Why nobody deserves to be favored in a game between two NFC East teams, other best bets for Monday

Written by on September 28, 2021

Why must the Chicago Bears insist on making me miserable? Am I doomed to a life of football misery because of this hapless franchise? Will they ever give me a reason to feel good about myself on Sundays in the fall?

I had a weekend that, by all accounts, should have been a great weekend. The White Sox clinched the AL Central and are going to the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. Aston Villa beat Manchester United at Old Trafford for the first time in like a billion years. My other favorite soccer team, Napoli, has won its first six matches and sits in first place in Serie A. Both of my fantasy football teams will win this weekend, and I won money with my bets across soccer, college football and the NFL.

But I’m miserable. I’m miserable because of the damn Bears. I didn’t expect them to go into Cleveland and win on Sunday. I’m realistic that way. I knew it was a rookie QB making his first start and doing it on the road against a good defense. I did think they’d finish with more than one yard passing, though, and I also thought Justin Fields would complete more passes than the Browns would sack him.

By the way, do you when the last time a team allowed more sacks than had passes completed was? It was back in 2010 when Jay Cutler was sacked nine times and completed eight passes against the New York Giants while playing for the Chicago Bears.

I’m doomed forever.

All right, let’s see if we can make life a little less miserable by winning money on the last NFL game of the week.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

🏈 Eagles at Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Eagles +3.5 (-115)
: Dearest reader, it is time to reintroduce an old classic to the HQ PM newsletter. The principle that started it all. That’s right before there were things like the NL Least and #OperationFadeGrom, there was the NFC Least Principle. The principle that gave birth to them all. The principle that taught us that, sometimes, nobody deserves to be favored.

And it’s back tonight in a primetime game because there’s nothing television networks love more than millions of people tuning in to watch bad NFC East football. Tonight, the principle tells us to bet on the underdog Eagles. Tonight’s game offers an excellent chance to take advantage of public perception.

I’m fully aware that the Cowboys have played a much more difficult schedule than the Eagles to this point, having lost a close game to Tampa Bay and edging out the Chargers, both on the road. But I don’t have much faith at all in this Dallas defense from what I’ve seen, and I think there’s a lot the Eagles can exploit here. That’s why I don’t think the Cowboys will be able to pull away and win this comfortably, so give me the Eagles and the points.

Key Trend: Since the start of last season, underdogs in NFC East divisional games have gone 12-1.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: Am I not good enough for you? Well, SportsLine’s Emory Hunt is 60-36-2 on ATS picks involving the Eagles and Cowboys.


💰 More MNF Picks


Getty Images

The Pick: Eagles Over 23.5 points (-125): As I said above, the Cowboys defense hasn’t shown much through the first two weeks of the season. It enters tonight allowing 2.4 points per possession, and has allowed points on 45% of opponent possessions. Those numbers rank 22nd and 23rd in the league, respectively.

Now, if you want to, you could argue that it’s mostly a result of facing the Bucs and Chargers. It’s a reasonable argument to make. It’s also one I’d counter with by pointing out Tampa scored only 1.78 points per drive the following week against the lowly Falcons, and the 2.5 points per possession the Chargers had against Dallas were higher than they’ve had in their other two games (1.78 against Washington and 2.4 against Kansas City).

The Cowboys defense hasn’t gotten much pressure on opposing quarterbacks yet. The team’s pressure rate of 27.4% through two games ranks 28th in the league, and their sack rate of 2.2% ranks 31st. These days, it’s pretty simple on defense. You either get to the QB, or you give up first downs and points. Dallas isn’t getting to the QB; therefore, the Eagles are going to score points. It’s simple science!

Key Trend: The Cowboys have allowed at least 24 points in 12 of 18 games since the start of last season.

The Pick: Dak Prescott Under 2.5 passing touchdowns (-170): This play is a lot like the one we made on Jared Goff‘s touchdown total last week, but hopefully, it works out better this time. The Eagles have been the most zone-heavy defense in the league by far to this point. Philadelphia has been in zone on a remarkable 85.6% of its defensive snaps this season, well above the league average of 66.9%. Dak Prescott performs well against zone defenses for the most part, but they hinder his ability to throw touchdowns.

In his career, Prescott averages more yards per attempt (7.84 to 7.75) and completes a much higher rate of passes (70.1% to 61.1%) against zone than he does man coverage, but his touchdown rate plummets from 6.4% against man to 2.7% against zone.

Key Trend: In eight starts against Philadelphia, Prescott has eight TD passes, and has only thrown for three in a game against them once. 

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine’s Advanced Projection Model, which is up almost $7,800, has five strong player prop bets for Monday Night Football.


⚽ Champions League Parlay

A nice, easy four-leg moneyline parlay for Tuesday afternoon’s Champions League action. It pays +157.

  • Ajax (-750)
  • Real Madrid (-1000)
  • Borussia Dortmund (-260)
  • RB Leipzig (-205)

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