NFL Betting: Handicapping the Dallas Cowboys Losing Streak
by George Monroy - 11/4/2014
In the NFL fortunes can change in a matter of minutes-just ask the Dallas Cowboys. Two weeks ago America's Team was sitting on a 6-1 record, which had fans and media members wondering how big a potential Super Bowl matchup between Dallas and Denver could become. The team was supposed to easily dispatch the Washington Redskins during a Week 8 "Monday Night Football" matchup, but the grid-iron "gods" had other plans.
One Tony Romo back injury later and Dallas is staring at a two straight losses and a one-game deficit for the NFC East division lead. Of course, no one is counting the Cowboys out just yet as there is still a lot of football to be played, but haven't we seen this all before-a hot start and an epic collapse, all leading to another 8-8 or 9-7 season? Let's explore the odds, the NFL schedule and figure out if the Cowboys are really in trouble heading into the second half of the season.
Dallas Cowboys Remaining Schedule
Week 10: at Jacksonville
Week 11: bye
Week 12: at New York
Week 13: Philadelphia
Week 14: at Chicago
Week 15: at Philadelphia
Week 16: Indianapolis
Week 17: at Washington
One of the reasons behind Dallas' fast start was the fact that it played six of its first nine games at home and was allowed to rest during the first half of a grinding NFL season. The squad, however, will not have that luxury going forward as it will play five of the last seven games of the year on the road, and the two matchups that Dallas does play at home will be against Philadelphia and Indianapolis. In short, the Cowboys are set to face the toughest portion of their schedule while possibly being at their weakest.
An optimistic look at the schedule would have Dallas ending the year with a 5-2 record-a loss at Philadelphia and another loss else-where-which would put the team at the 11-5 mark and at worst in line for the first wild card spot. A less-optimistic approach would have the team losing to Philadelphia once, Indianapolis, New York and Chicago, which would leave the team with a 9-7 record and likely left out in the cold concerning the playoff race.
NFC East Division Odds
Philadelphia Eagles: -200
Dallas Cowboys: +150
New York Giants: +5000
Washington Redskins: +8000
The oddsmakers certainly think that Dallas is in trouble as they have installed the Eagles as a solid -200 favorite, and after taking a closer look at the schedule, the best assessment seems to say that this number should be much higher. A banged-up Dallas team probably needs to go 11-5 to win its division, but it will almost certainly see two more losses on its schedule and must play to the best of its abilities while leaving no room for error. That task would be tough even if Romo was healthy.
Dallas fans might have expected this season to be different, but what is most likely coming for the team is a regression to the mean, which is a nicer way of saying another 9-7 season after the latest Cowboys collapse. There is not much value in taking the team to win the NFC East at +140 odds. The number must reach the +250 before it would even begin to have some value.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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