Friday, October 28, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (Week 8, 2011-12)

The Philadelphia Eagles will continue in their attempts of saving their season when they face the Dallas Cowboys in a critical divisional matchup on Sunday Night Football. The Eagles had two weeks to prepare for this contest. Expect a great game here.

The early spread on this game is Eagles (-3.5). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of October 28, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week. Please note that ATS means “Against the spread.”

***MY*** Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
Dallas Cowboys 4-2
Philadelphia Eagles 2-4

Key Injuries
G Kyle Kosier, RB Tashard Choice, CB Terence Newman, RB Felix Jones (Out), DE Brandon Graham (Out)

Keys to the Game
  • The protection of Michael Vick versus Rob Ryan’s defense
  • Turnovers
  • The Eagles have had two weeks to prepare and rest
  • Fourth Quarter: Tony Romo versus Michael Vick
  • Eagles’ run defense versus Demarco Murray
  • Eagles’ big-play potential versus Cowboys’ secondary
  • Eagles have won 12 consecutive post-bye week games under Andy Reid (12-0).
The Cowboys have played in competitive games all season. They could be anywhere from 1-5 to 6-0 depending on how well they’ve closed those games out. Just so happens that they’re 3-3. They’re also 2-0-1 ATS on road games and 2-0 as an underdog this season. The Eagles are 0-2 ATS at home and 2-4 ATS overall.

The Eagles should have their hands full as they try to protect Michael Vick against the blitz schemes of Rob Ryan’s defense. Vick has had difficulty against blitzes for most of his career. It’s even more challenging now that he’s trying to remold himself into a pocket quarterback.

The other question is how well with the Eagles’ run defense contain Demarco Murray? Murray had 253 rushing yards against a St. Louis Rams’ defense that surrenders over 180 rushing yards per game this season. The Eagles are getting a plethora of players back who were injured before the bye week. I still think Murray has the potential of having a 100-yard game.  

I just can’t go against the Eagles. They’re coming off a bye week and they’re at home. Andy Reid is 12-0 in post-bye week games. I’m not confident in Tony Romo during the fourth quarter. There should also be a bit of desperation from the Eagles because they can’t afford to drop to 2-5. They’re also much healthier than they have been all season on the defensive front and offensive line.

I’m 51/49 on the Eagles winning in a great Sunday Night Football game. Please, let this SNF game be better than most of the ones from the past month…

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys (+3.5)
Straight: - Philadelphia Eagles 31, Dallas Cowboys 28

Stat sources:

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