The NFC East champ will be crowned on the final NBC Sunday night telecast of the season when the Philadelphia Eagles invade JerryWorld to run up against the Dallas Cowboys. With the ‘Boys holding the tiebreaker over the Eagles, they thrust themselves into this position by coming back to defeat the Redskins Washington in the closing moments last Sunday. Philly held up its end of the bargain by destroying the Bears 54-11 to win their fourth straight at home.
EAGLES – COWBOYS WEEK 17 BETTING LINE:
1. Why the COWBOYS will cover the spread: Tony Romo is not at the helm. While that statement reads as being ludicrous at first glance, but when you consider the fact that Big D has failed to cover its first three December games this season and stands a bankroll bursting 3-9 ATS the L/3 seasons in the final month of the season, it starts to make a little sense. Back-up Kyle Orton has put forth some impressive games throughout his career, and though he might be a bit rusty, the “neck beard” certainly has the weapons at hand to take advantage of an Eagles defense that is by no means as good as it looked at home vs. the Bears last Sunday night.
Philly can be beaten through the air (#30 at 288.3 YPG), and with Dallas at home for this one, it will allow for Orton to comfortably get on the same page with his WR corps. Dallas has won and covered its pair of home divisional games to date and enters this win or go home bout undefeated in NFC East play.
2. Why the EAGLES will cover the spread: Ever since Nick Foles took over the starting reigns, the Eagles offense has been more or less unstoppable. Save for a head-scratching 48-30 trouncing at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings a couple weeks back, the Eagles have looked all the part of a runaway train that’s slowly but surely gained major confidence with every passing week. The Cowboys possess one of the most porous defenses in the league with it giving up a league-worst 418.6 PPG and 27.2 PPG (#25); think Jerry’s questioning the decision to let Rob Ryan go after last season?
LeSean McCoy also looks to be in store for another enormous game with Dallas conceding an average of 127.9 YPG on the ground at 4.8 YPC (#30); he’s rushed for 388 yards and 4 TDs the L/3 weeks!
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3. Total Talk: With these rivals possessing two of the more potent scoring offenses and poor defenses, it comes as no surprise that both the Eagles and Cowboys have been two of ‘over’ bettors favorites this season. Combined, these squads have played to high scorers in 18 of their 30 played games. Philadelphia has scored an average of 32.3 PPG on the road with the ‘over’ cashing in six of those contests. Dallas has lit the scoreboard up for an average of 34.3 PPG as a host with the ‘over’ cashing four times.
4. Betting Trends for EAGLES/COWBOYS: With the Eagles simply destroying a potential playoff team under these same Sunday night lights last week, many will be quick to jump on them here in this elimination bout with the Cowboys; especially with Dallas’ offense forced to go to its back-up. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a walk in the park for Philly! Dallas enters having won each of the L/3 meetings between these division rivals, and went off the board as 11-point favorites the last time they met on this turf.
Philadelphia checks in just 6-6 ATS in the favorite role to date, and it laid a major egg in this same role on the road at Minny in Week 15. Dallas gave the Denver Broncos all it could ask for as TD+ home underdogs earlier this season, and this has been a series that’s seen the underdog cash tickets five of the L/7 times. While I don’t think Dallas ultimately finds a way to win this one, they’ll put up a heck of a fight in coming up short.
Philadelphia 30 – Dallas 27