Bet of the Day – Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, Dec. 12, 2010

Philadelphia Eagles (-4) at Dallas Cowboys (+4), Over/Under 51

Yesterday’s bet, Tennessee at Pittsburgh, was a loser.  Dallas has returned to the form we expect since Jason Garrett took over coaching responsibilities.  The Eagles are tied for the lead in the NFC East.  This is a big game for both teams.  It is the start of a treacherous 4-game stretch for the Eagles.

Philadelphia (8-4) enters this game off a nice home win over Houston with a few days rest.  The Eagles will be primed for a big game tonight.  They average 6.4 yards per play (YPP) and 14.0 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.5 YPP and 13.9 YPPT.  QB Michael Vick averages 8.37 yards per attempt (YPA) with 15 TDs and 2 INTs for a 105.7 QB rating.  Vick also has rushed for 467 yards with 6 TDs and 3 fumbles.  Vick has a quad issue and faces a good run defense.  Facing a weak secondary, expect Vick to try to pick the Cowboys apart.

The Cowboys (4-8) are coming off a good road win in Indianapolis.  They average 5.9 YPP and 14.9 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 6.0 YPP and 12.9 YPPT.  These are very inefficient numbers.  But if you look deeper at the numbers since Jason Garrett took over, it is a different picture.  In those games, they average 11.4 YPPT on offense and 15.74 YPPT on defense.  Much more efficient; they are averaging similar yardage on offense and defense but converting points better on offense and limiting converted points better on defense.  QB Jon Kitna has been decent since taking over for Romo.  He averages 7.54 YPA with 11 TDs and 8 INTs for an 89.5 QB rating.  Kitna and the Cowboys will need to limit turnovers tonight.  The Eagle defense isn’t great and the Cowboys should be able to move the ball.  Dez Bryant is out but Dallas will have Jason Witten.  A weak secondary should be the Cowboys biggest concern.

The Sagarin Ratings have Philadelphia 24.75 and Dallas 17.39.  With the 1.85 home advantage, the fair line is Philadelphia -5.51.  According to pregame.com, 68% of spread bets are on the Eagles and 77% of the total bets are on the Over.

My NFL model predicts Philadelphia 32.2 over Dallas 26.9 for 59.1 total points.  This considers the entire season for Dallas.  If you adjusted the Dallas statistics for the last few games, my model predicts Dallas 34.9 over Philadelphia 34.1 for 69 total points.  Both teams move the ball very well.  Since the coaching change, Dallas is more efficient on offense.  The Eagles give up fewer yards and points.  Again, in recent results Dallas is more efficient on defense.  The key variance contributor for both teams is defensive passing yards allowed.  Whichever team plays closer to or below their defensive passing yards allowed should win the game.

Tonight I am going to tease Dallas and the Over.  Here’s why.  Both teams can and will score points.  Dallas is better than their season statistics show.  Philadelphia is missing Asante Samuel and Winston Justice; two key starters.  Teasing the game crosses key lines for the point spread and total.  Bet a 7-point teaser Dallas +11 and Eagles/Cowboys Over 44.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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