The Trends point to Romo and the visitors here, but with Dallas WR Dez Bryant out with a broken bone in his foot, is taking a chance on Eagles a better pick? Let’s think about it all.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles (FOX, Directv 717, 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT): The Dallas Cowboys (12-4, 467 PF-352 PA) head to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon to face the Philadelphia Eagles (10-6, 476 PF-352 PA) in and NFL Week 2 and NFC East showdown between the division’s two favorites. Oddsmakers on Monday night opened up the host Eagles as 6-point favorites over the Cowboys (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) with the Total set at 54½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Moneyline odds here have not yet been released (Midnight EDT, Tuesday) with the Eagles just playing in the Monday Night Football opener two hours ago, but the numbers should be up at the major places by 3 p.m or earlier (Tuesday) and favorites of 6 points—as Philadelphia now is at the SuperBook—translates to around a -270 price, although expect the Eagles to be less than that. And, of note here: The Eagles opened up as 2½-point Favorites on the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook NFL Games of the Year, released mid-Summer, while Philadelphia was installed 4-point chalks last Wednesday when the SuperBook put out its Advanced Line. So, now with the Eagles -6 here, you can see the progression in the minds of oddsmakers in terms of Philadelphia (0-1, 0-1 ATS) from June until today, in an organized and even-number flow of -2, -4 and -6. This shows the importance of knowing, and having access to different markets, although the Final Score will determine what’s what. She always does. And in a funny twist—especially for those who saw an influx of money on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl last week, driving their NFL odds down—after the late Dallas win (Giants) and the Eagles loss on MNF (Falcons), the Cowboys (16/1, BetVictor) are suddenly given a better chance by European oddsmakers to become NFL champions than the Eagles (17/1, Paddy Power) now. Fickle, fickle.
The Dallas Cowboys (16/1 to win Super Bowl, BetVictor) were lucky to top the Giants on Sunday night, but the hosts did suffer a big blow in their Week 1 over New York when WR Dez Bryant broke a bone in his Foot and will now reportedly be out 4-6 weeks. With last year’s star RB DeMarco Murray now playing across the gridiron in Philadelphia and Bryant now injured, Dallas and Head Coach Jason Garrett (35-39-1 ATS) have lost their two best weapons from a year ago, meaning a couple of things, but mostly that opposing Defenses can now concentrate on QB Tony Romo (34-28-1 ATS on Road) and TE Jason Witten. The Cowboys have W5 straight in the Regular Season after their remarkable 4th Quarter comeback against the G-Men in Big D this weekend, but this will be a test, although Dallas has held its own in this series of late and the Trends do favor’s Jerry’s Boys. Besides Romo and Witten, the Cowboys will look to RBs Joseph Randle (16 rushes, 65 yards) and Darren McFadden (6 rushes, 16 yards) and receivers Lance Dunbar (8 receptions, 70 yards), Terrance Williams (5 receptions, 60 yards) and Cole Beasley (4 receptions, 49 yards), among others. And the Dallas Defense will have to play a little better if this team expects to repeat as NFC North champions, although winning this game and getting off to a 2-0 start and sending the Eagles to an 0-2 start would help much in that respect.
On the Injury and Suspension front, besides Bryant (Expected back late October), Cowboys G Ronald Leary (Groin) is Questionable for this game while DE Randy Gregory (Ankle; Out until late October), DE Greg Hardy (Suspension; Eligible Week 5) and LB Rolando McClain (Suspension; Eligible Week 5) are all out and three other Dallas players are on the I-R List.
The Philadelphia Eagles (17/1 to win Super Bowl, Paddy Power) are like a stock everyone wants to buy and then everyone wants to sell depending on every single stupid thing that happen to third-year Head Coach Chip Kelly’s (17-17 ATS) team. Enough. Much of this is understood, but remember this is the Philadelphia Eagles we’re talking about, a team with a new QB (Sam Bradford) it got by unloading one it didn’t want (Nick Foles). Questionable QB knees doth not win Lombardi Trophies brother. And if you were to list the five best teams in the NFL in any calendar month this year, the Eagles wouldn’t crack that list. Unless you live there. So let’s slow the roll some. We’re talking about Philadelphia and the Eagles, man. (“Practice.”) In its opener, Philadelphia was defeated by the Falcons in Atlanta on Monday Night Football, 26-24, as the hosts held off the Eagles in the Georgia Dome and Philadelphia K Cody Parkey missed a late FG which would have likely won the game for the visitors.
One good thing for Philadelphia, is the number of guys Bradford threw the football to: 11 different players with WR Jordan Matthews (10 receptions, 102 yards, 13 Targets), RB DeMarco Murray (4 receptions, 11 yards, TD) and reliable RB Darren Sproles (7 receptions, 76 yards) being the most productive recipients. Zach Ertz (3 receptions), Riley Cooper (3), Ryan Mathews (3), Miles Austin (2), Josh Huff (2), Brent Celek (1) and Rookie (USC) WR Nelson Agholor also caught passes which means HC Kelly will have plenty of players to work with. Now to try to keep new QB Bradford (36/52, 356 yards, TD, 2 Interceptions) healthy. And have the Defense play like it did in the 2nd Half at Atlanta.
Series Trends and Expectations
Both the Eagles (9-7 ATS) and Cowboys (10-8 ATS) had nice Point Spread records last season, but Dallas will have the edge here in the confident and settled-in QB (Romo), the Trends and the small edge of having one more day Rest (6 to 5) although the Cowboys (CDT) will be losing an hour on their Body Clocks playing in Philly (EDT) where the percentage of Liberty Bells cracked upon arrival in the city still stands at 100%—the same percentage as Friendly Hitchhiking Robots who have been to a metallic pulp by the residents of America’s 4th largest metropolis. One huge thing to remember here before pulling a trigger on a Side or on the Moneyline is that the Cowboys were a sparkling 7-0 SU on the Road last season and 6-1 ATS in 2014. Dallas was also 3-0 ATS as Road Underdog (RD) last season and when the two teams met here at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 15, Dallas won 38-27 as 3-point Underdogs. And in terms of (perceived) value, remember the same renowned bookmakers made this line -2 then -4 and now -6, so grabbing the 6 seems the lean right now if a Side is necessary.
The Cowboys are also 3-0 ATS in their L4 here in Philadelphia and Dallas is 3-1 ATS in the L4 meetings overall with the Eagles. Still, these are different teams and the absence of Bryant and Murray playing against his old teammates seem to be edges for the hosts. With 65 points being scored here last year in this game and Romo (36/45, 356 yards, 3 TDs, 2 Interceptions, 85.9 QBP) and Bradford (36/52, 336 yards, TD, 2 Interceptions, 77.1 QBR) both throwing the pigskin so much and both teams’ DBs still somewhat suspect, this one could be 17-17 at halftime and the Over seems like our NFL pick, now with the Eagles line so much higher than it was mid-Summer.
Predicted Final Score: Philadelphia Eagles 31 Dallas Cowboys 27
NFL Free Pick: Over 55 at BetOnline