As my tenure on the front page here at Blogging The Boys has developed, I have had some interesting opportunities come my way. One thing that I would have never anticipated would be that I have been exposed to some of the behind the scenes workings at some of the sportsbooks out of Las Vegas and other places. What began as an opportunity to write a few blurbs for a couple smaller outlets has developed into something more. I have had the good fortune to gain a look at the NFL from their perspective and an appreciation for their knowledge of the game.
With the pair of injuries that the Cowboys have sustained over the first two weeks of the season, I took the opportunity to reach out to Zack Jones of SportsbookReview.com and ask him about the "Vegas" perspective on how the Dallas Cowboys has changed. Zack is not only the editor in chief for SBR, he serves as the in house NFL Analyst as well. He knows his stuff from both the betting and football perspectives and was kind enough to share his thoughts with us.
Dawn: With the dual losses of both Dez Bryant and Tony Romo the Dallas Cowboys are facing a greater challenge than anticipated in continuing their success into the 2015 season. From the perspective of a sports book how much damage was done to the Dallas chances to repeat in the NFC East? What about their chances for the Super Bowl?
Zack :The Dallas Cowboys had been listed at +120 to +125 at most online sportsbooks to win the NFC East, but as they are now without their starting QB and their star receiver, their odds have slipped slightly to +150 at many of the top online sportsbooks. Depending on where you shop, the Eagles and Cowboys are now neck and neck in the NFL odds to clinch the division, and while one might think that the lines would have slipped even further, do keep in mind that the Cowboys already have two divisional wins under their belt.
Dawn: With the damage being done in Dallas, and the various states of affairs impacting the other NFC East teams, I would like to hear your current view on how the division will shake itself out?
Zack: The Cowboys beat both the Giants and Eagles in Weeks 1 and 2, meaning that America’s Team sports the best record in the division. These early season wins are likely what the bookies are counting on when not extending the Cowboys’ odds based on the injury reports.
The NFC East also contains the NY Giants and the Washington Redskins. Not surprising to anyone, the Skins have the longest odds in the division, as they have more problems than we can count. The Giants, having just signed Eli to a pretty hefty contract extension, are also having QB issues and have tossed away two games where they held the lead.
Now do be warned.. the Cowboys do face both the Giants and Eagles in Weeks 7 and 9, meaning that they will likely be without Dez Bryant and Romo as well. Early reports claim Romo will not need surgery but will likely miss 8 weeks. Dez is expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks, but the young star’s twitter account seems to suggest an earlier return.
The Cowboys can afford to fall to either the Giants or the Eagles later in the season and likely still clinch the division, and their backup will have a few games under his belt (and a bye week) to hone his skills and find his groove.
Let the hype and gossip continue to drive these lines in favor of Philly, but do be warned, if the Cowboys fall to the Giants in week 7, expect their odds to extend drastically, and fall even lower should the Eagles beat them in Week 9.
Dawn: Dallas has Atlanta, New Orleans, and New England on the schedule over the next few weeks. How about giving us an early look at how you think these games will play out?
Zack: Dallas will likely struggle in the next few weeks against the Falcons, Saints and Patriots as Weeden gets his feet wet. From a betting point of view, we could see false value against the Cowboys this week’s matchup against the Falcons, as people will be keen to bet against them. The Saints are also known to be backed by the betting public, so we could see inflated odds here as well. Without a doubt, both of these games will weigh heavily into the odds that are set for their matchup against NE.
Obviously, these games will be important to the team, but have little to do with their playoff hopes. They will be focused on beating the Giants and Eagles in the Division for a spot in the playoffs.
Dawn: Zack I want to thank you for your willingness to share your perspective on the situation that the Cowboys are currently facing. I hope we have the chance to sit down once playoff time begins and discuss the Dallas chances for winning a sixth Lombardi Trophy.