The NFL regular season heads into Week 10 with a number of interesting matchups on the slate. At the top of the list is Sunday night's clash between the Houston Texans and the Chicago Bears in what could easily be a preview of this year's Super Bowl.
Closer to home is this Sunday's Eagles game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Linc. I know I called last Monday night's game against New Orleans a desperation game, but this matchup is definitely the final straw for one of these teams as there is no coming back from a 3-6 record in a highly competitive NFC. I decided not to waste my time trying to handicap this game to come up with a winner since both team's recent dismal performance almost mirrors one another.
Instead, I spent much of my energy on handicapping the teams in terms of the total line and my conclusion is that there is no way that this game is going OVER the current 44.5-point line. I have been wrong about the Birds almost every week this season, but I am lunking the farm that this remains a low-scoring battle.
Look for both teams to move the ball up and down the field, like they have done all season long, but they will still struggle to score touchdowns, like they have all season long. These kind of problems usually do not correct themselves overnight. The Cowboys have averaged just over 18 points a game on the road this season and the Eagles have scored more than 20 points just twice in their first eight games.
Another factor that will keep the final score low will be that both Cowboys and the Eagles will be playing not to lose this game instead of trying to win it. Andy Reid will take his fair share of shots downfield as well as mix in a few gadget plays to try and gain an edge, but it will be next to impossible for his team to play loose with the entire season hanging in the balance. The same can be said for Dallas as it fully understands the gravity of the situation as well. A conservative approach means kicking the field goal as opposed to trying to extend a drive on fourth down. It means that LeSean McCoy should get his highest number of carries this season. Finally, it means that all a team needs is one more point than the other to escape with a win; so neither of these two rivals will be going for style points come Sunday afternoon.
The following is a link to a weekly article I write for Doc's Sports Service where I make my picks for the Top 3 plays on the total line each week. Be sure to check back later in the week for my complete preview of this Sunday's Cowboys vs. Eagles game.
NFL Totals Betting: Week 10 Over and Under Predictions