Dallas Cowboys Remain NFC East Favorites After Dak Prescott Breaks Ankle

Posted on: October 13, 2020, 08:27h. 

Last updated on: October 13, 2020, 09:39h.

The Dallas Cowboys faces bad news. Prolific quarterback Dak Prescott has likely been lost for the season with a devastating ankle injury sustained on Sunday against the New York Giants.

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is driven off the field following what was likely a season-ending ankle injury on Sunday against the New York Giants. Nonetheless, the Cowboys remain the NFC East favorites. (Image: Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

The good news is the Cowboys reside in the NFC East. Dallas is in first place with a 2-3 record. The other three teams are a combined 2-12-1.

It’s not good. Obviously, Prescott’s a really dynamic player and you hate to see anybody go down with that kind of injury, but we still have them favored to win the East,” said Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, to Casino.org.

“That’s two factors. It’s Andy Dalton’s serviceability,” Mannino continued. “He’s a professional quarterback who’s gotten it done before. And there’s not a ton of competition in the East right now. It’s hard to see anybody else stepping up with the way the other teams are playing. So, we still like Dallas to get it done.”

Dallas’ next three games are home against the Arizona Cardinals (3-2), at the Washington Football Team (1-4), and at the Philadelphia Eagles (1-3-1).

That’s the Good News

Because of Dalton, the Cowboys are better able to absorb a loss of their starting quarterback — even one as sensational as Prescott — than most teams in the NFL. Dalton has started 133 games in his career and was selected to two Pro Bowls in nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

However, winning a woeful division is much, much different than contending for a Super Bowl. That’s evident in the latest NFC East prices from PointsBet.

Here are those shifts from before and after the Week 5 games.

Cowboys from -120 to -125

Eagles from +210 to +220

Washington from +1,000 to +1,200

Giants from +3,500 to +4,000

So, while the injury barely caused a ripple in the division prices, the Cowboys plunged from +3,000 to +4,000 to win the Super Bowl. Thanks to Dallas’ porous defense, it had fallen from +1,600 to open the season, even while Prescott was on the field.

Big Upset

Sunday was a winning day for sportsbooks overall. One big result in favor of the books was the Las Vegas Raiders’ upset win at the Kansas City Chiefs. At PointsBet, the Chiefs opened as 12-point favorites. The line crept up to 13.5 before dipping to 10.5 at kickoff. According to Patrick Eichner, PointsBet’s director of communications, 67 percent of the bets and 61 percent of the spread handle was on the Chiefs.

More than that, bettors’ belief in the Chiefs’ comeback ability fueled in-game betting on them even while losing.

They’re always so heavily skewed,” Eichner told Casino.org. “The problem with them, too, is when they go down early, it feels like 95 percent of the time they make the bettors right and they come back and win the game. When they go down, Chiefs moneyline always takes so much live, in-play action. They’ve done it so often in recent memory and on some of the highest stages between the AFC Championship and semis. When they’re not able to storm back, it’s usually pretty big.”

The Minnesota Vikings staying within the touchdown spread in the thrilling Sunday night game at the Seattle Seahawks was PointsBet’s best result of the week, as it was the highest-bet game of the week. The Carolina Panthers’ low-scoring upset of the Atlanta Falcons was a good one for the books, too. Including the Carolina game, it was a good day for the unders after the overs cleaned house the first four weeks.

“Things regress to the mean and those kind of fluctuations happen,” Mannino said. “Over the long term, things are going to average out correctly. It seems like that trend has gotten back in line with what we expect.”

On Monday night, the New Orleans Saints beat the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime. The Saints, as seven-point favorites, failed to cover. However, a DraftKings bettor placed a $1.487 million moneyline bet on the Saints at -333 odds, according to VSIN’s Ben Fawkes. The Saints’ fourth-quarter rally and overtime field goal made the bettor a profit of $446,100.