Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles Picks Against the Spread

Senior analyst Larry Hartstein breaks down Cowboys-Eagles from a wagering perspective as bettors try to anticipate how long Dallas' starters will play.

 

DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-3.5, 43), Sun., 1 p.m. ET

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott is talking about avoiding unnecessary hits. That sums up the quandary the Cowboys -- and their backers at the betting window -- face Sunday.

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Sun 01/01 1:00 PM EST
Dallas +210 O/U 44
Philadelphia -260 -6.5
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Prescott and the other Dallas starters are expected to start, despite the team being locked into the No. 1 NFC seed. How long they'll play remains to be seen.

In normal circumstances, the Cowboys would be favored by at least 4 points at Philly. But after burying the Lions last Monday -- in another game Dallas didn't need -- coach Jason Garrett could be more cautious with his stars in Week 17.

Starters played most of the way against Detroit.

Dallas won't play again until the weekend of Jan. 14-15. Garrett wants to maintain his team's rhythm, but could pull starters earlier this week, after they get in some work.

Philly (6-9) is favored by more than a field goal despite having lost five of six.

For the Eagles, the game is significant. They'd like to avenge their 29-23 OT loss in Dallas in Week 8, a game they led by 10 in the fourth quarter.

And they want rookie QB Carson Wentz, who's thrown three TDs and seven INTs the past five games, to finish strong.

Philly has lost six games by a touchdown or less. A solid finish -- wins over the Giants and Cowboys -- would propel the Eagles into the offseason optimistic about 2017.

LINE MOVEMENT

The Cowboys opened as 3.5-point favorites at BookMaker.eu, only to see the line swing a full touchdown.

"It's somewhat surprising that this number has moved so much, but the sharps have spoken and they are fading Dallas like the setting sun," BookMaker spokesman Scott Cooley told SportsLine."The Cowboys' brass is talking a lot like it's just a normal week, but the wiseguys aren't buying it.

"I know we'll see some public money on America's Team this weekend, but maybe not enough to offset the liability we already have."

The total has fallen two points to 43, also on the assumption that Cowboys' starters will be pulled.

By Saturday afternoon, the Eagles were 5.5-point favorites and the money line stood at Philly -250. Reports out of Dallas had both Mark Sanchez and Tony Romo getting snaps, further clouding the picture for the Cowboys' offense.

TRENDS

The Cowboys have covered their past four visits to Philly, and the road team is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. Dallas is 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games.

The Eagles are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games and are coming off a 24-19 home win over the Giants.

The Over is 4-0 in Philly's last four games. The Under is 13-3 in Dallas' last 16 road games.

SELECTION

SportsLine expert Emory Hunt (34-25-4 L63 picks) has an official play on this game. Get all Cowboys-Eagles picks here.