Cowboys seeing early action as FOX’s America’s Game of the Week headliner


How big is the Kansas City Chiefs’ matchup with the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7? Without question, it’s big enough to be America’s Game of the Week on FOX.

Another way to determine the importance of this Super Bowl rematch: check in on the NFL odds market. Nearly five months before the Chiefs and 49ers do battle at Levi’s Stadium, this matchup is getting bettors’ attention.

“It’s probably going to be one of our biggest bet games of the season,” Caesars Sports head of football trading Joey Feazel said. “It’s exciting anytime you get to see a Super Bowl rematch, especially when the two teams are as good as the Chiefs and 49ers.

Feazel, along with FOX Sports betting analysts Geoff Schwartz and Sam Panayotovich, provide early insights on Chiefs-49ers odds and a host of other FOX Games of the Week.

WEEK 7: Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers

When we last saw Kansas City and San Francisco, the Chiefs pulled out a 25-22 overtime victory in the Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman as time expired, giving K.C. its second consecutive championship.

The rematch is set for Oct. 20, and with San Fran at home, Caesars Sports opened the 49ers as 2.5-point favorites. Early betting is such that the line has already shortened to 49ers -1.5 (-120).

“We see these two as similar teams, but we think the Niners are slightly better. And the Niners definitely want revenge,” Feazel said. “But we’ve been seeing some sharp action on the Chiefs’ side so far.”

That’s unsurprising to Schwartz, now a FOX Sports betting analyst after an eight-year career as an NFL offensive lineman.

“In a Super Bowl rematch where the winning team is traveling to the losing team, I would typically lean toward the losing team,” Schwartz said, echoing Feazel’s comment on revenge. “However, I’d lean toward the Chiefs at the moment. I’d imagine this is the only game the Chiefs are underdogs for look-ahead lines, and you’d have to lay a small number with the 49ers.”

Indeed, on the Chiefs’ 17-game schedule, Caesars has them as a ‘dog just once, at San Francisco. Kansas City is currently a 1-point favorite for its game at Buffalo on Nov. 17. And Schwartz is quite familiar with Mahomes’ record in the underdog role: 10-3 straight up (SU) and 11-1-1 against the spread (ATS).

“Wagering against Patrick Mahomes when he is an underdog is a losing wager. He and his team use that as motivation,” Schwartz said. “The Chiefs also tend to show up for big games like this and not so much as double-digit home favorites against a bottom-tier team.

“Lastly, the Chiefs are coming off a bye before heading to San Francisco. Andy Reid is 21-4 after a bye, and adding the postseason into the mix, he’s 31-7. He’s just an elite coach when given an extra week. So I’m taking the Chiefs here.”

Is the Chiefs’ schedule too daunting for a 3-peat?

WEEK 1: Dallas Cowboys @ Cleveland Browns

Both teams made the playoffs last season, and both lost right away on Super Wild Card Weekend. The Cowboys got trucked at home by Green Bay 48-32, while the Browns were dealt a 45-14 road rout at Houston.

Cleveland gets QB Deshaun Watson back, after he exited midseason due to a shoulder injury. Dallas no longer has Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator, after he took the coaching job with the Washington Commanders.

Feazel pointed to Watson’s return as the bigger concern.

“How will Watson play coming off that injury?” Feazel said. “We opened this game as a pick ‘em and saw some slight Browns money come in. But betting has since gone the other way, and now the Cowboys are favored.”

Caesars is now at Dallas -1, and as is often the case, Feazel anticipates plenty of public Cowboys action in the coming months.

“This will be one of the best games of opening week, considering how similarly good these teams are. But it’s clear to see already that we’ll need the Browns,” he said.

Schwartz will need the Browns, as well, but he believes Cleveland is up to the Week 1 task.

“I have the Browns winning and covering against the Cowboys, because of the line of scrimmage,” Schwartz said. “The Cowboys will have two rookie offensive linemen in their first start, on the road, against the Browns’ defensive line. Myles Garrett, one of the best defensive players in the game, is going to pass-rush against Tyler Guyton, a rookie left tackle who needs polish in the NFL.

“The Cowboys will struggle to rush the ball, and Dak Prescott will get hit all game. It’s worrisome for me.”

Schwartz also noted that Cleveland’s offensive line should be healthy, as should running back Nick Chubb, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2 last year. Plus, the Browns acquired wideout Jerry Jeudy in a trade with Denver.

“The Cowboys lost defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the Commanders, and they are due for a regression this season on defense. I’m wagering that regression starts right away,” Schwartz said.

WEEK 3: Baltimore Ravens @ Dallas Cowboys

You’ll notice a recurring theme — or more accurately, recurring team — in America’s Game of the Week on FOX: the Dallas Cowboys. They might not be the America’s Team of the distant past, but they always draw eyeballs to TV screens and money to the betting window.

Caesars has Baltimore at -1 (-120) on the NFL oddsboard, with no early movement on this game.

“The Ravens were arguably the best team in the AFC last year. The only things that concern me about the Cowboys are how good that new defense is gonna be, and the run game,” Feazel said.

