot. If the books have already programmed this into the line and make it unplayable, you must roll with that.
Zeke To Find the End Zone
The Cowboys love to stuff it to him down close. He is -115 as an anytime scorer at FanDuel. Tony Pollard is -105. Elliott also is +600 to score first.
Schultz Is Due
The concept of the Dallas tight end paid off last week, even though the individual did not. Peyton Hendershot did get into the end zone. If Dalton Schultz does here, it’s +250.
Parts of this game could resemble an exhibition. That’s where Quez Watkins at +550, backup tight end Jack Stoll, +2100 and the Eagles defense, +650, could have a chance to find paydirt. Pick your own longshot and plug that formula in. This type of game might feature backups and a couple of crazy plays.
Get In The Game Right Away
First Scoring Method
- Cowboys Touchdown +150
- Cowboys Field Goal +350
- Cowboys Safety +8000
- Eagles Touchdown +255
- Eagles Field Goal +370
- Eagles Safety +6500
How Many Points Will the Cowboys Score?
The over-under is 26.5. Both sides are -110.
Eagles points? The Over-Under is a modest 20.5 points, suggesting no Hurts in the lineup. Both sides are -110.
How many Eagles Touchdowns? The Over 2.5 is +115. The Under is -155. This is a strong indication that oddsmakers believe Dallas will generally keep Philadelphia out of the end zone. Bettors who agree with this might convert the thinking into total points or field-goal props.
How many yards will the first touchdown of the game cover?
The Over-Under is 22.5 yards with the Over at -115 and the Under at -110.
Will there be a 2-point conversion? Yes is +275. Bettors are hoping for some lopsided score to develop here.
Will each team notch a touchdown and field goal in the first half? Yes is +340. That’s a lower price than we’ve seen on this over the season, suggesting the book has a little more faith in it.
Will each team score a touchdown in each half? Sounds simple enough. Straightforward enough too, at +135.
Which team will have the longest touchdown? The Eagles are +120 and the Cowboys are -140.
Total touchdowns in the game. The Over is -105 and the Under is -125. This is priced well enough that bettors can load up on one side or the other and root for both defenses or offenses.
Last week’s meltdown alters the makeup of this week.
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told HowBoutThem:
“The game doesn’t mean a whole lot to Philadelphia now. What that means is that this gives the Cowboys a much better chance to win.
“I think that was going to be true even if Jalen Hurts plays. The feeling we have now is that he won’t. We had that at Dallas -1.5 and got to -6 real quick after hearing about Hurts. But if he decides to play, you’ll see that line come all the way down.”
That’s why ‘Boys bettors who took Dallas early will feel like geniuses if Hurts sits.
“I am not a big fan of the coach (Mike McCarthy) or the owner (Jerry Jones) of that team, but I must say that the way things have shaken out, this situation is not the worst thing in the world for the Cowboys.
“The way Tampa Bay is playing right now, if you gave the Cowboys a choice about who they would play in the first round of the post-season, they would probably pick Tampa.”
One Cowboys win or a New York Giants loss would propel the ‘Boys into a first-round matchup with the NFC South winner, whether that’s current leader Tampa Bay, the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints.