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Week 17 NFL Spreads: Eagles vs. Cowboys


In a mega-game that everyone feels will be dominated by playmakers for both teams on both sides of the ball, will the outcome of the NFC East be determined by a substitute center?


Philadelphia’s offensive line has teetered between work in progress and absolute mess since the start of training camp, and now the Eagles will be forced to finish out with season without the one stabilizing force on the front five – center Jamaal Jackson, who suffered torn knee ligaments in the victory over Denver last Sunday.


Time: Sunday 4:15 ET
Venue: Cowboys Stadium, Dallas
MoneyLine: Eagles +150 (-110) / Cowboys -170 (-115)
Spread: Cowboys -3 (-110)
Over/Under: 47.5

Normally replacing a center wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but sub snapper Nick Cole had beaucoup problems against the Broncos in Week 16. Donovan McNabb fumbled two snaps, and the offensive line was called for three false starts. Maybe not all Cole’s fault, but still . . .

The exchange of the football between Cole and McNabb is especially important, because even when things are going great McNabb carries the weight of the Philadelphia football world on his shoulders every waking moment. DeSean Jackson is bursting with big-play possibilities, LeSean McCoy has filled in seamlessly for oft-injured Brian Westbrook, the defense has enough playmakers and the fans know that coach Andy Reid stacks up favorably against just about every other NFC coach.

But in the end it all comes down to McNabb, as it always seems to. McNabb will blow out 34 candles on his next birthday cake, and while he doesn’t have a ring, if Philly can get by Dallas on Sunday he will have led the Eagles to 6 NFC East titles in 9 years.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

Perhaps because of McNabb’s unassuming nature the whole never has seemed to equal the sum of his parts. Few realize that he holds the NFL record with 24 straight completions, or that he has the best record of any NFL QB with only 2 percent of his passes intercepted, or that he has the second-best TD-to-interception ratio ever, or that his 83-45 won-loss record in the third-best in the league, behind only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

None of the above will matter much if the Eagles spit the bit in the playoffs, and the playoffs actually start Sunday, with the winner getting the coveted No. 2 playoff seed and a bye in the first round.

Defenses dominated way back in Week 9, when Dallas eked out a 20-16 victory in Philadelphia. McNabb was hardly at his best, completing only 16 of 30 passes and throwing two picks. Jackson was a non-factor with just two catches as Dallas’s secondary forced McNabb to go underneath all night.

Tony Romo, who knows a thing or two about pressure himself, actually outplayed McNabb in that game, completing 21 of 34 for 307 yards.

In a Week 17 filled with talk of teams laying down to protect the health of key players heading into the playoffs, there will be none of that in Dallas. Two very good teams with very good quarterbacks will go belly button to the wall, with the division title hanging in the balance.

Pick: Cowboys

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.


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Larry's MLB Best Bet Situational Stunner-ESPN

Larry opened MLB 2020 by earning a profit in each of the 1st two weeks. However, this week has been a series of one-run wins & losses. He enters Sunday 7-7 but since he DOES not play big favorites, he's only down $470 (at $100/unit). A 2-1 Sunday would get him over the "Mendoza Line' but he expects a 3-0 sweep. Best Bet Situational Stunner on ESPN!

About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!



  1. McNabb will have all his weapons available for the first time in several weeks. Along with DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brian Westbrook are back and even healthier than last week.