Washington improves to betting favorite at Cowboys for Thursday Night Football

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Kirk Cousins has played well in Dallas, while the Cowboys and Dak Prescott haven’t performed well anywhere lately.

Washington, with quarterback Cousins at the controls, has improved to a one-point road favorite against the Dallas Cowboys with a 44-point total for the NFL Week 13 Thursday Night Football matchup after opening as a 2.5-point underdog at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The best spin one can put on trends for the game is that both teams are due to break some trends. Washington is just 2-7 straight-up in its last nine games against NFC East rival Dallas, but the Cowboys are a dreadful 1-8 against the spread in their last nine Thursday games. Dallas is also 1-8 SU in its last nine games where it got points at home.

The Redskins, who are 5-6 both SU and ATS, have to win out to have any chance of grabbing an NFC wild-card playoff berth. Cousins has averaged 9.2 yards per pass with six touchdowns and zero interceptions in two career starts in Dallas. The Cowboys seldom blitz with a five-man rush due to coverage issues, so if Washington gets LT Trent Williams (knee) back on Thursday, Cousins should have plenty of clean pockets as he looks for targets such as WR Jamison Crowder.

The Cowboys are allowing the fourth-highest opposing quarterback rating in the NFL.

In the rushing phase, Samaje Perine has been promising as Washington’s feature back. The Redskins rushed for only 50 yards in their last game against Dallas, but the loss of OLB Sean Lee (hamstring) has compromised the Cowboys’ rush defense.

Washington is 2-2 ATS in its last four road games, with the losses coming against the NFC-leading Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, who got a backdoor cover with a defensive touchdown on the game’s final play.

The Cowboys, who are 5-6 both SU and 5-6 ATS, need to break out of a major offensive funk. Prescott, RB Alfred Morris and an offensive line that has had consistency issues – but does have LT Tryon Smith healthy – are facing a Washington defense that has allowed 100 or more rushing yards in six of their last eight games, so there’s a chance Dallas might be able to control the line of scrimmage.

In the passing phase, Prescott and WR Dez Bryant have been struggling to get on the same page, and Bryant has struggled in the past when he is covered by Redskins CB Josh Norman. The matchup could be more favorable for TE Jason Witten and WR Terrance Williams.

The total has gone over in nine of the Redskins’ last 12 games vs divisional opponents. But the total has gone under in Dallas’ last five homes games as the underdog, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, and has also gone under in six of the Cowboys’ last seven games at night.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Pederson remembers coaching start before Super Bowl

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Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson hasn’t forgotten where his journey began: High school.

Following his playing career with the Dolphins, Packers, Browns and Eagles, Pederson bypassed professional coaching jobs. Instead, he joined Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, L.A., and quickly added an NFL-caliber playbook to the second-year program.

Road to Super Bowl LII: Stream, start time, highlights and more

This is where he learned that he loved to coach the game. He embraced his role at the school, where he would help in the cafeteria and line the field before games. “I just enjoyed that part of it,” he says. Ten seasons later, he will coach on the biggest stage in the world.

Super Bowl LII Prop Bets

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Oddsmakers have Super Bowl LII covered from every angle, and that includes the halftime show. There is all manner of betting speculation around Justin Timberlake being the featured halftime show performer, 14 years after the infamous “Nipplegate” incident with Janet Jackson at Super Bowl XVIII.

With the game in Minneapolis, hometown of Prince, it seems obvious that JT will cover a song by the Twin Cities’ favorite son, which pays out at -140 on the Super Bowl LII props at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The total on Janet Jackson references is 1.5, with the over at even money; it’s hard to think Al Michaels could resist one mention.

The Philadelphia Eagles, with Nick Foles, are the first team in 27 years to reach the Super Bowl after losing their starting quarterback in December. It’s -150 on injured Carson Wentz being mentioned more than 3.5 times.

But oddsmakers also clearly expect the announcers to build a storyline around the New England Patriots, as it’s -130 for separate props on whether owner Robert Kraft or coach Bill Belichick will be mentioned or shown on-screen before their Eagles counterparts, Jeff Lurie and Doug Pederson respectively. Belichick is -125 to wear a blue shirt at kickoff time, since he wore that color during New England’s past two Super Bowl shows.

More than half of Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks and Tom Brady is a -110 favorite while Nick Foles comes back at +350. It would probably take something on order of a three-touchdown day to wrest the honor from the winning QB, so both the Patriots’ Dion Lewis (+1800) and Eagles’ Jay Ajayi (+1800) are worthy darkhorse picks.

History is not on the side of Rob Gronkowski (+900) since a tight end has never been the game MVP, but Gronk does offer immense value at +400 to score the first Patriots touchdown.

It is +300 on any quarterback passing for 400 or more yards. The strength of the Eagles defense and the run-pass balance of Philadelphia’s offense makes that result look far-fetched.

There was no Gatorade bath for Belichick after Super Bowl LI, which the Patriots won in overtime, but he was doused with orange Gatorade after Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. It is +225 that the liquid poured on the winning coach will be either green, lime or yellow, with +250 for orange, +275 for red and +275 for clear/water.

Clear and orange have been the result four times apiece in the last 15 occurrences and red has not come up. Purple (+1000) has also been used four of the last 15 times and it would be ironic if it happens again, since that is the color of the host Vikings.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.