Over the weekend, CG Technology, formerly known as Cantor Gaming, released lines for every single NFL game between Week 1 and 16, 2015. Most sportsbooks will not post Week 17 lines this early because there's always a chance that teams who've locked up a playoff spot and will rest their starters, making the game even harder to predict than it already is, four months before the season starts.
We've already looked at the Week 1 lines, which have the Cowboys as 5.5-point favorites over the Giants in the season opener. Here are the remaining 2015 lines for the Cowboys per CG Technology.
|Date||Time (ET)||Opp.||Favorite||Underdog||Cowboys Line|
|Sun, Sep 13
|Sun, Sep 20
||4:25 pm||@ Eagles||Eagles||Cowboys||+2|
|Sun, Sep 27||1:00 pm||Falcons||Cowboys||Falcons||-5.5|
|Sun, Oct 4
||8:30 pm||@ Saints||PK|
|Sun, Oct 11
|Sun, Oct 25||4:25 pm||@ Giants
|Sun, Nov 1||4:25 pm||Seahawks||Seahawks||Cowboys||+1.5|
|Sun, Nov 8||8:30 pm||Eagles||Cowboys||Eagles||-2.5|
|Sun, Nov 15||1:00 pm||@ Buccaneers
|Sun, Nov 22||1:00 pm||@ Dolphins||Dolphins||Cowboys||+1|
|Thu, Nov 26||4:30 pm||Panthers||Cowboys||Panthers||-4.5|
|Mon, Dec 7||8:30 pm||@ Redskins||Cowboys||Redskins||-4.5|
|Sun, Dec 13||4:25 pm||@ Packers
|Sat, Dec 19||8:25 pm||Jets||Cowboys||Jets||-7.5|
|Sat, Dec 27||1:00 pm||@ Bills
|Sun, Jan 3||1:00 pm||Redskins||n.a.|
Setting the lines so far in advance is quite a challenge, so it doesn't surprise that the lines look a little formulaic. Where the lines are available, the Cowboys are favored in five of six home games (they are underdogs at home against the Seahawks), and underdogs in four out of six road games (only favored to win @ Tampa and @ Washington). For a team that won all eight of its regular season road games last year, that appears a tad pessimistic.
But if you look closer at the road games, and know that linesmakers usually shade the point spread by three points in favor of the home team, you'll see that only one out of eight road games (@ Packers) has the home team favored by more than two points.
As usual, keep in mind that the lines shown don't necessarily reflect the actual chances of either team winning the game, as the lines are usually set to encourage betting and to make sure that the money being bet is spread 50/50 over both teams (the key to remaining a profitable bookmaker).
Because the Cowboys are huge betting draws, these lines could easily be set to lure the millions of Cowboys fans in the betting public to get in on the action. Of course, they also expect the anti-Dallas sentiment to jump on the spreads before they get out of hand. In the end, this may be why so many of the lines are so close - at least for now.
While these opening odds reflect the bookmakers' best guess as to where the action would remain even on both sides of the bet, once the action starts coming in on one particular side of the line, the bookmakers could easily adjust the line to reflect the betting public's betting pattern.
Overall, the Cowboys are favored in seven games and underdogs in five. But with four games undecided as of now, that record could go almost anywhere.
Now that you know what Vegas thinks, what's your prediction for the Cowboys 2015 record?