Free Expert NFL Picks: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 11/25/2014
Do I think it's fair that Detroit and Dallas get to host the Thanksgiving Day games every year? I don't, but you can see why they don't want to relinquish the tradition. Part of what makes Dallas America's Team is because the Cowboys were guaranteed national coverage on this holiday every season. You would have to pry hosting the Thanksgiving game out of owner Jerry Jones' cold, dead hands. The guy is nothing if not a marketing genius.
It's a great matchup for the 4:30 Eastern start, which is about when I'll be waking up from my first turkey-induced nap and going for seconds. Both the Eagles and Cowboys sit at 8-3 and atop the NFC East. The winner here obviously holds the first tiebreaker, but they play again Week 15 in the City of Brotherly Love. A top-two seed in the NFC playoffs also is in play. NFC North leader Green Bay is also at 8-3, and NFC West leader Arizona is just a game ahead at 9-2. The Eagles lost to both the Cardinals and Packers and thus would lose any tiebreaker there. The Cowboys lost to Arizona and don't play Green Bay.
The remaining schedules appear to favor the Eagles, although not by a lot. If the teams split their two meetings and finished tied, the second tiebreaker is division record. The Eagles are 2-0 vs. the NFC East and the Cowboys 2-1.
Dallas: at Chicago (next Thursday), at Philly, vs. Indianapolis, at Washington.
Philadelphia: vs. Seattle, vs. Dallas, at Washington, at NY Giants.
Bovada lists the Eagles as -160 NFC East favorites , with the Cowboys +120. I think it's now assured the Dallas coach Jason Garrett will return next season after opening the year as the coach most likely to be fired. Will Chip Kelly? Probably, but you hear rumors he might prefer college football and that Florida will throw Nick Saban-type money at him to replace Will Muschamp. The Gators will at least ask, that I guarantee.
Eagles at Cowboys Betting Story Lines
Both teams come off impressive wins for different reasons. The Eagles were embarrassed in Week 11 at Green Bay but rebounded with a pretty easy 43-24 home win over Tennessee on Sunday to avoid their first two-game losing streak of the season. If you have the Eagles defense/specials teams as your fantasy unit, you are cleaning up. Josh Huff opened Sunday's game with a 107-yard TD return for a score, the franchise-record 10th non-offensive TD of the season for Philly (it is first team since 1970 with two players to have 100-yard plus kickoff returns in a season).
Mark Sanchez had his third straight 300-yard passing game but also his third two-interception game in four outings (three starts). That's moderately concerning. A great sign for the Eagles was the 130 yards rushing on 21 carries for LeSean McCoy. When the Eagles run like that, they are hard to beat. The only significant injury in the game for Philadelphia was to linebacker Emmanuel Acho. He's questionable for Dallas. He splits snaps in the base defense with Casey Matthews. They both took a bigger role after DeMeco Ryans was lost for the season a few weeks ago.
Dallas beat the Giants 31-28 on Sunday night in a game that past Cowboys teams probably lose. The Cowboys were down 21-10 at the half and 28-24 with three minutes left but won it on Tony Romo's 13-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 1:01 left. It was Romo's 27th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or OT, the most in the NFL since 2006. DeMarco Murray continued his MVP-caliber season with 121 yards rushing on 24 carries. Barring a five-game losing streak to close the season, the Cowboys won't set an NFL record by finishing 8-8 for a fourth straight year.
The Cowboys also came out of the game in good shape health-wise. Receiver Terrance Williams suffered a broken finger in the win, but he's expected to play with a splint on.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys NFL Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Dallas opened as a 3-point favorite (-120) with alternate lines of 3.5 (+105) and 2.5 (-145). The Cowboys are -165 on the moneyline, with the Eagles at +145. The total is 54.5 points. Philly is 7-4 against the spread this season (2-3 on road) and 8-3 "over/under" (3-2 away). Dallas is 6-5 ATS (2-4 at home) and 6-4-1 O/U (2-3-1 at home).
The Eagles have covered six of their past seven November games. They are 1-4 ATS in their past five vs. teams with a winning record. The Cowboys are just 3-7 ATS in their past 10 at home. They are 2-7 in their past nine November games. The over is 4-0 in Philadelphia's past four overall. It is 4-1 in the team's past five on Thursday. The over is 5-0-1 in Dallas' past six November games. It is 9-3 in the team's past 12 following a win. The road team has covered four of the past five meetings. The under is 5-2 in the past seven.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Expert Picks and Betting Predictions
Romo gets a lot of grief at times, but you shouldn't bet against him on Thanksgiving. He has made seven starts on the holiday and is 6-1 with 18 touchdowns, just six interceptions and an average quarterback rating of 107.27. His lone loss was to the Redskins two years ago in a shootout. Dallas is 8-1 this year in games Romo has started and finished.
All three Eagles losses in 2014 have been on the road. They should have also lost Week 2 at Indianapolis and could have lost Week 9 in Houston. Last year the teams split, with the Eagles winning 24-22 in Dallas in Week 17 to clinch the NFC East. Romo missed that game. Obviously, Sanchez wasn't around.
Give the 2.5 points here and go over.
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