After winning two classics against old rivals in three weeks, and yet another fourth-quarter comeback, the Dallas Cowboys (8-1) have staked themselves to the NFL’s top record on the back of an eight-game winning streak.
And the oddsmakers at Bovada are paying attention, as the online sportsbook has dramatically shifted their expectation on “America’s Team” hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on home state soil in Houston this February.
Currently, the Cowboys are listed at +550 to win Super Bowl LI, and with 5.5 to 1 odds, Dallas joins the Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1) as the only teams within arm’s reach of the vaunted New England Patriots (7-2). Seattle is listed at +625 to win the big game, while New England is the clear favorite at +230 to win their fifth title of the Brady/Belichick era.
The Seahawks closed the gap quite a bit by doing what few teams have in the last decade, beating the Patriots in Foxboro last Sunday night in a 31-24 repeat of their hard-fought Super Bowl from two seasons prior.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, continued their dream season by overcoming an early 12-3 deficit – and a last-minute, lead-taking touchdown by Ben Roethlisberger – to down the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-5) on the road in a 35-30 thriller.
This week, Dallas plays another AFC North opponent in the Baltimore Ravens (5-4), but they’ll play host in the comfortable confines of Jerry-world. After pushing their record to a glittering 8-0-1 against the spread (ATS), the Cowboys are finally getting respect from bookmakers, and this Sunday they’ll face one of their larger numbers of the year as 7.5-point home favorites via Bovada.
New England hits the road to take on a struggling San Francisco 49ers (1-8) team, losers of eight straight. Even coming off of a loss – or perhaps, because of it – the Pats are set as huge 14-point road favorites.
The Seahawks return to the Bird’s Nest to host the Philadelphia Eagles (5-4), a team riding the proverbial see-saw following an encouraging 3-0 start. With rookie quarterback Carson Wentz starting to show his age over the last month, and his counterpart Russell Wilson overcoming several minor injuries to power back-to-back 31-point offensive performances, Bovada has the ‘Hawks as 6.5-point home favorites.
For bettors who prefer tighter matchups, the resurgent Miami Dolphins (5-4) complete a two-game, 11-day California road trip by visiting the Los Angeles Rams (4-5). The Dolphins are riding high on the strength of a four-game winning streak – bolstered by the return to full health of their five-man offensive line – while the Rams just broke a three-game losing streak despite scoring just 9 points in a grueling win at the New York Jets (3-7).
That inept offensive output made it three straight games under 10 points for the recently relocated Rams, so they decided to make the switch and insert rookie quarterback – and first overall draft pick – Jared Goff ahead of Sunday’s game. The line was listed as a pick’em when it opened, but the consensus line has shifted to -1.5 in favor of the Dolphins following the Goff announcement.
Fans of divisional tilts will find the struggling Steelers as 9-point road favorites against the free-falling Cleveland Browns (0-10); and the Indianapolis Colts (4-5) as 3-point home favorites against the surging Tennessee Titans (5-5).