Sunday Night Football odds: Eagles laying touchdown against Cowboys

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The fact that the Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a bye while the Dallas Cowboys had a short week to work on their road woes should tip off straight-up bettors, but the spread might be another story.

The Eagles, led by quarterback Carson Wentz, are 7-point favorites on the Sunday Night Football odds against the Cowboys with a 43.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Philadelphia is 16-3 straight-up and 12-6-1 against the spread in its last 19 games after having at least a full week off, while Dallas is 0-9 SU in its last nine games after playing the Monday prior.

Dallas carries a good head-to-head trend of being 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six road games at Philadelphia, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, and is also 6-3 ATS in its last nine road games as an underdog of 6.5 or more points.

The Cowboys are 3-5 both SU and ATS after a home loss against the Houston Texans on Monday. Dallas and quarterback Dak Prescott have habitually struggled to score points on the road, and a nicked-up offensive line faces a very strong Eagles defensive line led by tackle Fletcher Cox. For all the formidability of its front four, though, the Eagles are giving up 4.5 yards per rush and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott should find some room to the outside as both a rusher and pass receiver.

Dallas will be without wide receiver Tavon Austin (groin) and will need more out of Amari Cooper in the passing phase as the ex-Oakland Raider enters his second game for the Cowboys.

The Eagles, who are 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS and need the win to have any reasonable chance at defending their Super Bowl crown, are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS over their last eight games at night. Bettors’ confidence in the Eagles’ offensive capabilities might come down to the health of right tackle Lane Johnson (knee), who is expected to play and provide resistance to the Dallas pass rush.

Quarterback Carson Wentz now has wide receiver Golden Tate, recently acquired via trade, in his arsenal against a Cowboys pass defense that allows the sixth-worst opponents’ passer rating (101.1) in the NFL.

The ground game has generated middling results for the Eagles, who are still hoping either Corey Clement or Wendell Smallwood can take a lead role. Dallas also allows the second-least yards per rush in the NFL, which is a small reason to think the Cowboys will offer some resistance by forcing Wentz into obvious passing downs.

Wentz will likely face some long-yardage scenarios, though, as the Cowboys allow the second-least yards per carry.

There are pronounced UNDER trends in this matchup. The total has gone UNDER in the Cowboys’ last three games against the Eagles, with an average combined score of 30.67 points. The total has gone UNDER in the Cowboys’ last eight games on the road, with an average combined score of 31.25 points. And the total has gone UNDER in eight of the Eagles’ last nine games at home, with an average combined score of 31.89 points.

For more odds information, betting 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 Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Week 3 NFL odds favor the Falcons, Browns, and Patriots

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Early kickoffs have been tough for the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan, while the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees tend to show the third time’s the charm against the spread. The Falcons are 3-point favorites against the Saints with a 53-point total on the Week 3 NFL odds for Sunday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Falcons are 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games in the early afternoon, although they are 10-2 straight-up in their last 12 games against divisional opponents, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Saints have yet to cover this season, but they are 6-0 ATS in their last six games after consecutive ATS losses.

The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Saints’ last nine games on the road against the Falcons. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Falcons’ last nine games, with an average combined score of 35.78.

The Cleveland Browns are 3-point favorites against the New York Jets with a 39-point total in the Thursday night matchup. The Jets are 6-14 SU in their last 20 games at night. The Browns, who went down to the wire against the Saints in Week 2, are 4-15-2 ATS in their last 21 games after an ATS win. The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the Browns’ last 14 games at home, with an average combined score of 37.07.

The Green Bay Packers are 3-point road favorites against the Washington Redskins with a 46-point total. The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Packers’ last 12 games on the road, with an average combined score of 53.75. The Redskins, who will be idle in Week 4, are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games before a bye.

The Miami Dolphins are 3-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders with a 44-point total. The Raiders are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games on the road in September. The Dolphins are 11-1 SU in their last 12 games when hosting a West Coast team.

The Seattle Seahawks are 1-point betting favorites against the Dallas Cowboys with a 44.5-point total. The Cowboys are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the Seahawks. The Seahawks are 4-13-1 ATS in their last 18 games in the late afternoon.

The Los Angeles Rams are 6.5-point favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers with a 48-point total. The Chargers are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games in the late afternoon. The Rams are 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games as a favorite. The total has gone UNDER in six of the Rams’ last eight games at home, with an average combined score of 42.88.

