The Dallas Cowboys opened at a 2022 NFL bet-spreading high of -17 in hosting the Houston Texans this week at DraftKings.
Although the line was wagered down to -16.5 by Thursday, the ‘Boys have been given the greatest sportsbook endorsement of the year via the opening spread.
Even after it dipped to -16, 59% of the DraftKings handle backed the 9-3 Cowboys at midweek.
And What Was THAT?
It was nothing short of a historic avalanche.
The Boy’s 33-point, fourth-quarter outburst against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13 did more than lift the spirits of fans in north Texas. It was tied for the second-highest fourth-quarter point total in NFL history. Only the Detroit Lions, with 34 points in the final period against the Chicago Bears in 2007, produced more.
Had Dallas converted a two-point try, it would not have notched the largest fourth-quarter point-scoring total, ever.
There were five, count em, five touchdowns. The Cowboys entered the final 15 minutes not covering the -10.5 it needed to satisfy the bettors who backed them. They closed the fourth quarter having covered the double-digit spread three times over.
The outburst eclipsed the entire total of one NFL game, the Baltimore Ravens’ 10-9 victory over the Denver Broncos. It also tied the total from Monday night, in which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers topped the New Orleans Saints 17-16.
In one quarter of this 54-19 blowout, the Cowboys outscored nearly all NFL teams in Week
How does that carry forward?
The Book Perspective
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told How Bout Them.
“The public sure likes the Cowboys right now. The victory against the Minnesota Vikings (40-3) was a real good win for them. The win over the Giants (28-20) wasn’t as impressive, but they still did what they had to do.
“What they accomplished against the Colts was remarkable. People always did like to bet the Cowboys, reminding us about them being called America’s Team. Things are rolling along real well for the Cowboys now. They are looking like one of the top teams in the NFL.”
Avello noted that the Cowboys will have a more difficult task to capture the Super Bowl if it only gains a wild card spot.
Gamblers will weigh that into the DraftKings odds for the Cowboys to both win the NFC (+310 ) and the Super Bowl (+700). Both scenarios involve the likely necessity for Dallas to win a post-season game at Philadelphia. The Eagles are 11-1 and show no signs of slowing but do have two division contests against the tough New York Giants.
What Bettors Weigh for Cowboys Wagers This Week
Some props went up early at FanDuel.
Will CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard combine for three touchdowns? Yes is +400.
What often happens with intriguing props like this is that most of the requirement is fulfilled, but not all of it. Bettors may wager this prop at +400 or figure that the pair will score two touchdowns and take each player in a lower-paying anytime scoring wager.
Will the ‘Boys be the highest-scoring team in the league this week? Yes is +480. Will this be the highest-scoring game? Yes is +900.
Dallas did garner this honor last week and paid out +950 at FanDuel. The game also delivered +1300 as the highest-scoring contest of the week.
Prices are shorter this week because teams with weak defenses have byes.
The Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints are all off. So are the Colts and Washington Commanders.
And there is one projected shootout with the Minnesota Vikings facing the red-hot Detroit Lions.
Overall Prop Perspective
When prices are posted, here is where bettors will look at in the Cowboys-Texans game.
Defense/Special Teams Scores
This is attractive but could be a trap. Dallas tallied on special teams and coaxed the fourth-quarter turnovers that led to the romp last week.
Houston suffered a tragic trifecta, yielding a punt-return TD, fumble for a TD and an interception for a TD against the Cleveland Browns.
One school of thought says this game will be turnover city and a green light for special teams TDs. Another would cite the law of averages and believe this avalanche can’t happen twice in a row.
Dallas Point Totals
One would figure the ‘Boys can get into the ’30s. Check the prices.
Contrarian caution: The Texans played stout defense last week. They allowed no offensive touchdowns by the Cleveland Browns. Any prediction on Dallas scoring projects Houston providing a couple of short fields or an outright score via turnovers.
Brett Maher. If ever a game looked like he can score 10 or more points, this is it. Yes, this bet can be burned if the Cowboys score nothing but touchdowns.
But four touchdowns and two field goals equal 10. See if value exists in a prop like this.
Anytime and First Touchdowns
Take your pick from a cache of weapons. Any of the receivers can score. Lamb, Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz, among others, are excellent candidates to score.
Maybe you find a backup, like Peyton Hendershot, for garbage time, at a price.
On the ground, Zeke Elliott has been reliable here. And he is the goal-line back. Dallas loves to set the tone with him punching the ball in from the one or two-yard line to cap its opening drive.
Tinker With the Spread
This one may become popular with bettors. Make the Cowboys -9 where books allow and link that with some other games in a multi-legged parlay.
Many bettors will look to take that spread number down.
For the contrarians who anticipate a blowout, another option exists. Having Dallas cover by even more, say north of 20, will provide an excellent price. The value may be so exceptional that it can be tried for a small investment.
Link The Moneylines
Want no fuss, no spreads, no confusion? Want a Just Win Baby bet?
Taking the Eagles against the New York Giants, the Cowboys here and the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Cleveland Browns pays +100 at DraftKings and FanDuel. That’s an even-money return for three heavy chalks.
Sure, anyone can lose, but how else can one place a moneyline bet on the Cowboys at -1500?