Cowboys vs. Dolphins Odds: How Division Odds Can Shift With a Win or Loss

Cowboys vs. Dolphins Odds: How Division Odds Can Shift With a Win or Loss article feature image

Cooper Neill/Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Dak Prescott #4 of the Cowboys, Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Dolphins.

A pair of 10-4 division leaders with Super Bowl aspirations face off as the Dallas Cowboys visit the Miami Dolphins in one of Week 16’s premiere games.

The Cowboys are tied atop the NFC East with Philadelphia, and despite currently owning the tiebreaker, it’s the Eagles who likely capture the division if both teams win out. Dallas enters Sunday +225 to win NFC East at DraftKings while the Eagles are -285.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are 1.5 games ahead of the Buffalo Bills in the race to capture the AFC East crown. However, Buffalo faces a far easier schedule, which might set up a winner-take-all Week 18 finale between the two rivals. Miami is -215 to win the division while the Bills are +175 after they rallied for a 24-22 win Saturday night against the Chargers.

Sunday’s showdown is pivotal in each team’s quest to win the division, and the Action Network’s predictive analytics team broke down how drastically each possible outcome impacts their chances.

Dallas was the league’s hottest team until getting embarrassed last week in Buffalo, 31-10, in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. The Cowboys are sub-.500 on the road, which makes winning and forcing teams to come into AT&T Stadium critical. Dallas is 7-0 at home but just 3-4 away from home.

A win in Miami would give Dallas around a 66% chance to finish the year with 13 wins according to our predictive analytics team. However, the Eagles have an easy path 13 wins with two games against the Giants and one against the Cardinals. If both finish with identical 13-4 records, the third tiebreaker would come into play since they split their regular season meetings and would both be 5-1 in the division. That means their record against common opponents would decide the champion, and the Eagles have the advantage there.

So, with that in mind, beating the Dolphins would give the Cowboys about a 14% chance to win the division since they’d need to win out and have the Eagles lose at least one game as a heavy favorite. Meanwhile, a loss would drop those odds to around 4% as they’d need the Eagles to lose two of their final three games.

As for the Dolphins, critics knock them for their inability to beat quality opponents. They haven’t beaten a single team all season with a winning record entering Week 16, and their .321 strength of victory is far-and-away the worst among playoff teams in both decisions. They have the league’s toughest strength of schedule to close the year with a road game against the Ravens up next followed by Week 18’s home game against the Bills.

A win over Dallas would give Miami about an 82% shot of winning the division, according to our predictive analytics team. Meanwhile, although a loss obviously hurts their chances, it doesn’t dip by a huge amount. They’ll still have about a 69% chance to either win one of their last two games, or have Buffalo lose one of theirs.

Before kickoff on Sunday’s slate of Week 16 games, oddsmakers list Miami as 3-point underdogs for next week’s game against the Ravens. Our predictive analytics team projects the Dolphins will be favored at home against the Bills if the season-finale ends up being for all the marbles.

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