Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Week 17 NFL Pick

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) at Dallas Cowboys (8-7)

I was kicking myself when I saw this line opened at Philadelphia -3. It was at Dallas -3 a week ago and there was no reason not to take that, even before Philadelphia demolished Chicago last week. For one, Philadelphia is obviously a better team than the Cowboys, so that line suggesting these two teams were equal was obviously not correct, even last week. That was probably a big overreaction to Philadelphia’s blowout loss in Minnesota, which is a fluke when you look at how they’ve played since Nick Foles took over.

Two, home field advantage doesn’t seem to be a big deal in the NFC East. The NFC East is 79-113 ATS at home since 2008, as opposed to 107-89 ATS on the road. As you can expect, in divisional games, the road team generally has the advantage in the NFC East and that’s true, as the home team is 45-27 ATS in NFC East games since 2008, including 17-32 ATS as home favorites. There was also a powerful trend that says teams who lose as divisional home favorites are 48-23 ATS since 2002 as road dogs in the same season, regular season rematch. Also, Tony Romo’s 12-26 ATS record in week 13 or later was worth noting, even if it wasn’t always his fault.

Of course, Philadelphia’s blowout victory over Chicago 54-11 pushed this line 6 full points, but even then I was considering Philadelphia, though not for a big play at all. They were still the superior team and this was still an NFC East home game, even if the Cowboys were now home dogs. Besides, teams are 45-30 ATS as favorites off of a game in which they score 48+ points since 1989, as teams seem to carry that momentum into the next week.

However, then Tony Romo was reportedly ruled out with a back injury and the line moved all the way to 6.5. We’re no longer getting line value with the Eagles and the public is all over them, which I don’t like, but they should still be the right side for three reasons. One is the aforementioned trend and the fact that they scored 48+ points last week. Two is what I mentioned about the NFC East at home. Three is the fact that the Cowboys without Tony Romo might be the worst team in the NFL, or one of them. They have the league’s worst defense, allowing opponents to move the chains at a 77.67% rate. I’m going with Philadelphia -6.5, though for a no confidence pick. If Tony Romo somehow is able to play this week, I’ll revisit this pick, but I’m going with the Eagles until further notice.

Philadelphia Eagles 31 Dallas Cowboys 24

Pick against spread: Philadelphia -6.5

Confidence: None

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