Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Odds & Game Pick (2021)

Jan 8, 2022 - 3:43 AM

Bitter NFC East rivals will renew pleasantries in the nightcap of the first-ever Week 18 Saturday night doubleheader. The Dallas Cowboys travel to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Philadelphia Eagles.

Both of these teams have clinched playoff spots, and it appears neither has all that much to play for. The Cowboys have the NFC East wrapped up, but can move as high as the No. 2 seed with a win and some help. The Eagles can move from the No. 7 seed to the No. 6 seed with a win and a San Francisco loss.

Oh, and surprise, surprise, COVID-19 is making an impact on this already incredibly uncertain game. So how do we handicap this somewhat meaningless NFC East battle? Let’s break it down.

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  • Opening line: Dallas -3.5
  • Current line: Dallas -4
  • Total: 43.5

Will Cowboys go all out? 

Dallas does have something to play for Saturday night. The Cowboys can advance to the No. 2 or No. 3 seed this weekend. They’ll first have to take care of business at home, then hope for losses from either or both Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.

Coach Mike McCarthy indicated earlier in the week that his starters will be out there Saturday night. But that doesn’t mean Dallas will be at full strength.

Star linebacker Micah Parsons’ status is in doubt as he landed on the COVID-19 list earlier in the week. Star cornerback Trevon Diggs will not travel to Philly with a non-COVID illness. The Cowboys are also expected to be without starting cornerback Anthony Brown, starting safety Jayvon Kearse, and tailback Tony Pollard.

However, it looks like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, and Amari Cooper will all be out there Sunday. And it makes sense, as Dallas will look to get back in rhythm offensively after a disappointing effort against the Arizona Cardinals. Dallas’ offense put up just 301 yards in the 25-22 loss. The Cowboys clearly value momentum heading into the postseason.

The same probably can’t be said about their opponent Saturday night.

COVID could be forcing Philly’s hand 

The biggest question for the Eagles heading into this game is who’s playing? The Eagles put a dozen players on the COVID-19 reserve list, including notable names like Dallas Goedert, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, and others still in the protocol.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is playing it close to the vest regarding who will be available Saturday night. But the assumption is the Eagles will sit most of their starters out of precaution.

That means we could see Gardner Minshew out there against a potentially depleted Cowboys secondary. And in what’s ultimately a meaningless game, Minshew Mania might make things interesting.

Philadelphia’s offensive identity also matches up well with Dallas. The Eagles prefer to pound the rock on the ground. And while the Cowboys rank No. 1 in overall defensive DVOA and pass defense DVOA, they rank just 18th in run defense DVOA and could be without their star linebacker Parsons.

Bottom Line

This is probably a game I’d wait to bet closer to kickoff. Until we know who is in or out for Philadelphia, it’s just too hard to make a clear judgment.

That being said, here’s how I’d play things if I wanted to get a bet in earlier. If you like Dallas, I’d take this number sooner than later, as I anticipate Philadelphia will ultimately sit most of their starters. Conversely, anyone interested in Philadelphia should wait until actives and inactives are announced, as this line could steam significantly in Dallas’ direction.

One play I feel confident about giving out now is the over. We know Dallas’ offense is going to play and will look to bounce back after a crummy performance last week. And whether it’s Minshew or Hurts, I don’t mind either against a Dallas defense that could be without several starters and two-star players.

The pick: Over 43.5

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The post Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Odds & Game Pick (2021) appeared first on BettingPros.

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