|NFL Wildcard Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (Saturday 8 ET)
By Matt Fargo
Philadelphia and Dallas are meeting for the second consecutive week at Cowboys Stadium yet this total has moved quite a bit more than it should have in my opinion.
Last week, the number closed at 47.5 and 48 and early this week, we are seeing 45 and even some 44.5's out there. The fact that the Eagles were shutout and also the fact that Dallas has two straight shutouts may be leading to this drop as well as the fact that it is playoff time.
With this game being played only six days after the last meeting, there should be no drop in this number so we are definitely getting some good value. Philadelphia was shutout for the first time in four years and while that may concern some, it is not concerning me at all. It was not an indication of how the Eagles have been playing as it is more of an aberration than anything.
Philadelphia came into that Cowboys game on a six-game winning streak and had scored 24 points or more in each, averaging 31.2 ppg. After 16 weeks, the offense finally had a bad game but that does not mean that it is going to continue. This offense is simply too good to be held in check two consecutive weeks.
The Cowboys defense has been playing great as they have held some good offensive teams to low point totals. Dallas has recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time in the history of the franchise so it is definitely an impressive feat.
There is no chance it will happen three times in a row and I really do not see the defense keeping the Eagles, who are fifth in the NFL in scoring with 26.8 ppg, down again after allowing a combined 16 points in the first two meetings.
I know this is a different year, but not that much has changed from last season on either side when Philadelphia put up 44 and 37 points in the two meetings. On the other side, the Eagles defense has been extremely inconsistent as it has allowed 24 or more points in five of their last eight games.
The Cowboys managed 24 points last Sunday and if the game had been tighter and Dallas needed it, it could have produced more as it did not score over the final 20 minutes of the game.
The Cowboys have gone under in eight of their last nine games including both games in this series and that tells me right there it is time to go the other way.
The contrarian thinking in me says to do so. 20 points will be the magic number here as the Eagles are 11-1 to the 'Over' when both teams hit 20 points while Dallas is 11-0 to the 'Over' when both teams hit 20 points. This may seem like 1st grade thinking, but what it does say is that over the last two seasons, when the teams are scoring and allowing a fair number of points, these games tend to be shootouts.
The Eagles averaged 61.6 ppg in those 12 games while Dallas averaged in 57.1 ppg in those 11 games.
Pick: OVER 45 (-105) available at 5Dimes.com.
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