You are programmed for pain. So when it comes to making an Eagles vs. Cowboys pick and prediction, you look at the odds — the odds that have the Eagles as a huge favorite on Sunday night — and you wince. You remember those stupid losses against guys like Joe Webb and Bruce Gradkowski. You know the 2-4-1 Eagles aren’t very good. You wonder if the Eagles could possibly lose to a rookie seventh-round pick out of James Madison. I mean, could they?
You know, a common refrain is often spoken around these parts. Dallas sucks! Sometimes when we say this, we know it’s not true. Sometimes, Dallas is competent. Sometimes, Dallas is even good.
This time, however, Dallas utterly, truly, without qualification, in every essence of the word, sucks.
They suck so badly that the Eagles — a team that may also possess some characteristics of suck, a team that I’m well aware trailed the Giants at home by 11 points in the fourth quarter a week ago –are going to win this game, and they’re going to win it by a lot.
So, Eagles fans (and bettors), set aside whatever mix of self-loathing or artificial humility you are carrying with you this week because the Eagles are going to blow the doors off of Dallas on Sunday night.
Now that you know where I’m going here, let’s get into the Eagles vs. Cowboys odds, pick and prediction.
Eagles vs. Cowboys Week 8 Odds
Best Eagles-Cowboys Odds by Sportsbook
|Cowboys||+9 (-110)||+425||43 (-110)|
|Eagles||-10.5 (-110)||-530||43 (-110)|
In advance of Week 7, the Eagles were a 3 to 3.5-point favorite over the Cowboys at most major sportsbooks. After Andy Dalton went down at Washington during the Cowboys’ incredibly piss-poor 25-3 loss, the Eagles jumped to a 7.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook by Monday morning. The spread is now up to Eagles -10.5 at DraftKings, while it has peaked at 11 with FanDuel Sportsbook.
This is what happens when a team that is 0-7 ATS gets outscored 63-13 over its previous two games, I guess.
Eagles vs. Cowboys Betting Preview
Are the Eagles good? Not really.
Are they currently in line to be one of, if not the worst division winners in the history of professional football? Yes!
But for all of Philly’s flaws, of which there are many, this is a team that is nowhere in the same stratosphere in terms suck as the Dallas Cowboys. Behold the truly awful nature of this team:
- 31st in overall DVOA
- 24th in offensive DVOA
- 30th in defensive DVOA
- 34.7 points allowed per game (32nd overall)
- 408 yards allowed per game (27th overall)
- 178.3 rushing yards allowed per game (32nd overall)
- Dallas is allowing only 229.9 (11th overall), but it is also allowing 7.3 yards per attempt (23rd overall)
What a defense!
Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan had to stop a call with reporters because he accidentally rubbed hot sauce in his eye 😅 🌶️ pic.twitter.com/nXSCjcBIqx
— ESPN (@espn) October 27, 2020
By the way, a note on their not absolutely terrible offensive efficiency. The offensive numbers are actually pumped up much in part to the high-level of play from now-injured Dak Prescott through 4.5 games. Dallas was 11th in offensive DVOA after Week 5, so this has been both a substantial and swift dip.
We are talking about a Dallas offense that scored a mere 13 points over the last two weeks. It’s an offense that produced just 344 total yards of offense on 84 plays against the Cardinals in Week 6 and bounced back by racking up a whopping 142 yards on 54 plays against Washington.
In other words, this has been a historically poor defense now complimented by an equally inept offense.
Eagles vs. Cowboys Betting Trends
Obviously, I have strong feelings about this game, but I admit, my general dislike of the Cowboys could play a role, so I wanted to remove the emotional/feel element and dive into the data as if I were a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
I dug up some historical betting trends that apply to this game and came across some interesting finds.
Betting Trends Favoring the Eagles
Let’s start with the big one. Under Doug Pederson, the Eagles are 9-2 straight up when favored by at least seven points. They are 4-1 in division games when favored by at least seven points.
Road underdogs in NFC East games of at least 6.5 points are 6-11 ATS in November games.
One last thing here — you may wonder how big NFC East road underdogs perform in division games. The answer is quite well, with one caveat.
NFC East underdogs of 8.5+ points are 44-23 ATS overall and 35-19 ATS on the road, however, they are just 9-11 ATS as an underdog of 8 to 9 points.
Betting Trends Favoring the Cowboys
If I have one concern about this game, it’s that the Cowboys are 0-7 ATS this season. Dating as far back as the 2003 season, only two other teams have failed to cover the spread at least once in its first seven games:
- 2003 Raiders
- 2006 Dolphins
That’s it. That’s the list.
As bad as the Cowboys are, they are eventually going to cover a spread. Oddsmakers adjust, the Cowboys will put together a functional game, something has to give. I just don’t think that something is giving this week.
That being said, there is a tremendous amount of data that suggests awful cover teams at this point in the season are good bets:
- Road underdogs in November games covering 20% or less of its games are 21-9-1 ATS.
- Road underdogs in NFC East games covering less than 20% of its games are 11-4 ATS in November.
- Road underdogs covering less than 20% of its games playing their 8th-11th games of the season and winning less than 30% of its games are 18-6-1 ATS overall and 9-3 ATS in division games.
There are a few other ones, too, but you get the idea.
What these trends don’t totally account for is that because the road team is an underdog, the opponent is often good and thus sports a quality record. The Eagles aren’t that team, though, so I wanted to know what happens when big road underdogs in this spot play opponents with poor records. The results weren’t quite as stellar:
Road underdogs over 7.5-9 points covering less than 20% of its games that are playing a sub .500 team are just 6-7 ATS and 1-4 ATS in division contests.
Small sample size, sure, but the idea here is that the above trends are inflated because we rarely see teams with bad records favored by this many points in this situation.
In fact, home favorites between 8 and 9.5 points that are winning less than 35% of its games are 14-8 ATS after the month of October. So, there’s that.
Eagles vs. Cowboys Prediction
There’s not a whole lot left to say, is there?
The Cowboys look like a team that has quit. They are starting Ben DiNucci, who, by the way has some decent physical tools and could possibly one day be a competent NFL backup quarterback. I just don’t see that day being this Sunday.
Forget the seventh-round pick and James Madison stuff, he’s being protected by an atrocious and inexperienced Dallas offensive line that is yielding 2.9 sacks per game (24th overall). That unit must deal with a veteran Eagles defensive line that has the fourth-most sacks in the NFL through seven weeks. It’s a terrible matchup.
In most cases, I would be concerned about a team with a backbone showing some resiliency on the national stage on Sunday night. You know, “silencing the haters.” Problem is, the Cowboys have yet to demonstrate that they are equipped with a backbone.
There’s also this:
- The Eagles are getting healthier.
- They have the superior quarterback.
- They have the better offense. They have the better defense.
Eagles vs. Cowboys Pick
I’ll take the Eagles (up to -10) to cover the spread against the Cowboys.