Longtime NFC East rivals meet up on Sunday night as the 8-4 Philadelphia Eagles fly south to take on the 4-8 Dallas Cowboys. The odds-makers at Sportsbook.com think the Eagles will notch their ninth win of the season as the point spread is currently at Philly -3.5.
The Eagles have their sights set on the playoffs as they are currently tied with the New York Giants for the NFC East lead. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys have had a miserable season.
However, things are looking up. Since giving Wade Phillips the axe a month ago, Dallas is 3-1 straight-up. Dallas has been generous to the NFL betting crowd since the firing as they covered the point spread in all four games.
If you think the Cowboys are going to roll over since they are out of the playoffs, think again. There is still a ton of talent on the Cowboys roster. Remember, when the Super Bowl betting odds were released months back, Dallas was amongst the favorites. More importantly, there is no love lost between these two teams; they are bitter rivals. Considering they meet up twice over the last month, the Cowboys could do some serious damage to the Eagles’ postseason hopes.
Since interim head coach Jason Garrett took over last month, the Cowboys offense has exploded, despite no Tony Romo. Over that four game stretch, they are averaging over 33 points per game. It should be noted that they put those points up and beat some quality teams, including the Giants and Indianapolis Colts. Additionally, they lost to the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints by just a field goal.
Romo’s replacement, Jon Kitna, has been more than effective since Garrett’s regime began. He has tallied seven touchdown passes to just two interceptions.
The Eagles defense can be exploited through the air. This season they rank 17th in the NFL, surrendering 223 yards per game. More disconcerting (for the Eagles betting crowd) is the fact that they’ve allowed 24 touchdowns through the air, bad enough for 29th in the NFL.
To make matters worse for the Eagles pass defense, cornerback Asante Samuel is banged up with a bum knee and has been ruled out of the game.
No doubt, the Eagles don’t need any extra motivation going into Sunday night’s game, considering their neck-and-neck race with the G-Men. However, you have to think that revenge is on their minds. Last season, Dallas swept the season series and then proceeded to wax them in the playoffs by the score of 34-14. Over their three matchups, Dallas' average margin of victory was 16 points. Obviously the Cowboys covered all three games as well.
Both teams can score: behind Michael Vick the Eagles rank second in the NFL (28.7 PPG) and the Cowboys rank tenth (24.5 PPG). But both teams also give up points. Dallas ranks 31st (28 PPG), while Philly ranks 20th (23.4 PPG). No wonder that 78 percent of the Eagles vs. Cowboys over-under bettors at Sportsbook.com are pounding the over.
Oddsauthority.com Eagles vs. Cowboys Pick:
This number has been made due to public perception. The Cowboys are a different team than they were a month ago. I can understand why the Eagles are favored; however, 3.5 points is too much–heck, three is too much. The Eagles vs. Cowboys point spread should be under a field goal. Anything over a field goal, bet on the Cowboys.
(Betting Odds courtesy of Sportsbook.com)