Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Thursday.
The scoreboard operator should be kept busy in one of the Thanksgiving Day NFL games Thursday as the Philadelphia Eagles (8-3, 2-3 away) pay a visit to the Dallas Cowboys (8-3, 3-3 home) in key NFC East battle form AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX at 4:30 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 56 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -105.
Serious Playoff Ramifications
Besides the obvious importance of this contest in the NFC East race with these clubs tied atop the division, this game may have bigger implication as with the Arizona Cardinals losing last week to fall to 9-2, the winner of this contest will at worst be just one game out of the top seed in the NFC and the home field advantage throughout the playoffs that comes with it at week’s end, and it would be tied for that top spot of Arizona loses at Atlanta on Sunday.
The Cowboys had a brief hiccup following a 6-1 start by losing back-to-back games to the Washington Redskins and the Cardinals both here at home, but luckily the Jacksonville Jaguars served as slump-busters as they often do when Dallas was the winning NFL pick over the Jags in London and then the Cowboys came out of their bye week by beating the New York Giants 31-28 Sunday night on a last-minute touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant.
The Eagles bounced back from a 53-20 blow out loss at Green Bay to a Packers’ team that also enters this week at 8-3 by laying down a beatdown of their own in a 43-24 whooping of the Tennessee Titans Sunday.
Eagles Accustomed to High Scoring Games
Those last two final scores are nothing new for the Eagles as they are accustomed to high-scoring games with the ‘over’ going 8-3 in all Philadelphia games this season and those games averaging a combined 56.1 points. Yes that average combined total is right in line with this posted total, but keep in mind not all of the Eagles’ games have been vs. good offensive teams and they are facing a good offense today, so you can probably bump that average here.
The Eagles rank third in the NFL in scoring with 31.1 points per game and fourth in total offense with 411.8 total yards per contest, and what makes that more impressive is the off year that running back LeSean McCoy has had for the most part. Well, do not look now but McCoy rushed for 130 yards on 21 carries vs. the Titans, and if he is indeed back it would make this hurry-up offense Coach Chip Kelly brought with him from Oregon tougher to stop.
Well, the Dallas defense has performed much better than anyone could have expected before the season after finishing dead last in the NFL in total defense last year, as it its up to 16th in that area this season. However, the Cowboys are only 26th in yards per play allowed overall at 6.0, so the Eagles can expose that as they get off more snaps than any team in the NFL with their hurry-up.
Romo Can Take Advantage
The Cowboys beat the Giants with a balanced offense last week as running back Demarco Murray rushed for 121 yards on 24 carries and Romo completed 18-of-26 passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns, with Bryant being on the receiving end of two of them including the game-winner. Dallas does not take much of a backseat behind the Eagles offensively as the Cowboys are ranked seventh in points scored (26.5) and sixth in total offense (387.3).
Of course it helps that Murray leads the NFL in rushing with his 1354 yards, and by a very wide margin too with Le'Veon Bell of the Steelers second at 951 yards. However, a bigger key to this game could be Romo, who has shown no ill effects this year from his second off-season back surgery in as many years and who actually seemed the most mobile last week out of the bye than he has all year, an indication that he is just about fully healed.
Romo has the good fortune here to be passing against a 30th ranked Philadelphia passing defense that is surrendering an unsightly 266.3 passing yards per game, and remember that he passed for 317 yards vs. the Eagles the only time he started against them last season. It certainly helps that the season-ending injury to Philadelphia’s DeMeco Ryans was a huge blow to its front seven and should afford Romo more time in the pocket.
As bad as the Philadelphia defense has been overall, it has been even worse on the road where is has allowed a disgusting 30.2 points per game this season. And that poor defense on the road is not restricted to only this year, and is thus a key reason why the ‘over’ is 10-4 in the Eagles’ last 14 road games. Meanwhile, the ‘over’ is also 5-1-1 in the Cowboys’ last seven conference games.
Throw in the great meaning this game has in regards to the playoffs and we expect neither team to hold anything back, leading to an entertaining, high scoring game that goes ‘over’ even this relatively high posted total in Arlington on Thanksgiving Thursday.
NFL Pick: Eagles, Cowboys ‘over’ 56 (-105)