Dallas NFL gambling fans should be happy; the Cowboys have won the NFC East division and secured a playoff berth – complete with home field advantage and first round bye – for the first time since the 2014 season. And they did it earlier than expected, too. The way Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and company have been playing this season, there was no doubt in the minds of people who bet on football games that the Cowboys were destined for great things this year. However, this team is not just talented but also very lucky. This time, it was the New York Giants’ 24-19 loss to the already-eliminated-from-postseason-contention Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday that put Dallas over the rainbow.
Even though all is far from lost for the Giants’ postseason aspirations, they did squander a golden opportunity to clinch their own playoff spot. On paper, the team from the Big Apple played circles around the Eagles. But as people who bet on football games know, this sport is not played on paper. This game in particular was played on a Desso GrassMaster surface, on which Eli Manning threw a career-high 63 passes, of which he completed 38 for 356 yards – more than doubling Carson Wentz’s production. Unfortunately, he also threw three interceptions. Similarly, Odell Beckham had more yards than the Eagles’ three top receivers, but failed to score a single touchdown.
So how did the Eagles upset online sportsbook NFL gambling odds? It wasn’t so much what they did right but what the Giants did wrong. For example, Manning had big numbers, but sometimes it’s all about quality and not quantity. As ESPN Staff Writer Jordan Raanan put it, “Manning was throwing wobblers and knuckleballs in the wind” and “seemed to panic on the play” in which he threw one of his three picks straight into the loving arms of Philly’s Malcolm Jenkins. Manning has been a Comeback Kid all throughout his career, but this Thursday Giants fans who bet on football games were left waiting for the proverbial Godot.
As for the Cowboys, having won the division and looking good to win the NFC proper, they have their sights set on the Super Bowl. Prior to the regular season, Dallas fans games would have been labeled incurable optimistic to even mention Dallas in the same breath as other NFL gambling favorites. The way things are going now, though, who knows? Tony Romo might just win his first Super Bowl championship. Or rather watch Prescott win it. But he will still get a nice ring out of it. Prescott had an 11-game winning streak which is more than Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, and other illustrious signal-callers ever won in a row. All in all, five Cowboys were selected to the Pro Bowl; Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Tyron Smith in addition to Prescott and Elliott – the latter of whom has 1,551 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the way to becoming the first rookie in league history with four consecutive games of 130-plus yards.