Cowboys vs. Eagles Odds & Picks: Lock In Philly To Cover Spread At This Price
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Hurts
Cowboys vs. Eagles Odds
There’s not a more accurate word to describe the seasons of the 4-9-1 Eagles or 5-9 Cowboys, who are set to face off Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
Both teams were odds-on favorites to win the NFC East to start the season and, through a series of misfortunes, now find their playoff hopes hanging on by a mere thread. They need to win and get some help in order to make the postseason.
In the battle to stay alive, oddsmakers have installed Jalen Hurts and the Eagles as short road favorites over Andy Dalton and the Cowboys. Let’s find out where the edge lies in this matchup.
Doug Pederson has led the Eagles to the playoffs in three of his first four seasons as a head coach, only missing out in his first season with a 7-9 record.
Although the Eagles’ playoff hopes look bleak, they have a chance largely due to the spark that Hurts has given this team — since throwing Carson Wentz in the bushes, the Eagles put up more than 400 yards of offense in two games, scoring 24 and 26 points in the two games Hurts has started. It marks the highest point total since the Eagles’ 30-28 loss to the Ravens in Week 6 — from Weeks 7-13, the Eagles have averaged just 18.6 points per game.
More importantly, Hurts isn’t turning the ball over like Wentz, who has 15 interceptions and four lost fumbles this season.
Hurts led the Eagles to a 24-21 win over the New Orleans Saints as 7-point underdogs and was a Dallas Goedert dropped pass away from tying or potentially beating the Cardinals on the road as 7-point underdogs.
After stepping in for Wentz in their Week 13 game against the Packers, Hurts made it a one-score game before a 77-yard run by Aaron Jones with 2:36 to go iced the game. Hurts may not have eye-popping statistics, but he’s given the Eagles a chance to win every game, which we couldn’t say about Wentz.
One of the biggest differences is Philadelphia’s commitment to running the ball — Miles Sanders notably has 31 carries for 179 yards over the past two weeks.
The Eagles’ offensive line will have to overcome the absences of Lane Johnson and Jason Peters, but their running backs also should fare well against a Cowboys defense that can’t stop the run.
This will also be the easiest defense that Hurts has faced, so look for him to repeat last week’s performance in which he passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for one on the ground.
The Eagles’ cluster injuries at secondary have been problematic: They lost safety Rodney McLeod to a torn ACL against the Saints and Avonte Maddox is also on IR. They’ll also be missing cornerback Kevon Seymour. Fortunately, Darius Slay has cleared the concussion protocol and will be active.
The strength of this defense continues to be the defensive line, as they’re second in sacks (44) and fifth in pressure rate (25.7%). While the defensive line is holding teams to just a 36.7% success rate (per Sharp Football Stats) and 4.2 yards per carry on the ground, this unit can be passed on. They’re just 23rd in defensive passing efficiency against the 16th-ranked schedule of opposing pass defenses.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox did miss practice this week and is questionable for Sunday’s matchup, so keep an eye out for his injury status.
Like the Eagles, the Cowboys have had a disappointing and injury-riddled season. However, the Cowboys come into this game winners of two straight: A 30-7 blowout of the Bengals and a 41-33 win over the 49ers.
In last week’s game against the 49ers, Dalton completed 19-of-33 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Given their struggles in defending the pass, if Dalton has time, he certainly has the weapons with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz to punish this Eagles’ defense.
Of course, having time against this pass rush is the big question — particularly given the injuries on the offensive line.
Without Ezekiel Elliott in the lineup last week, Tony Pollard showed out with 12 rushes for 69 yards and two touchdowns, but nether back is likely to find as much running room against a stingy Eagles’ run defense.
The Cowboys are giving up the second-most points per game (30.9) and are 24th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA. While they aren’t good against the pass — ranking 20th in defensive pass efficiency — they’ve particularly struggled to stop the run this season, allowing 161.8 yards per game on the ground and a league-worst 5.0 yards per carry with a 43.9% success rate, 24th in the NFL.
While the Cowboys are 25th in defensive run efficiency, they’ve played just the 28th-ranked schedule of opposing run defenses, which means they may have a hard time stopping the combination of Hurts and Sanders.
Games against the Seahawks, Cardinals and Ravens — in which they’ve faced Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson — should serve as an example of how much the Cowboys struggle against mobile quarterbacks: They’re giving up an average of 36.6 points per game.
Dallas will be without linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (ankle) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (ankle), which should make a bad run defense even worse.
The Eagles have covered the spread in only one of the six games they’ve been favored in this season, but that trend should change with Hurts against the Cowboys.
I don’t put much stock in the Cowboys’ win over the Bengals, and last week’s win over the 49ers was misleading: San Francisco out-gained Dallas in first downs, yards, yards per play, passing yards, rushing yards and time of possession. So why did the Cowboys win? They were the beneficiary of four turnovers, which the Eagles haven’t had many of since moving onto Hurts.
Pederson has a history of rallying the troops for a stretch run — he’s 15-5 over the final four weeks of a season during his five-year tenure with the Eagles.
Look for the Eagles to win and keep their playoff hopes alive for a potential NFC showdown next week against the Football Team. Should Washington lose to Carolina on Sunday, the winner of the Week 17 matchup between the Eagles and Football Team will determine the NFC East champion.
With that said, I recommend adding Eagles +500 to win the division to your futures portfolio.
I would also highly encourage shopping for the Eagles at -2.5, which you can use our NFL odds page to do. While taking -3 on a game that opened at -1.5 generally feels like a losing proposition, I ultimately expect the Eagles to win comfortably so would still bet them there.
Pick: Eagles -3