Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) +7, 47 O/U at Dallas Cowboys (1-0) -7,47
O/U, Texas Stadium, Dallas, Texas, 8:30 PM Eastern, Monday
by Badger of Predictem.com
As it turns out this weeks Monday Night Football match up of the
Dallas Cowboys hosting their heated NFC East rival Philadelphia
Eagles will be exactly what the executives at ESPN envisioned it
would be back when they announced the schedule a week-two blockbuster.
The fever over this game intensified a notch this past weekend when both teams looked equally impressive in season opening victories.
Quarterback Tony Romo had all day to pick apart the Cleveland
secondary to the tune of 320 yards and added a touchdown throw to
Terrell Owens as the Cowboys rolled to a 28-10 victory on the road.
The Dallas defense contributed by taking away the Browns main threat,
holding quarterback Derek Anderson to just 114 yards on 11-of-24
Philly kicked off 2008 with a Donovan McNabb resurgence, as McNabb
threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles 38-3 romp over
the St. Louis Rams. Who needs big-name receivers, as McNabb used
eight different guys to catch his passes while Brian Westbrook (91
yards rush, 2 TD) did his thing out of the backfield.
Oddsmakers opened the game with the Cowboys as 9-point favorites, but
early action on the impressive Eagles has dropped the number down to
7-point favorites. The over/under opened at 47 and is holding steady.
If Romo and McNabb are throwing darts again on Monday the game could
turn into a fireworks show way over 47 points. But with both offenses
currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the NFL, the game could come down
to which running back has a better night. Cowboys feature runner
Marion Barber combined for over 100 yards last Sunday while Westbrook
didnt amass over 100 yards total, but he did score twice.
With all of the offense these two teams put up last week you may have
lost track that the Cowboys-Eagles game usually comes down to defense.
Last time these two teams met in December, on the same Texas Stadium
turf, the Eagles made the Cowboys one-dimensional (53 yards rushing)
and stole a 10-6 victory on the road. That loss to the Eagles stung
extra for the Cowboys because it cast doubt on the Cowboys, as they
went on to lose three of their next four games including the playoff
game versus the Giants, but it was also their second-straight loss to
the Eagles in Texas Stadium. Dont think for second the Cowboys dont
know that tidbit.
Phillys defense opened the season well last week, holding St. Louis
to 36 rushing yards on just 15 attempts because the Rams were down
quickly and forced to throw early and often.
In recent history, this series has been all Eagles as they have won three of the last four meetings straight up and versus the spread. If
you carry the trend out over the last 10 head-to-head meetings, the
Eagles still own a slight edge at 6-4 SU but the series plays more
even for bettors with a 5-5 ATS mark.
The Cowboys were 6-3 at home last season (including the playoff game), but just 5-4 ATS in Texas Stadium. They also sport a sub-par
recent record versus their divisional opponents (3-4 ATS in 07, 6-11
since 2005) and an 8-6 ATS mark.
Philly likes to play in hostile atmospheres, how else could you
describe their 6-2 ATS on the road last season and a 4-1 ATS record
Betting on the over/under will be all about going with your gut this
week, as there are trends for both sides all over the map. Not only
are the teams opposites on Monday Night games historically (over for
Dallas is 6-2-1 in last nine appearances; under for Philly is 13-5-2
in last 20), but the Eagles play over as underdogs (over is 17-4 as
dogs since 05) while the Cowboys are also historically a better over
bet (over is 28-20 since 05).
Badgers Pick: I may be writing about this matchup again late in January, so this could truly be a great week-two throw-down. Not only
has Philly done well in Dallas lately, but they have also done well
versus the Cowboys as big underdogs in Dallas (6.5- and 10-point dogs
last two years) winning games and covering the number. Take Philly
plus the touchdown (7-points) here.