Dallas in trouble vs. Philly's offense - NBC Sports

Dallas in trouble vs. Philly's offense
Spread balloons with news of Tony Romo being doubtful for SNF with NFC East on the line.
AP Photo
December 26, 2013, 1:15 pm

Week 17 has been a bloodbath for Dallas Cowboys bettors over the years (1-9 ATS in their past 10 season finales) and the spread in their finale against the Philadelphia Eagles with the NFC East title and a playoff spot on the line indicates that trend may continue on Sunday Night Football.

Dallas was able to scrape out a 24-23 win over the Washington Redskins last Sunday, while the Eagles destroyed the Chicago Bears at home. However, the big story line from Week 16 is that fact that Cowboys QB Tony Romo tweaked a herniated disc in his back and is listed as doubtful to play against Philly. The Cowboys’ front office is holding out hope that Romo will be able to play through it, but all signs currently point to the star quarterback missing the game. Backup Kyle Orton will take over as the starter if Romo is unable to go.

Dallas is perfect within the division (5-0 SU) according to closing 2013 NFL betting odds at Bovada, while the Eagles are 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS over their last seven games heading into this Sunday’s game where the Cowboys opened as small home underdogs, but the number swelled to 6.5 points on news that Romo was likely out.

Chip Kelly’s first season as head coach of the Eagles had its ups and downs through the first half of the season as the Eagles went just 3-5 SU and ATS. But over the second half of the season, the Eagles have been one of the NFL’s best teams with a 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS record, according to the Week 17 NFL trends at OddsShark.com. Over that stretch, Philadelphia has averaged 34.6 points per game, never failed to score at least 24 points and the total has gone OVER in its last three games. Likewise, the total has gone OVER in five of Dallas’ last six games.

For the third straight year, the NFC East division race comes down to one game in Week 17, and this is also the third straight year that Dallas is in that game. The Cowboys fell short of the playoffs after losing to the New York Giants in 2011 and Washington in 2012.

Dallas is 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in its last three games against the Eagles, including a 17-3 win over the Eagles back on October 20. With Romo out, the Cowboys want to keep the score low again in order to have a chance at avoiding a third straight year of Week 17 disappointment.