Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 20, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
The Cowboys are overachievers. The Cowboys are making lots of people happy this season. The Cowboys, in fact, have the best record in the NFL.
Yes, those Cowboys.
How’s that? Because there's the game played between the lines. And then there's the game played against the line. The Las Vegas line, that is, used to establish a point spread for those brave enough to wager on professional football games.
In the NFC East the Cowboys are a mediocre 4-4. Their offense sputters. Their defense had a record-smashing nightmare of a month in October in which it allowed 51 points in a game, 623 yards in a game and 24 points in a quarter. They fritter away late leads.
Nobody breaks hearts like America's Team. But nobody makes money like Las Vegas' Team.
Against the spread (ATS), there's been nobody better than the Cowboys over the NFL's first half of 2013. Dallas is a sparkling 7-1 ATS, failing to "cover" only in their 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers when they blew an 11-point lead as a 1-point favorite. Only other team with just one loss ATS are the Chargers, who are 5-1-1. The league-leading Kansas City Chiefs? 8-0 on the field; 5-3 off it. And this actually makes sense: The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL's worst team at 0-8, and also Vegas' worst bet at 1-7 ATS.
A look at how the Cowboys have been better ATS than they have been vs. the NFL:
Week 1 – Line: -3.5 Cowboys 36, Giants 31 W
Week 2 – Line: +3 Chiefs 17, Cowboys 16 W
Week 3 – Line: -3 Cowboys 31, Rams 7 W
Week 4 – Line: -1 Chargers 30, Cowboys 21 L
Week 5 – Line: +7.5 Broncos 51, Cowboys 48 W
Week 6 – Line: -6 Cowboys 31, Redskins 16 W
Week 7 – Line: +3 Cowboys 17, Eagles 3 W
Week 8 – Line: +3 Lions 31, Cowboys 30 W
ATS the Cowboys are a perfect 4-0 this season at AT&T Stadium. They are 10.5-point favorites over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday in Arlington. Through the perverted prism of sports gambling, a Cowboys' blowout win is the best bet in football.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He's held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.