Westgate Sportsbook Set Dallas Cowboys’ Odds for Win-Loss Record Low for 2017

Dallas Cowboys 2017 Betting Odds - Super Bowl and Over/Under Wins

Dak Prescott needs to avoid a sophomore slump, which often happens when teams get NFL tape on a young quarterback.

Las Vegas sportsbooks believe the Dallas Cowboys are due for a regression in the 2017 NFL regular season. According to theĀ Westgate SuperBook’s futures bets, America’s Team’s odds are set to 9.5 wins.

The New England Patriots have the highest projected win total at 12.5 wins. Three teams are tied or the second-best total at 10.5 wins: The Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Seattle Seahawks.

Favorites to Win the Most Games

The kneejerk reaction might be that the Cowboys are being underestimated. The teams placed ahead of the Cowboys have more established quarterbacks and offensive stars around that QB. Tom Brady leads the Super Bowl champion Patriots, who have won 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls. Brady’s top returning targets are Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, but the team also added Brandon Cooks and Dwayne Allen in the offseason.

The outlook is similar with all the other top contenders, as one would imagine. Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers, who have offensive standouts like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Martellus Bennett.

The Steelers have 2-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger leading what might be the most talented offense in football, with stars like Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell on the unit.

The Seahawks have Russell Wilson and a set of skill position players which includes Jimmy Graham, “Angry” Doug Baldwin, and Eddie Lacy. All four teams have standouts on defense, too.

Dallas Cowboys: 9.5 Wins

Meanwhile, the Cowboys have more question marks. Ed Salmons, head NFL oddmakers at the Westgate’s sportsbook, downplays the fact the Cowboys have less established talent. In public interviews, Salmons says scheduling was the determining factor in setting the Dallas Cowboys over/under win total at 9.5.

While the teams mentioned above are used to playing 1st place schedules, the Cowboys face a much tougher schedule than last year. Salmons said, “[The Cowboys] went from playing a last-place schedule to this year playing the first-place schedule. They’re due for regression. It’s just the natural ebbs and flows of the NFL.”

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Unit

In the 2016 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys went 13-3. The team has rebuilt their weaker unit, the defense, which proved to be vulnerable to the pass in the Cowboys’ playoff loss against the Green Bay Packers.

Due to the rebuild, the Cowboys are expected to have a number of key rookies on the defensive side of the ball. The team lost 4 key defensive backs in the offseason, while drafting 4 new cornerbacks and safeties.

Taco Charlton and Jaylon Smith

The team added 1st round draft pick Taco Charlton, who is expected to start the season at right defensive end — the key pass rushing position on any NFL defense. The starting middle linebacker, who calls plays, is expected to be Jaylon Smith, though the talented linebacker (and former 2nd round pick) missed the entire 2016 season with a torn ACL. In a recent interview, Smith noted he only recently regained feeling in his toes.

Of course, the flipside of the inexperience is the talent level should be higher than in 2016. Jaylon Smith might have been a Top 5 or Top 10 draft pick, were it not for his injury. Mike Golic said about his fellow Notre Dame alum, who had a 4.44 40-time, “The sky is the absolute limit.”

Jaylon Smith’s addition allows Sean Lee to move to outside linebacker, where he’ll take less punishment and should have more space for his playmaking ability. Taco Charlton combines with Demarcus Lawrence, Charles Tapper, and David Irving to give the team a young rotation of pass rushers (none older than 25 years old).

Dallas Cowboys Offensive Unit

Meanwhile, the offensive unit should be improved. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott should improve in their second year in the league. Dez Bryant might be healthier. Ryan Switzer is considered an interesting addition as a slot receiver and special teams player, who might help keep Cole Beasley fresh into the latter stages of the season.

Only the loss of Doug Free adds a question mark to the much-vaunted offensive line, though many Cowboys fans have complained about Doug Free for years. While the team did not add a premium talent (Chaz Green) to replace the departing veteran and the loss will be talked-up in the preseason, many diehard Cowboys followers do not see the loss of Doug Free as a calamity. If no major injuries happen, the offense should be better in 2017.

“Should” is a key word. Second year players often have a sophomore jinx in the NFL. Opponents get tapes on the rookies and scheme to shut down their strengths. Unless that player improves their weaknesses in the offseason, those weaknesses can be exposed. Thus, Dak Prescott has to expect teams to scheme him better than they did in his rookie season. The NFL East looks to be improved, too.

Dallas Cowboys 2017 Season Predictions

With a young defense and a young quarterback which are bound to have some growing pains, it makes sense that the Dallas Cowboys would see their win total decreased. Besides the Patriots, the Cowboys still have the second-best odds to win the Super Bowl at 8-1. That might not sound consistent, but Super Bowl odds attract more casual fans than regular season win proposition bets. Also, those two bets might indicate Westgate expects the young Dallas defense to struggle in the first half of the season, but begin to show improvement as the talented young stars begin to gel.

Betting on Super Bowl winners is always fraught with peril, anyway. NFL players are more prone to injuries, and a couple of legit contenders see their Super Bowl hopes go up in flames from nothing more than injuries. See the Oakland Raiders in 2016 for an example of that phenomenon.