Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Saturday Night Football Preview, Picks, and Betting Guide

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January 7, 2022

Dallas Cowboys (11-5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

Date: Saturday, January 8, 2022
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field

The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have already assured themselves a spot in the playoffs, but there’s more on the line for Saturday night’s NFC East clash. Both teams will be looking to improve their position in the standings, get a more ideal matchup, and end their season on sound footing. For the Eagles to do so, they’ll have to get past the division leaders. More ominously, they enter their final regular season contest as +4 underdogs. The silver lining is that the betting market is moving in the Eagles’ favor. The line has shifted a field goal off opening, with the home side going from +7.5 down to the current line.

More promisingly, the Eagles’ offense has been efficient over their recent stretch. Jalen Hurts has Philadelphia marching down the field, gaining an average of 391.0 per game over their past three, the sixth-best total over that span. As usual, the Eagles’ run game is doing the heavy lifting, using a committee approach to torch their opponents. Philadelphia remains the best running team in the league, averaging 160.4 yards per game, with their three-game sample coming in slightly ahead of that at 162.0. They can lean into that against a Cowboys team that has been ineffective at stopping the run on the road recently.

Dallas sits in the middle of the pack on the season, allowing 110.6 rushing yards per game, but they’ve been trending downward as the visitors end the season. In three of their past four road games, the Cowboys have allowed 124 or more yards, getting outgained in two of those contests. That gives the Eagles a much-needed advantage, allowing them to maintain possession and control the clock in this pivotal contest.

The Cowboys’ offense is also trending in the wrong direction ahead of the playoffs. Their recent metrics are being propped up by one dominant showing, but otherwise, Dallas has been lackluster over their past five games. The Pokes have put up below-average yardage in the four other contests, averaging just 332.3 yards per game. That impacts scoring, as the Cowboys are below their season average in all four of those games.

Those recent performances have extended an under streak that has taken the Cowboys through most of the season. In reconciling those metrics with the Eagles’ recent defensive efforts, we’re expecting more of the same on Sunday. Philadelphia has limited their previous three opponents to an average of 247.0 yards; however, they’ve seen an increase in points allowed per game over that span. That disconnect implies that the Eagles are progression candidates, as their opponents’ points come down to match their limited yardage total. On that basis, we’re betting this game stays under 43.

The Eagles have played their way into a playoff spot, winning six of their past seven. Their lone loss over that stretch came against the New York Giants in Week 12. Philly has been good against the spread during this run, going 4-2-1, entering each one of those contests as favorites. That favorite streak reflects what we see in the Eagles’ metrics, as they’ve been the better team in most of their contests. We’re expecting that trend to continue in Week 18 and taking the Eagles to cover the spread as home dogs.

All NFL game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid

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Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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