On Thursday, CG Technology, formerly known as Cantor Gaming, released lines for every single NFL game between Week 1 and 16, 2016. 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, though that line has since gone down a bit. Here are the remaining 2016 lines for the Cowboys per CG Technology.
|Sun, Sep 11
|Sun, Sep 18
|Sun, Sep 25||Bears||Cowboys||Bears||-6.0|
|Sun, Oct 2
|Sun, Oct 16
|Sun, Oct 16||@ Packers
|Sun, Oct 30||Eagles||Cowboys||Eagles||-3.5|
|Sun, Nov 6||@ Browns||
|Sun, Nov 13||@ Steelers
|Sun, Nov 20||Ravens||Cowboys||Ravens||-4.5|
|Thu, Nov 24||Redskins||Cowboys||Redskins||-3.5|
|Thu, Dec 1||@ Vikings||Vikings||Cowboys||+4.5|
|Sun, Dec 11||@ Giants
|Sun, Dec 18||Buccaneers||Cowboys||Buccaneers||-6|
|Mon, Dec 26||Lions||Cowboys||Lions||-5|
|Sun, Jan 1||@ Eagles
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 seven out of eight home games (the game against the Bengals is a pick em), and underdogs in four out of seven road games (favored to win in San Francisco, pick em in Washington).
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. 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, that would point to an 9-4 WL record, as the Cowboys are favored in nine games and underdogs in four. But with three games undecided as of now, including the season finale in Philadelphia, that record could go almost anywhere.
Now that you know what Vegas thinks, what's your prediction for the Cowboys 2016 record?