On Thursday, CG Technology, formerly known as Cantor Gaming, released lines for every single NFL game between Week 1 and 16, 2017. 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 will rest their starters, making the game even harder to predict than it already is four months before the season starts.
Here are the 2017 lines for the Cowboys per CG Technology.
|Sun, Sep 10
|Sun, Sep 17
|Mon, Sep 25||@ Cardinals||Cowboys||Cardinals||-2.0|
|Sun, Oct 1
|Sun, Oct 8
|Sun, Oct 22||@ 49ers
|Sun, Oct 30||@ Redskins||Cowboys||Redskins||-2.5|
|Sun, Nov 5||Chiefs||
|Sun, Nov 12||@ Falcons
|Sun, Nov 19||Eagles||Cowboys||Eagles||-7|
|Thu, Nov 23||Chargers||Cowboys||Chargers||-10|
|Thu, Nov 30||Redskins||Cowboys||Redskins||-7|
|Sun, Dec 10||@ Giants||Cowboys||Giants||-1|
|Sun, Dec 18||@ Raiders||PK|
|Mon, Dec 26||Seahawks||Cowboys||Seahawks||-3|
|Sun, Dec 31||@ Eagles||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 all eight home games and favorites in four road games. The Eagles game in Week 17 does not have lines yet, the games in Denver and Oakland each are a pick em, and the game in Atlanta is the only one in which the Cowboys currently are underdogs.
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, the opening lines here point to a 12-1 WL record, as the Cowboys are favored in twelve games and are the underdog in just one. Three more games are undecided of now, including the season finale in Philadelphia, but I'll take those 12 wins now and worry about the other games later.
Also of note, where the Cowboys are favored in 12 games, the Eagles are favored in just seven, the Giants in six, and the Redskins in five games.
Now that you know what Vegas thinks, what's your prediction for the Cowboys 2017 record?