Dallas Cowboys (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5 SU, 1-6-1 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date/Time: Sunday, November 11th, 2012, 4:25 p.m. EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.
TV: FOX/DirecTV 713
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Dal -1/Phi +1
Over/Under Total: 44.5
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Right now both the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles are teams in turmoil, but at least one of them will get back into the win column this Sunday when the Eagles host the Cowboys in Lincoln Financial Field in an NFC East clash on Fox.
These two teams are in such similar positions right now that it's uncanny.
Dallas has lost two in a row and four of their last five, including a hard-luck loss at Atlanta last Sunday night, 19-13. With owner Jerry Jones saying he will never give up being the GM on his radio show, increased speculation swirling about on whether or not coach Jason Garrett will make it through the season, and so many turnovers, bad clock management and sloppy play on the field of play in general … there's so much white noise going on in Dallas right now that it's starting to overshadow the fact the Cowboys are still hanging around in the NFC East title chase.
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But if you think it's crazy in Dallas these days, don't even step foot near Philly.
The Eagles should have crushed New Orleans on Monday Night Football last week, but five trips into the red zone resulted in a pick six, three turnovers and a loss on downs and the Eagles self-inflicted themselves into another terrible loss, 28-13. Last week Philly was calling for Michael Vick's head blaming the QB for the Eagles problems in their four-game slide, but after watching him pick his teeth up off the turf every other play on Monday, now the angry Eagles fan base is gunning straight at coach Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman despite the fact that at 3-5 all is not lost yet.
The best part about "must win" games like the Cowboys-Eagles game on Sunday is that one of these teams will turn their season around and all will be forgotten (momentarily), while the loser drops further into the abyss and might not be able to fend off the media and all of the drama that is sure to follow. Isn't the NFL great?
The perception of these teams is interesting and has caused one of the biggest betting line movements of the year so far. Oddsmakers originally opened the game with the Eagles as just 1-point favorites at home, but instantly both sharp and public money came raining in on the Cowboys that the sportsbooks were forced to flip the tables and make Dallas 1-point favorites. Some books have had to go all the way to Dallas minus -1.5 to stop the run, while other offshore sportsbooks are still sitting with this game as a pick, so the number is all over the place right now.
The over/under total opened at 45 and has dropped the hook to 44.5 at a large majority of sportsbooks, but there are still a few at 45, so the total has yet to move as much as the point spread.
Handicapping Eagles games this season has been a nightmare (1-6-1 ATS) because the offense and Vick are so good, but they have played so poorly. But after Monday night if anyone still doubts that Philly's problems are along the offensive line, then you and Coach Reid must be eating breakfast at the same diner. Worse yet, right tackle Todd Herremans is likely out for the season too, so the Eagles offense is going to have to become so vanilla to make up for the porous line issues that Vick and the Eagles might not get any better than their current rate of 16.6 points per game.
Dallas has issues on their offensive line too, and it has caused them to become so reliant on Tony Romo and the passing game that the Cowboys have become easier to stop as a result. The Cowboys have had turnover issues (Romo leads the NFL with 13 picks), and with little attempt at a running game they can't close the deal in the red zone when the field gets shorter, so they haven't scored enough points to win close games (18.8 ppg). Getting running back DeMarco Murray back would help a little, and he was rumored to be close to game-ready, but he's only been upgraded to doubtful with his bad foot, so it may be another week or two before he's back in the fold (a week too late?).
Philly swept the season series last year, winning at home on Sunday Night Football by a 34-7 score. But Dallas had won four of the previous five games and went 5-0 ATS doing it, so the Cowboys do seem to have the Eagles number these days.
Although, the Cowboys are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight versus an NFC East rival, so that one win must be an Eagle game. Philly hasn't covered much lately, but they do cover against their NFC East rivals to the tune of 5-0-1 ATS in their last six tries.
The under might be the safest wager when all is said and done for this game. Not only is the under 3-0 in the last three head-to-head games (5-2 in L7), but it's 7-1 in the Cowboys last eight on the road and 7-0-1 in the Eagles last eight games versus the NFC East.
Badger's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Both teams have major problems with their offensive lines. I see this game going way under the total! Take UNDER 44.5!
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