The New England Patriots are 6.5-point road favorites against the Detroit Lions with a 51.5-point total on the Sunday Night Football odds. The Patriots are 14-2 SU and 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games on the road. The Lions are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five games as an underdog.

And the Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-point road favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 53.5-point total for Monday night. The Steelers are 12-0 SU in their last 12 games at night. The total has gone UNDER in 18 of the Steelers’ last 23 games on the road, with an average combined score of 39.57.

For more odds information, betting 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 listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Lions fire coach Jim Caldwell after missing playoffs

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Jim Caldwell may have been the Detroit Lions’ most successful coach in the Super Bowl era.

That was not enough to save his job.

The Lions fired Caldwell on Monday after a season in which the team raised hopes before fading and missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.

Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford called Caldwell “one of the finest leaders we’ve ever had as our head coach.”

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“Not only did he guide us on the field to three winning seasons, but he also set a standard of excellence off the field that had a tremendous impact on everyone in our organization and our entire community,” she said in a statement.

“As many of our players have already said, his influence on them transcended the game of football and will positively serve them throughout their lives. Our organization is better because of Jim, and we are forever grateful.”

Caldwell received a multiyear contract extension before the season, but the team didn’t announce the move for months.

The Lions beat Green Bay 35-11 Sunday to finish 9-7, their third winning record in Caldwell’s four years. Detroit met relatively modest expectations this season after a promising start that left the team at 3-1 and 6-4. But the Lions then dropped out of postseason contention by losing three of their next five.

Caldwell was 36-28 with Detroit and 0-2 in the postseason. Including three years with the Indianapolis Colts, he is 62-50 and 2-4 in the playoffs.

When Caldwell was hired almost four years ago, he was working for a franchise with only one winning season in a 13-season stretch.

“We’re going to be smart,” Caldwell said when he was hired Jan. 14, 2014. “We’re going to be a football team that takes the field that’s not going to shoot itself in the foot.”

Detroit’s defense, though, was short-handed in consecutive games late in the season.

The Lions were down a player for a snap when Minnesota scored a touchdown in a win at Detroit on Thanksgiving and were missing two players when Baltimore converted a third down to help it take a two-TD lead in a victory. After bouncing back with two straight wins, the Lions lost what shot they had to rally for a spot in the playoffs by losing to Cincinnati in Week 16.

Even as it became clear Caldwell’s job may be in jeopardy, he took it in stride.

“That’s part of our business,” he insisted going into his last game as Detroit’s coach. “That’s kind of the way it goes. That’s every year, right? I told you guys a story a long time ago about Marty Schottenheimer. He got fired at 14-2. So anything less than a Super Bowl, obviously it could happen.”

The Lions have never played in a Super Bowl. And since winning the 1957 NFL title, they have won only one playoff game and that lone victory was in 1992.

Caldwell, who led the Colts to the Super Bowl nearly seven years ago in his first season as an NFL head coach, got off to a solid start in Detroit with 11 wins in 2014 that was the franchise’s best regular season since 1991.

His second season got off to a slow start with a 1-7 record. But the team rallied for a 7-9 finish, and general manager Bob Quinn stayed with him. When the Lions hired Quinn shortly after the 2015 season, he kept Caldwell around for a third season. The Lions were 9-7 in 2016, putting Caldwell in company with Bobby Ross and Buddy Parker as Detroit coaches to earn playoff bids in two of their first three seasons.

He became Detroit’s first coach to have at least three winning seasons in his first four years since the early 1950s.

Caldwell didn’t scream at his players and showed an interest in their lives off the field.

“I love Caldwell,” receiver Marvin Jones said. “I’ve been here for two years and he’s the best coach I’ve ever had. Everybody is quiet two minutes before his meetings because he demands respect without yelling. He doesn’t yell at all. You never want to disappoint him. We just had to make more plays for him.”

He went 16-8 against NFC North teams, but wasn’t able to help the franchise win its first division title since 1993.

In each of Caldwell’s four years of leading the Lions, they ranked among the NFL’s worst in yards rushing. That glaring weakness put a lot of pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford and a shaky line, leading to an offense that struggled to move the ball and score consistently.

“He does a great job in our locker room help getting us ready to go play football,” Stafford said days before the season finale. “And the rest is up to the players to go out there and make plays and win games.”

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