Futures

Dallas Cowboys 2020 Season Win Total

ODDS: -165
Dallas Cowboys 2020 Season Win Total

Although we still have no idea when – or even if – the 2020 NFL season will get underway thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc in the US and abroad, that hasn’t stopped NFL bookmakers from releasing futures and season win-total lines to, at the very least, give football bettors something to dream about. So with the NFL Draft now behind us, and a number of the marquee players already getting settled into new uniforms, let’s look ahead to better times when tailgate parties are plentiful and the betting-lines long.

Last week I spoke about eschewing the crowd while placing season-long over/under bets, but today I’ll be looking at taking one that should be relatively popular among recreational bettors: the Dallas Cowboys over 9.5 wins. However, before we get to the reasons why I think Dallas should be able to cover the line with relative ease, I will say that taking -165 odds on any bet is not something I’m fond of doing and in fact, would likely prefer to wait for the line to jump to over/under 10 wins to avoid paying such a steep price. By doing that, we would only lose value in a situation where the Cowboys finish with exactly 10 wins, but even then all we actually lose is the opportunity cost of having capital tied up for an entire season, as our bet would push and we’d be getting our money back. With that said, let’s look at some of the primary reasons I think both the over 9.5 and 10 wins lines offer solid betting value.

  1. From a value perspective, no team did better in the NFL draft than the Cowboys, who scored the steal of the draft when CeeDee Lamb – a projected top 10 pick who Dallas had ranked as 6th on their big board – slipped all the way to number 17. Pairing Lamb with an already potent offense featuring Amari Cooper, Zeke Elliott, and Dak Prescott playing behind a heavily invested-in offensive line should allow the Cowboys to replicate a lot of the success that led them to ranking as the #1 offense in the NFL last season. But Dallas wasn’t done value-hunting there, with each of their first six picks falling in the top 100 of ESPN’s big board, a massive haul considering they only had 3 selections in the first 120 picks.
  2. With their offense only improving on last season’s fantastic results, the Cowboys were in desperate need of adding some firepower on the defensive side of the ball, which they did by bringing in former first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as well as former Panthers Defensive Tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe.
  3. Jason Garrett out, Mike McCarthy in. Need I say more? No, I don’t…but I will. To put it nicely, Garrett was absolutely awful last season, making some truly perplexing decisions in close games that almost undoubtedly cost the Cowboys a playoff spot. In particular, the decision to kick a late field goal from the 11 yard-line when down 7 against the Patriots was nothing short of stunning and led to analyst Stephen A Smith to publicly call for Garrett’s firing. Even worse (ok maybe not worst, but equally as bad), Garrett consistently tried to avoid taking responsibility for his decisions and threw members of his own team under the bus multiple times throughout the season. All in all, it doesn’t matter if the Cowboys are coached by Mike McCarthy or poker pro Mike Mcdonald, as long as it’s not Jason Garrett, it’s an upgrade.
  4. Finally, the league’s internal scheduling algorithm (cough cough) has been particularly kind to the Cowboys this season, giving America’s team the third easiest schedule in the NFL – with their opponents putting up a putrid 117-138-1 record last season (for reference, that averages out to facing a 7-win team). And with 6 of those games coming from within the weakest division in football, the Cowboys really only need to ‘steal’ one or two games against the Seahawks, Vikings, Ravens, and 49ers to give themselves an opportunity to hold one of the best records in the league and cruise past the over 9.5 wins mark. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a bet I’m willing to take.

Yaniv Son is a long-time sports-bettor and former professional poker player turned poker coach and author at spinandgostrategy.com