Cowboys vs. Eagles Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds: How to Bet This Key NFC East Matchup
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz
- Our experts preview the Week 16 NFL matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.
- This matchup could decide the winner of the NFC East, so with the stakes in mind, what's the best bet?
- You'll find betting odds, a staff pick, Sean Koerner's power ratings and more outlined below.
Cowboys at Eagles Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds
- Odds: Cowboys -1.5
- Over/Under: 46.5
- Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX
Odds as of Thursday evening and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
After opening as a pick’em, the Dallas Cowboys have been bet up to 1.5-point road favorites against the Philadelphia Eagles.
But with the NFC East still up for grabs, is the real value on America’s Team?
Our experts preview this pivotal divisional matchup, featuring spread and over/under picks.
Cowboys-Eagles Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Eagles*
*Pending the status of Dak Prescott.
It appears the Eagles could be without Nelson Agholor (knee), defensive lineman Derek Barnett (ankle) and offensive lineman Lane Johnson (ankle) as none of them have practiced Wednesday or Thursday.
Meanwhile, nearly the entire Cowboys offensive line is on the injury report. Still, they’ve often limited their men in the trenches early in the week, so I wouldn’t worry about their health until Friday injury reports come out because sometimes it can be difficult to decipher.
The main story in Dallas is the health of Dak Prescott (shoulder). He’s been dealing with an AC joint sprain, but he and the Cowboys claim he’s playing even though he reportedly won’t even throw a football until Saturday. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Cowboys Pass Offense vs. Eagles Pass Defense
The Cowboys and Eagles can match each other in the trenches, where both excel.
I’d give a slight edge to a Dallas offensive line that ranks second in adjusted line yards and first in adjusted sack rate, especially if Lane Johnson can’t go for Philly. And I’d give the advantage to the Philly defensive line that ranks fourth in adjusted line yards. But this trench battle is likely a wash overall.
However, this game could be decided on the outside at receiver.
As a result of a number of a number of key injuries, the Eagles simply lack any explosiveness in the passing game with a very limited set of wideouts who would serve as backups on almost every other NFL team. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have very solid options with Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb and Michael Gallup.
Plus, while neither team has an elite secondary, the Cowboys have the better overall defensive backfield, so this edge becomes even more amplified for them.
Of the 120 corners who have played at least 120 snaps this season, here are where the Eagles’ projected starters at corner rank in coverage (per Pro Football Focus):
- Ronald Darby: 116th
- Avonte Maddox: 92nd
- Jalen Mills: 79th
Their safety play hasn’t been great, either, which is one reason they allow so many explosive plays through the air — 14 of 40 or more yards so far this season. (Only the Raiders have allowed more.)
By contrast, the Cowboys have allowed only four (only the Chargers have allowed fewer). And per those same coverage grades, Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis rank 26th, 41st and 54th, respectively.
One potential weakness of the Cowboys defense that the Eagles could exploit is with their two plus tight ends: The Cowboys rank 29th in pass coverage against the position, per Football Outsiders. But given the limited options Philly has at wide receiver, Dallas can simply focus its attention and resources on stopping Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
One would expect this divisional showdown that could decide the NFC East to be close, but it might just boil down to the Cowboys having the superior playmakers on the outside who can make a big play on a few key third downs or in the red zone. — Stuckey
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Cowboys -1.5
- Projected Total: 48
This matchup is eerily similar to Rams-Cowboys one from just a week ago. The Rams were slight road favorites with lopsided action on their side. After the Cowboys blew out the Rams, it’s now their turn to be slight road favorites receiving about 80% of the action (see live public betting data here).
It’s common knowledge at this point that the Eagles are hurting at wide receiver ever since Alshon Jeffery went down in Week 14. However, Greg Ward stepped up big for the Eagles last week and they also might get Agholor back from injury. And let’s not forget they have the best TE duo in all of football with Ertz and Goedert.
The Eagles should be capable of moving the ball against Dallas this week.
The wildcard will be the health of Prescott. Heading into last week he was dealing with injuries to both hands, one of which required bandage at the tip of his index finger on his throwing hand. The injury didn’t appear to limit him in anyway on Sunday, however he ended up suffering a new injury to his right shoulder. It’s being described as an AC joint injury, which is likely going to limit him in practice all week.
Given the Eagles’ stout run defense is likely to limit Ezekiel Elliott (as much as a defense can), it could prevent the Cowboys from leaning on their running game if Dak’s shoulder is in fact an issue. I’m already showing value on Philly before even factoring in Dak’s status, so it’s likely smart to lock in Eagles +1.5 now. — Sean Koerner
Koerner is 158-119-2 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
PRO System Match
Unders have been a smart play in division games, going 838-741-29 (53.1%) since 2003, as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment.
It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points) — it’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.
Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 190-113-3 (62.7%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $6,755 following this strategy.
A majority of bets are on this over, but the line has moved from 47.5 to 46.5. When the line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages, it’s called reverse line movement and is an indication of sharp action.
History and pros are on this under. — John Ewing
PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.
Matthew Freedman: Under 46.5
If the Cowboys win, they’ll be the NFC East champions. If the Eagles win, they’ll take the division as long as they dispense with the 3-11 Giants in Week 17.
Given what’s at stake, I expect both teams to slow the game down, look to keep the score close and play with more intention.
And that makes sense: Whenever divisional opponents face off in the final month of the season, we typically see lower-scoring games. The teams are familiar with each other, the weather is colder and they tend to be a little more conservative on offense.
In the Bet Labs database, the December divisional under is an A-graded 288-217-12 (10.9% ROI).
Plus, Prescott has trended toward the under whenever the Cowboys have traveled. Outside of the domed AT&T Stadium, the Dak under is 19-12 (17.8% ROI).
I bet the under at 47.5 but like it down to 45.
Freedman is 522-393-22 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.