Eagles Cowboys Sunday Night Preview
PHILADELPHIA HAS AN OVERLOAD OF INTANGIBLE EDGES, CAN THEY TURN THEM INTO VICTORY IN DALLAS?
It's hard to imagine a scenario where one NFL team has this many intangible advantages over their opponent. It's a road game instead of a home game...which is about the only thing that ISN'T favoring the Eagles. Among their advantages...
*They have revenge from a home loss earlier this season to the Cowboys
*They enjoyed a bye week that provided extra rest and preparation time
*Dallas went to war last week with Seattle, ultimately losing a heartbreaker
*Dallas has huge off-field distractions this week because of the Greg Hardy situation
Revenge by itself is often enough to get veteran handicappers looking at a particular team. Revenge plus a bye week can be big as a combination. But...Dallas being depleted and distracted? Man...this could get really ugly!
But, before you jump all over the Eagles...remember that this offense is so sluggish that they may not have what it takes to turn all of that into points. If Sam Bradford can't find the end zone...it doesn't matter that Dallas is so down in the dumps. It will look just like last week's 13-12 game on this field when Seattle couldn't play to market expectations.
Let's dig into JIM HURLEY'S key indicator stats to see what they say about the game...
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
Philadelphia: 3-4 (#14 ranked schedule according to Sagarin)
Dallas: 2-5 (#3 ranked schedule according to Sagarin)
Dallas has played a brutal schedule...and has been without Tony Romo for several weeks now. They would likely lead the NFC East comfortably if he hadn't gotten hurt. Possibly with a 5-2 record against this brutal schedule. Philadelphia has played something very close to a league average slate. So, that 3-4 record is legitimate. Lucky Philly doesn't have to deal with Romo this time. They couldn't win the game he played in and got hurt.
Philadelphia: 5.2 on offense, 5.2 on defense
Dallas: 5.6 on offense, 5.6 on defense
Both teams are right at break even...which is a credit to Dallas given their very tough schedule...but a strike against the Eagles in terms of the playoffs. Philadelphia has the numbers of a .500 caliber team. That might be enough to win what has become a weak division. It's not likely to be good enough to do anything in January if the team is still playing. Though...let's credit the Eagles defense because 5.2 YPP allowed is very strong in the modern game. Only 5.2 YPP on offense is a far cry from what was expected after Chip Kelly's season preparation.
Dallas is in huge trouble without Romo because the backup quarterbacks can't move the ball without turning it over. The defense is still soft too...which means not many takeaways. Philadelphia's defense is forcing a lot of turnovers. And, one of the good things about Kelly's offensive style is that it can avoid turnovers when run properly because of all the short and safe dump-offs. Edge to the Eagles here...particularly if those intangibles we discussed cause this category to blow up in favor of the road favorite.
Philadelphia: 3-4 ATS (1-6 to the Under)
Dallas: 2-5 ATS
Both teams have been overrated by the markets. Philly's defense has helped overcome what was an EXTREME overrating of the offense. Dallas was only 1-5 ATS before getting the cover last week. We included the Under mark from Philly as a reminder about their "great defense/horrible offense" dichotomy. The market is still trying to "catch down" to Philly's ACTUAL style of play.
Current Line: Philadelphia by 3, total of 44
Remember that home field is worth 2.5 to 3 points in NFL divisional games. So, the Eagles vs. Matt Cassell would be -5.5 or -6 on a neutral field, and then in the -7 to -8 range at home. They're already getting some respect for the intangibles that we discussed. Was that enough? Or, will this be a game where the defense generates a blowout like we saw in a 27-7 win over the NY Giants, or a 39-16 win over New Orleans (the only Over so far)?
JIM HURLEY recognizes the possible bankroll explosion in play here. He'll make sure his clients play it the right way. You can purchase the final word for all Sunday action on game day right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453 before the early games begin.
Back with you tomorrow for this week's Monday Night Football preview. Here's what's coming up in the NOTEBOOK...
Monday: NFL TV Preview...Chicago at San Diego
Midweek: NFL TV Preview...Buffalo at NY Jets
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview... choosing between Oklahoma at Baylor and Alabama at Mississippi State
Sunday: NFL TV Preview...Arizona at Seattle
The stage is set for either a statement-making blowout from the Eagles, or an "us against the world" upset from a Dallas Cowboys team that's tired of dealing with the media. If a blowout cover is on tap...you'll be drinking in the dollars with JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!
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