We’re in the endgame now. The Dallas Cowboys will play the Philadelphia Eagles on the road for their regular-season finale. As dramatic as that can sound, not a lot is in the line as both NFC East teams have clinched a playoff berth.

Both teams can end up with an improved seeding this weekend, though. Motivation is questionable for both teams, but we have one bet to make here. Let’s dive in.

The odds

  • Spread: Dallas Cowboys -4 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Dallas Cowboys -195 / Philadelphia Eagles +165
  • Total: 43

Public betting: Weird spot for Cowboys?

I find it hard to imagine a lot of people are betting on a game in which we don’t know who’s playing and who’s not. That being said, the Dallas Cowboys are in an unusual spot as the unbacked favorite.

Per Action Network, 55% of the bets are on the Eagles for the Week 18 NFC East matchup.

Trends

  • Cowboys are 4-0 against the spread (ATS) in their last four games as road favorites.
  • Cowboys are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games a road team.
  • Under is 7-1 in the Cowboys’ last eight games as a road favorite.
  • Over is 4-0 in Eagles’ last four as the home team.

The pick: Cowboys get their job done early

Everyone should acknowledge we likely don’t know what the Dallas Cowboys’ true plan is for this regular-season finale. Sure, they could improve their seeding for the playoffs, but it seems unlikely. For instance, for the Cowboys to improve to #3 they’d need the Rams and the Cardinals to lose. Add the Bucs to that list and the Cowboys would find themselves at #2.

Tough ask for the rest of the NFL, but that’s the position Dallas put themselves in after losing to the Cardinals last weekend.

But the Cowboys would hate to miss out on a better seed because of themselves, so maybe Mike McCarthy is telling the truth about playing the starters. The defense will be missing a lot of key players to injuries and COVID-19, including Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs.

But I expect the Cowboys to play Dak Prescott, the starting offensive line, and the starting core of pass-catchers at least for a quarter or two of football. They’ve been going through a slump on offense, and it’d make sense for them to finish the season on a positive note. They still need to figure out what the plan is without Michael Gallup going forward. 

With the Eagles dealing with many absences themselves, I’m betting the Cowboys to win the first half -3. After that, I’d expect a Cooper Rush vs Gardner Minshew contest and I want no part of that.

There’s definitely some risk in this bet (as in any other). Maybe McCarthy and the Cowboys end up playing backups for the entire game. We won’t know until kickoff is near enough.

The bet: First Half, Cowboys -3 (-105)

Season bets: 9-7

Odds via DraftKings

Featured image via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports