As is the case every year, Week 17 odds have moved a great deal at the sportsbooks amid concerns over playing time of starters.
BookMaker.eu opened their spreads on Saturday night, and initially had the Cowboys as 3.5-point favorites in Philly. Since then, the line has moved to +4 as the sportsbooks are trying to figure out which starters exactly the Cowboys will rest in the season finale.
- Tyron Smith has already been ruled out after what has been diagnosed as an MCL sprain, though expectations are he'll be back for the playoffs.
- Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys' working plan is to have QB Mark Sanchez active against the Eagles with the probability that Dak Prescott won't play the entire game.
- Ezekiel Elliott already saw his snaps significantly reduced against the Lions, as he played only 29 snaps to make room for Darren McFadden's 21 snaps, and that could continue against the Eagles.
- LB Justin Durant, DE Demarcus Lawrence, DT Cedric Thornton, and DT Tyrone Crawford Crawford were all inactive against the Lions, and could well remain inactive against the Eagles.
- DT Terrell McClain, DE Ryan Davis, and CB Anthony Brown all suffered injuries against the Lions and could be held out of the Eagles game as a precaution.
- On a more positive note, Morris Claiborne may return to action against the Eagles - or the Cowboys may decide to sit him one more game.
With all that uncertainty, it's no surprise that the spread hasn't settled yet, Scott Cooley of Bookmaker.eu explains:
“We're still in the information-gathering stage regarding the playing time of Dallas' starters. But whether it's Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Romo and Darren McFadden, what we do expect is a very vanilla gameplan from the Cowboys.”
But the Cowboys game isn't the only one that has seen significant odds movement for Week 17. Here are five more games with strong swings:
- Redskins -5 to -8 (vs. Giants)
- Colts -7 to -4.5 (vs. Jaguars)
- Buccaneers -3.5 to -5.5 (vs. Panthers)
- Steelers -12.5 to -7 (vs. the mighty Browns)
- Patriots -6 to -9.5 (@ Dolphins)
Start 'em or rest 'em - what would you do?