Dallas Cowboys NFL Betting Preview: McCarthy’s Magic

Posted on: August 21, 2020, 07:06h. 

Last updated on: August 21, 2020, 10:22h.

The Dallas Cowboys have all the ingredients to win the Super Bowl. They’ve got a strong quarterback in Dak Prescott, an elite running back in Ezekiel Elliott, a premier receiver in Amari Cooper, a powerful offensive line, and perhaps the best linebackers in the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Coming off a monster season, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has reason to celebrate the hiring of Mike McCarthy as coach. (Image: Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

All of that added up to merely an 8-8 record last season, with a 2-4 finish leading to Jason Garrett’s firing. Enter Mike McCarthy, who coached the Packers to a Super Bowl win in 2010 and three additional NFC Championship Games during a 13-year run in Green Bay. The Cowboys, by contrast, haven’t played in a conference title game in a quarter century.

“My individual goals are just to win a Super Bowl,” Elliott told reporters recently. “We have a great team. It’s our time.”

In the latest odds from Westgate SuperBook, the Cowboys sit at +1,200 to win the Super Bowl. At this point last year, they were +2,500. They are +1,600 at most other sportsbooks.

Over/Under: 9.5 Wins

While the Packers won only the one Super Bowl under McCarthy, they were consistent winners. From 2009 through 2016, Green Bay and New England were the only teams to reach the playoffs all eight seasons. With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Packers routinely fielded among the best offenses in the NFL. The expectation is the same with a stacked Cowboys offense.

Dallas is really well set up to compete with loads of talent on their roster,” John Sheeran, the director of risk and trading at FanDuel, told Casino.org.

I think the general consensus is that anyone is better than Jason Garrett. Mike McCarthy could help to steady the ship. Dallas has a good chance to be competitive, and their odds are reflective of that, although you have to see it to believe it from the Cowboys at this stage.”

Dallas won NFC East championships in 2014, 2016, and 2018. This being an even year, will they do so again?

The sportsbooks say yes. The Cowboys range from -100 at MGM to -125 at Points Bet, ahead of Philadelphia in both cases. They have an over/under win total of 9.5 at most sportsbooks, including FanDuel (-160 on the over; +135 on the under).

To win the NFC East and potentially more, the Cowboys will need their defense, a fringe top-10 unit, to take another step. They drafted cornerbacks Treyvon Diggs (second round) and Reggie Robinson (fourth) and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore (third), and recently signed veteran defensive end Everson Griffen to pair with Demarcus Lawrence.

McCarthy’s New Quarterback

McCarthy rose to prominence by reviving Brett Favre’s career and leading Rodgers to a pair of MVP seasons. Now, he’s got Prescott, who is coming off career highs of 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. Already surrounded by a superb supporting cast, the Cowboys drafted fleet-footed receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round. Prescott is +1,200 to win NFL MVP, according to FanDuel. He is the consensus fourth pick on sportsbooks’ MVP boards.

At PointsBet, Prescott has the third-shortest odds to lead the league in passing yards (+725) and Elliott has the second-shortest odds to lead the league in rushing yards (+900).

McCarthy is among the favorites to win Coach of the Year. In fact, at PointsBet, he’s the co-favorite with New England’s Bill Belichick at +1,000. He’s +1,400, and behind only Belichick at MGM.

Editor’s Note: This is the ninth of 32 NFL team previews and the start a look at the four-team NC East.