Dallas Cowboys (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-2 SU, 5-2
ATS), NFL Week 9, 8:20 p.m. EST, Sunday, November 8, 2009, Lincoln Financial
Field, Philadelphia, Pa., TV: NBC
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cowboys +3/Eagles -3
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Early control of the NFC East Division will be up for grabs at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sunday when the Eagles
host the rival Dallas Cowboys in a crucial tilt on NBCs Sunday Night
Both teams moved into a tie for first place atop the NFC East with
convincing victories last weekend.
The Cowboys beat up on the struggling Seattle Seahawks at home in Cowboys Stadium, 38-17. Quarterback Tony Romo threw for 256 yards and
three touchdowns and the Cowboys enjoyed a nearly 10 minute advantage
in time of possession in dispatching the Seahawks easily.
Meanwhile, Philly put their quick-strike offense on full display in
their 40-17 thrashing of the New York Giants at home in The Linc.
The Giants outgained the Eagles on the day, and had the ball on
offense almost twice as long too, but the Eagles jumped out to a 30-7
halftime lead with big plays and eliminated all doubt early in their
gigantic victory over the rival G-men.
Most oddsmakers are expecting an even contest in primetime Sunday
night since they opened the game with the Eagles as 3-point
favorites, the standard point spread for the home team. The betting
public and sharp bettors seem to agree with their take on the game,
as the number has held at 3 for the most part with just one offshore
sportsbook (Legends) listing the game at 2, and one book in Las Vegas
(Planet Hollywood) showing the line at 2.5 on their board.
The over/under total hasnt had a whole lot of line movement either,
as it opened at 47.5 and has held firm at that number with just a few
48s mixed in here and there (at Planet Hollywood and the Las Vegas
With the offenses these two teams put out on the field this game
could quickly turn into a shootout, which would explain the rather
high total in the game.
The Eagles have used big plays, most of them by speedster DeSean Jackson, to become the leagues 3rd-best scoring team at 29 points per game. Overall the Eagles offense is down a few spots from last
year (15th overall 344.4 ypg), and Donovan McNabbs passing numbers
have dropped as well (229 ypg 13th), but all of that doesnt matter
as much if they keep getting into the end zone at their current clip.
Dallas has made Romo the focal point of their offense and hes been
great, using all of his weapons on the field including the new go-to
guy Miles Austin (T.O. who?). The Cowboys are top-10 across the
board, including the 2nd-ranked offense (411.1 ypg), the 6th-ranked
rushing attack (147.6 ypg), the 7th-ranked passing attack (263.6 ypg)
and the 6th-ranked scoring offense at 28.1 points per game.
The game might turn into a shootout because both defenses arent
nearly as strong as the used to be in previous seasons.
Dallas was held without a sack through the first four games of the
season, but theyve picked it up of late notching double-digits in
the last three games alone. They still give up major yardage (342.1
ypg 22nd), and are susceptible to the passing game (237.1 ypg
21st), but its a bend-but-dont-break proposition since they are
still in the top-10 in scoring defense allowing 19.4 points per game
Phillys defense has experienced a lot of player turnover this year,
most notably safety Brian Dawkins, which has caused a drop off of
sorts in the overall scheme (296.9 ypg 10th). But they do a nice
job in the red zone as well, as they rank just ahead of the Cowboys
in points allowed with a 19 per game average.
Both teams won in their home stadiums last season, with the Eagles
literally destroying the Cowboys at the Linc last December, 44-6.
That trend was opposite the season before, as both teams stole a
victory on the road in 2007 with the Cowboys earning a 38-17 victory
in Philly in the chilly November air. All told the Eagles hold a
slight 6-4 SU edge in the last 10 head-to-head meetings.
However, the Eagles have been the dream team for sports gamblers in
this series as they have covered both games last season and have
covered the point spread in five of the last six. They are also 4-0
ATS in their last four games against the NFC East, and 6-1 ATS in
their last seven home games overall.
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Both games went over the total last year, and the over is a strong
3-0-1 in the last four games played at Lincoln Financial Field in the
The only betting trend that doesnt point in Phillys favor is the
fact that the underdog is a strong 7-2 ATS in the last nine head-to-
Badgers Pick: I have to admit I dont have a good feel for this game. Dallas has only played two games on the road this year, and
they havent covered either of them (at Denver and Kansas City), so
Im leaning toward Philly for that reason. But one of these days the
Eagles lack of a running game is going hurt them, and Dallas has the
type of pass rush that could make McNabbs night a tough one.
Especially with the issues they have along their offensive line. Ill
be making a small wager on the Eagles minus the 3-points here.