It will be a trial by fire for rookie quarterback ben DiNucci in his first career NFL start, as he leads the rapidly fading Dallas Cowboys into a Sunday Night Football clash vs the Philadelphia Eagles as massive underdogs.
Photo by @JMUFootball (twitter)
- The Eagles aim to pad their NFC East lead when they host the struggling Cowboys on Sunday Night Football
- SNF betting record: 4-8-1; -5.04 units
- We’ve got you covered with the odds and trends ahead of this key Wek 8 clash at Lincoln Financial Field
Sunday Night Football this week features a battle for top spot in the underachieving NFC East. The division-leading Philadelphia Eagles play host to the rapidly fading Dallas Cowboys as lofty 10.5-point favorites in the NFL Week 8 odds.
Weather could emerge as a factor when the action kicks off at 8:20pm Eastern at Lincoln Financial Field. Rain and strong winds are expected throughout the day in the Philadelphia. Showers could extend into the early evening possibly causing havoc for two teams that have been forced to battle through some adversity under center.
Cowboys vs Eagles Odds
|Dallas Cowboys||+10.5 (-109)||+450||O 43 (-110)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||-10.5 (-112)||-560||U 43 (+110)|
*Odds taken Nov. 1st from DraftKings
Eagles Show Character in Drive to First Place
Winless SU and ATS in their first three games of the season, the Eagles showed some signs of life during the month of October. They claimed victory in two of four outings, capped by last week’s 22-21 comeback victory over the New York Giants that vaulted them into first place in the NFC East.
Updated NFC East Standings
1) Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1)
2) Washington Football Team (2-5)
3) Dallas Cowboys (2-5)
4) New York Giants (1-6)
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) October 26, 2020
The Eagles also showed some character while staging a fourth-quarter rally that fell just short in a 30-28 loss to the visiting Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago. However, Philadelphia remains a betting disappointment, going 2-6 ATS in their past eight overall contests, and failing to cover in each of their past five as home chalk.
But with the Cowboys on the verge of freefall, those shaky trends have had little negative impact on the Eagles’ odds this week. The spread is tilting heavily in Philadelphia’s favor since opening at -8.5.
Philly Remains Bitten by Injury Bug
Injuries continue to be a massive concern for Philadelphia, particularly downfield. Among the Eagles receiving targets currently sidelined are wide receivers DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, and tight end Zach Ertz. Rusher Miles Sanders also remains on the shelf as he nurses a knee injury.
Quarterback Carson Wentz has struggled with accuracy issues all season, connecting on just 55.4% of his pass attempts over the past two weeks, and has coughed up the ball on five occasions to date, with two of those fumbles resulting in a turnover.
This is the Eagles 1st win when trailing by double-digits in the 4th quarter since 2012 against the Buccaneers. They had lost 36 straight entering Thursday.
Carson Wentz has now overcome a double-digit deficit in each of his last 3 home games against the Giants. pic.twitter.com/PVI7vQ08gD
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 23, 2020
But after tossing nine total picks through the first five games, Wentz has thrown just one interceptions since. The 27-year-old has also tossed for multiple scores in each of the past three games, and has been the architect of the team’s impressive late-game rallies in each of the past two weeks.
And while the Eagles’ current rash of injuries would typically be a concern, Wentz should have all the tools he needs to pay out as a -162 bet to connect on OVER 1.5 total scoring passes against a feeble Cowboys defense that has surrendered seven total TD passes in their past two road contests.
Cowboys on the Verge of Freefall
Losers in three of their past four SNF appearances on the road, the Cowboys will have to overcome massive adversity if they are to record their fifth win in six meetings with Philadelphia, and put the brakes on an epic season-opening 0-7 ATS slide.
Ben DiNucci was only in for 12 plays last week against Washington. Here is what happened in each of those plays:
Fumble – chest pass
32 yard completion to Amari
7 yard completion to Amari
Missed Gallup badly
— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 30, 2020
Demoralized by the loss of Dak Prescott, the Cowboys have struggled to tally just 13 total points in losses to Arizona and Washington over the past two weeks. Adding insult to injury is the loss of veteran Andy Dalton to a concussion. With Dalton unavailable for Sunday night, the Cowboys will turn the offense over to unheralded rookie Ben DiNucci, who completed just two pass attempts while getting sacked three times after taking over under center in last week’s 25-3 loss to Washington.
A Busy Night Ahead for Zeke?
Of course, a lack of familiarity with DiNucci may serve the product of James Madison University well in his first NFL start. But facing a risk of inclement weather, and a Philly pass defense that ranks third in the NFL with 24 sacks this season, it is likely to be a busy night for Ezekiel Elliott.
The Cowboys rusher is coming off a somewhat disappointing performance in Washington, piling up just 51 total yards, and failed to find the end zone for a second straight week, but offers solid value as a -112 bet to carry the ball OVER 16.5 times on Sunday night.
Ezekiel Elliott says rookie QB Ben DiNucci’s been confident, in command of Cowboys huddle. Brings arm talent & mobility to escape pocket. A scouting report from practice or studying tendencies?
Zeke: “Honestly I wouldn’t even know where to find Ben DiNucci’s college tape” 😂
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) October 28, 2020
But even if Elliott puts on a show, it is tough seeing the Cowboys rebounding. With an unproven passer, and a defense ranked last in the NFL after surrendering 31 or more points in five of the past six outings, the stage is set for an Eagles breakthrough.
The Pick: Eagles -10.5 (-112)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.