Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) at Dallas Cowboys (2-5)
The Eagles are 3 point favorites here in Dallas coming off the bye. Significant road favorites off of a bye tend to do pretty well, as 3+ point road favorites off of the bye are 41-13 ATS since 2002, including 21-5 ATS in a divisional matchup, like this one. However, the Eagles aren’t deserving of being favored by a field goal here. They’re the better team, ranking 11th, as opposed to 20th for the Cowboys, but the difference isn’t enough, considering this line suggests that the Eagles are 6 points better than the Cowboys.
The Eagles aren’t healthy coming out of the bye, missing talented left tackle Jason Peters with a back injury. It’s not all bad on the injury front for the Eagles, as middle linebacker Kiko Alonso is expected to return this week from an extended absence with a knee problem, meaning the Eagles are healthy with the exception of Peters, but Peters will definitely be missed. Matt Tobin will be a significant downgrade.The Cowboys, meanwhile, are only missing Tony Romo.
Obviously, that’s a huge injury still and new quarterback Matt Cassel is a significant downgrade, but the Cowboys are healthy around the quarterback now, which they haven’t been really all season. The offensive line is very good. Their receiving corps is back to full strength, after getting wide receiver Dez Bryant back from injury last week. And their defense has played a lot better in recent weeks since getting defensive end Greg Hardy and middle linebacker Rolando McClain back from suspension. Given that, the Eagles really shouldn’t be field goal favorites here, without Peters, but the public is still all over them. I like to fade the public whenever it makes sense, because they always lose money in the long run, and it makes sense here.
The Cowboys are also in a pair of good spots. For one, they have a relatively easy game in Tampa Bay next week, a game in which they expected to be 1 point road favorites, per the early line. Home underdogs are 72-44 ATS since 2002 before being road favorites. Sure, that line is only one and they could end up being underdogs depending on the outcome of this game, but teams are also 75-51 ATS as home underdogs off of a loss as home underdogs since 2002. The Cowboys lost last week against the Seahawks as home underdogs. I’m not confident at all, but I’m going with the Cowboys.
Philadelphia Eagles 19 Dallas Cowboys 17
Pick against the spread: Dallas +3