Cowboys Win But Don’t Cover
Don't you just love it when all the TV talking heads (e.g, NBC's Bob Costas) wrap up their telecasts with a "look at the playoff situation"?
The graphics department puts a nice little bow on things with all the won/lost records and the up-to-the-minute playoff seedings but maybe - just maybe - a major chunk of the country's viewing audience would like some other "key updates" such as the fact the NFC's numero uno seed right now has failed to cover its last four consecutive games!
Yes, indeed, the Dallas Cowboys (12-2) may be the toast of the NFL on the field where "America's Team" has been getting plenty of hype and lots of prime-time exposure as in three national TV night games in a row following that Thanksgiving Day/Night game against Washington but the 'Boys have been the ones "toasting" their backers ... here's how their last four games have gone (note home teams in CAPS below):
|WEEK #||GAME WINNER||SPREAD||GAME LOSER||SCORE|
|Week 12||DALLAS||- 5.5||Washington||31-26|
|Week 13||Dallas||- 3||MINNESOTA||17-15|
|Week 14||NY GIANTS||+ 3.5||Dallas||10-7|
|Week 15||DALLAS||- 7||Tampa Bay||26-20|
Folks, the only thing similar to this when it comes to a #1 type seed was the 2007 New England Patriots - that "almost perfect" squad actually started off that year 9-1 ATS (against the spread) but then proceeded to lose five of its final six regular-season and were pointspread losers in all three of its post-season games.
Not to say the here-and-now Cowboys are gonna go winless versus Mr. Vig the rest of the way but we will remind you that Dallas was - once upon a time - 9-1 ATS this year before this above-mentioned four-game spread losing skein.
There are Bowl Games each/every day this week including a Monday matinee today (Miami Beach Bowl between Central Michigan vs. Tulsa at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) and a game Tuesday night (Boca Raton Bowl between Memphis vs. Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Sign up now and get our discounted Bowl Package... plus don't forget all the daily/nightly action on the hardwood as there's NBA and NCAA Hoops action all winter long right
Tonight, it's ...CAROLINA (5-8) at WASHINGTON (7-5-1) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Naturally, all the pre-game chatter here regards former Carolina loudmouth CB Josh Norman who now wears the "uni" of the Washington Redskins: But it's the guys who now play corner for Carolina - rookies James Bradberry and Daryl Worley - who better keep their heads up against this D.C. passing game starring QB Kirk Cousins who leads the NFL's second-best aerial unit (averaging 303 ypg).
Spread Notes - Washington is a nifty 9-4 against the odds overall this year and the 'Skins have covered seven of their last 11 home games. Carolina is 4-8-1 ATS this season and did you know the Panthers are 14-7-1 spreadwise in non-divisional games the past year-and-change?
In other NFL Week 15 News/Notes ...
So, you better believe the Tampa Bay Bucs are kicking themselves today for letting last night's game in The House that Jerry Built slip-slide away from 'em - we wonder why head coach Dirk Koetter (an offensive mind) didn't get QB Jameis Winston (247 yards passing with 2 TDs and 3 INTs) some help blocking out demon pass-rusher DL David Irving who absolutely wrecked TB's passing game in the final frame. Hey, in any event, the Bucs are streaking spreadwise in the direction opposite of the Cowboys with Tampa Bay now having covered six in a row. The TV talking heads didn't tell us that, either! ...
One up-and-comer team that did get "mission accomplished" in NFL Week 15 play was the Tennessee Titans (8-6) who may well wind up being the AFC South champs when all the dust settles in a couple of weeks. Tennessee fell into a 14-0 hole at 6-point fav Kansas City but roared back within a single TD from QB Marcus Mariota (241 yards passing, 1 INT) and without a single TD from ace RB DeMarco Murray (18 carries for 89 yards) and wasn't it a "kick" that PK Ryan Succop nailed that try-again 53-yard field goal to beat a Chiefs team that cut him a couple of years ago and after HC Andy Reid tried to "freeze 'em" in that already frozen environment? ...
Finally, fun stat line from Sunday's games:
In New Orleans' wild 48-41 triumph at Arizona - an easy Jim Hurley Network "over" winner! - the Cardinals averaged 7.6 yards per offensive play (7.7 yards per rush) and still lost at home by a touchdown. Go figure.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWLS
On Wednesday, it's the POINSETTIA BOWL: Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
BYU (8-4) vs. WYOMING (8-5) - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Old mates match up in old home of the NFL's San Diego Chargers here - BYU and Wyoming were conference rivals from 1922-through-2010 before the BYU Cougars chose to exit the Mountain West Conference for life as an Independent - and so this bowl game will have its own bit of history considering the Coogs and Cowboys aren't the best of friends.
BYU goes with QB Tanner Mangum after a season-ending elbow injury was suffered by Taysom Hill last month while Wyoming's player-to-watch is RB Brian Hill (1,767 yards rushing, 21 TDs).
Spread Notes - BYU is 9-3 against the odds this year but the Cougars have failed to cover their last three consecutive bowl games. Meanwhile, Wyoming banged out a 7-5-1 ATS mark this year and that included a snazzy 6-1 spread log when in the underdog role.