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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NFL Divisional Playoffs: Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers +5.5 -109 @ Dallas Cowboys

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

January 15, 2017, 1:40PM PST

Our primary handicapping factors both give the Packers a (modest) 1/2 to a 1-point edge over the Cowboys on a neutral field of play. Further, we have observed that the optimal historical value for home field advantage lies in the three point ballpark for our system. As such, even after adjusting for location, laying 5.5 appears rich to us (Dallas -2 seems closer to about right). Accordingly, we are backing the red-hot Green Bay Packers to cover this afternoon.

Consistent with our view that these teams are quite comparable overall, Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) advanced statistic ranks the Cowboys offense third in the League, while the Packers own the fourth seed by this measure. On the other side of the ball, DVOA suggests Dallas' defense 0.8% worse than average, versus Green Bay's D's rating of 2.4% worse than average (for context, the difference between the DVOAs of the best and worst NFL defenses last year approaches 40%).

Moreover, Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay have strung together seven consecutive wins, including six covers. Conversely, while Dallas amassed a 9-game cover streak (through week 10), the Boys ended the season with a whimper (from a betting perspective, anyway), dropping five of their last six versus the betting line.

And while Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have both played more like top-eschelon veterans than rookies for the most part, we are not convinced that the tandem is capable, at this point in their careers, of upping the caliber of play to match the increased intensity of playoff competition at this highest level.

If the trend of NFL playoff home covers is to fall during this round of the playoffs, the Packers at the Cowboys appears an ideal spot for the disruption to occur. Back Green Bay plus the points.

Happy betting!!

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