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Since the beginning of last season, professionals have been lining up at sportsbooks to bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8). Also, “fading ‘America’s Team’,” aka the Dallas Cowboys (10-3), has been a sharp football handicapping angle for a couple of decades.
These facts combined with recency bias are the reason Jacksonville was +6 on the look-ahead line and quickly got steamed down to the current number (+4).
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline (ML): Cowboys (-205), Jaguars (+175)
- Against the spread (ATS): COWBOYS -4 (-110), Jaguars +4 (-110)
- Total — 48 — Over: -110, Under: -110
Per VSIN, roughly 70% of the action at DraftKings Sportsbook is on Dallas at the time of writing. This “reverse line movement” suggests oddsmakers are booking sharp money on the Jaguars
But, Jacksonville has underperformed expectations since 2021 and the Cowboys have been one of the most profitable teams in the NFL over that span.
Dallas is an NFL-best 7-2 ATS as road favorites with a +7.9 ATS margin in the Mike McCarthy era (est. 2020). Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is 11-1 ATS as a favorite of -4 or greater in his career. Dallas is 6-0 ATS following its last six ATS losses and 8-1 ATS in the last nine December games.
The Jaguars on the other hand are 0-9 ATS vs. NFC teams with a -10.8 ATS margin, 2-4 ATS following a win, 10-15 ATS as a ‘dog, and 5-8 ATS as a ‘dog since drafting QB Trevor Lawrence last season.
With all that in mind, let’s circle back and discuss the …
‘Recency Bias’ in Cowboys-Jaguars
It’s wise to fade recent results when betting on the NFL because the public generally overreacts to what they just saw.
Last week, Jacksonville boat-raced the Titans 36-22 in Tennessee as 3-point ‘dogs, and Dallas eked past the Houston Texans at home 27-23 as 17-point favorites thanks to a last-minute TD.
However, the Titans are weakened with injuries, especially on defense, and Lawrence had one of his best games. Given their injury situations, Dallas’s defense is a tier above Tennessee’s (more on that below).
It’s obvious the Texans were a lot more amped to play the Cowboys than vice versa. I prefer to catch Dallas ATS after laying an egg against Houston.
This reduces the odds the Cowboys will be looking ahead to next week’s game with the first-place Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas getting scared straight last week will ensure motivation for Jacksonville this week.
Furthermore, let’s …
Compare common opponents
Dallas and Jacksonville have played a lot of the same opponents. But, aside from Philadelphia who beat and covered against both the Cowboys and Jaguars, Dallas has looked much better vs. those foes.
- Washington Commanders
- The Cowboys won 25-10 in Week 4 (the Jaguars lost to the Commanders in Week 1, 28-22).
- Indianapolis Colts
- Dallas won 54-19 on Sunday Night Football in Week 13 (Jacksonville is 1-1 vs. Indy with the home team winning and covering both).
- Detroit Lions
- The Cowboys won 24-6 in Week 7 (the Jaguars got crushed by the Lions in Week 13, 40-14).
- New York Giants
- Dallas beat NYG 23-16 in Week 3 on Monday Night Football and 28-20 on Thanksgiving (Jacksonville lost to NYG in Week 7, 23-17)
- Houston Texans
- Again, the Cowboys won 27-23 in Week 14 (the Jaguars lost 13-6 at home in Week 5).
Not only that but it’s a …
‘Bounce-back’ game for Dallas’s D
The Cowboys failed to sack the quarterback for the first time all season last week vs. the Texans. In fact, Dallas’s defense has recorded at least 2 sacks in every other game this year.
Getting shut out by a bad Houston offensive line should motivate the Cowboys this week against the Jaguars. Dallas’s defense has the highest pressure rate in the league.
Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons is a slight favorite at DraftKings to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Dallas’s ferocious pass rush gets to face a Jacksonville offensive line with two below-average starting tackles, per Pro Football Focus (PFF).
Lastly, at the Jaguars in Week 15 should be a …
‘Get-right’ game for Dak
Jacksonville’s defense is the worst tackling team in the NFL, according to PFF, and the Jaguars are terrible vs. the pass and in high-leverage situations.
For instance, Jacksonville ranks 26th in both opponent’s yards per pass and opponent’s red zone scoring rate and 29th in both sack rate and opponent’s 3rd-down conversion rate.
You’re going to hear a lot of noise about the Jaguars being the sharp side in Week 15 but ignore it and …
BET: Cowboys -4 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -5
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