NFL betting: Cowboys over 10½ wins? To go undefeated?

Yesterday, NFLbets wrote up a piece detailing the money-wasting folly that is betting on a “Team X will go 17-0” proposition bet. According to CBS Sports online, nearly 60% of bets taken on the prop at Caesars are on the Buffalo Bills. The same article went on to state that the second-most popular bet to go undefeated and untied was the Dallas Cowboys.

That’s right: the Dallas Cowboys.

Now fair enough, the Caesars numbers were based on a total of 33 bets, a miniscule sample size. However, the ridiculous impulse buy of these three bettors – clearly rabid Cowboys fans or novelty gift-purchasing friends of rabid Cowboys fans – makes for an apt microcosm of the foolishness of throwing money on a) one’s favorite team and/or b) any team to go undefeated. Especially a team like the Dallas Cowboys, underachievers for a quarter-century during which they’ve never bettered 13-3.

Not to mention that Dallas opens the season against Touchdown Tom and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – as 2-point home underdogs. The stats say that Dallas is 6-5 SU/ATS in week 1 home openers in the past 25 seasons…

Why is the Cowboys’ quest for an undefeated season – and especially betting upon the prospect – so nutty? Check out this piece at MSN.com reporting that the second-most popular under bet in “Team Over/Under Win Total” props is on … the Dallas Cowboys. According to MSN, “84% of bets and 91% of the betting handle is backing Dallas to go under 10½ wins.”

Some NFL bettors like to fade the popular trends, but ti’s difficult to imagine the 2022 Dallas Cowboys going 11-6 or better. Sure, their NFC (L)East division mates in New York, Philadelphia and Washington wen the offseason without serious roster improvement, and Dallas went a perfect 6-0 SU/ATS against the hapless triad in ’21 and combined with a 6-5 SU (7-4 ATS) mark against all teams was enough to land the Cowboys the no. 3 seed for the NFC playoffs.

But despite the ubiquitousness of “strength of schedule” infographics at this time of year, typical NFL bettors and other season prognosticators seem to forget all about such well before week 1 arrives.

The truth is that the Cowboys played a total of five games against playoff teams in 2021, going just 1-4 SU/2-3 ATS with the sole SU win coming in overtime at the New England Patriots in week 6. With a schedule befitting a division winner, Dallas has drawn games versus the Cincinnati Bengals, at Los Angeles Rams and the aforementioned opener vs Tampa Bay in addition to the preordained at Tennessee Titans and at Green Bay Packers games – NFL bets figures that’s five playoff teams alone.

And like their division mates, the Cowboys can be considered to have taken a net negative in the offseason, losing WRs Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, OT La’el Collins, DE Randy Gregory and C Connor Williams among others; in Cooper and Wilson, the Cowboys lose 1,467 combined receiving yards and 14 TDs while starting the season without Michael Gallup.

So would NFLbets advise taking the under in a “Dallas Cowboys over/under 10½ wins” proposition bet? Not likely, but we’ll acquiesce if anyone shows us proof of a winning ticket with Cowboys over 12 wins for 2021…


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