Former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer returns to Dallas as defensive coordinator, a role he held from 2000-2006. As for the Cowboys’ run game, free agent Tony Pollard signed with Tennessee, and Ezekiel Elliott returned to Dallas after a one-year stint with New England.

“We haven’t seen much action yet. But anytime you have two good teams, especially the Cowboys, there will be a lot of action,” Feazel said.

Panayotovich is more concerned with the Ravens’ offseason losses on defense.

“Baltimore’s perennially sound defense has some questions to answer out of the gate,” Panayotovich said. “The Ravens lost Jadeveon Clowney and Patrick Queen, not to mention defensive coordinator Mike McDonald took the head coaching job in Seattle.

“I expect the defense to go through some growing pains in the first few weeks.”

Baltimore elevated Zach Orr from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator.

“There’s also some chatter about [Ravens] offensive coordinator Todd Monken wanting to throw the ball more in Year 2 with Lamar Jackson,” Panayotovich said. “If that’s the case, we’ll see higher-scoring games. I think Over 48 is a decent bet right now, and we could easily see this total at 50 or 51 by mid-September.”

Skip Bayless has Cowboys going 8-9, missing playoffs

WEEK 6: Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys rank 12th in FOX Sports’ NFL strength of schedule for 2024-25. But as you can tell by now, Dallas has a few tough opponents in marquee games.

Detroit could very well have been the NFC Super Bowl representative last season. The Lions blew a 24-7 halftime lead at San Francisco, losing the NFC Championship Game 34-31.

Still, Dan Campbell’s squad finished a robust 14-6 SU and ATS, and the Lions have been an ATM for bettors since the middle of the 2022-23 season (22-8 SU/23-7 ATS).

“These are really closely rated teams. The Cowboys get the slight edge being at home, so we opened Cowboys -1,” Feazel said of a line that hasn’t moved. “At 50.5, we’re on the higher side for the total, even though Unders were very popular last year.

“If the Dallas defense is not as good as in previous years, this total could easily fly over. I expect a higher-scoring game.”

WEEK 9: Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers

Like the Lions, the Green Bay Packers also could’ve taken out San Fran in last season’s playoffs. After trouncing Dallas 48-32 on Super Wild Card Weekend, the Packers led the 49ers at multiple junctures in the divisional round.

Green Bay was up 21-14 entering the fourth quarter, but ultimately lost 24-21 on the road. The Packers finished a middling 10-9 SU last season (11-8 ATS), but certainly seem to be moving in the right direction behind QB Jordan Love.

Feazel likes what the Lions are doing, but he has the Packers as 1-point home favorites in this Nov. 3 clash.

“The Lions are the slightly better team and the NFC North favorite,” Feazel said, while noting the road team won in the two Lions-Packers meetings last season. “This division a couple years ago was not the greatest. Now, with Jordan Love improving, Caleb Williams with the Bears, Jared Goff getting paid in Detroit, and J.J. McCarthy in Minnesota, this division is solid.

“Lions-Packers is a good rivalry, the two top teams in the NFC North. Whoever wins this game will probably have the momentum to win the division.”

Panayotovich is already intrigued by this Week 9 matchup, and he’s particularly enthusiastic about Love.

“There weren’t many quarterbacks that played better football than Jordan Love from Thanksgiving to the end of the regular season,” Panayotovich said. “And who could forget Love torching the Cowboys for three passing touchdowns in the playoffs? I’m higher on Green Bay than most, and I’m not one of those people who believe the Lions are going to waltz to another division title.

“The Packers’ schedule is pretty easy the first two months. If they come into this game with a 5-3 or 6-2 record, perception will heighten and so will the number. It’s not crazy to envision the Cheese as field-goal favorites if everything breaks right.”

Packers, Lions, Vikings or Bears: Which is NFC North’s best?

WEEK 12: San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers

While the Packers are slim Week 9 home favorites against Detroit, the same can’t be said in Week 12 against San Francisco. Caesars Sports has the Niners at -2.5.

“It’s late November, so weather could be a factor. But we still have the Niners as the best team in the NFC,” Feazel said. “It should be a very good game, especially late in the year. It could have playoff seeding implications. And I’m sure the Packers have revenge on their minds.”

WEEK 14: Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams

The public betting masses perennially jump on the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl. But Josh Allen & Co. continue to let them down. This year, the Bills won’t have Stefon Diggs, after trading the star wideout to the Texans.

On the flip side, Los Angeles lost three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald to retirement.

“These are two evenly matched teams that lost star power. We opened this game a pick ‘em, and we haven’t seen any movement either way,” Feazel said. “The Bills have to make the long trek, but don’t have to worry about the weather. It should be a great matchup.”

WEEK 17: Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

If the 2023-24 regular season ended on Thanksgiving weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles would’ve been in the catbird seat in the NFC playoff picture. The Eagles were coming off a 37-34 home overtime win against Buffalo, moving to 10-1 SU.

Unfortunately for Philly, there were six games left. 

The Eagles went 1-5 SU/0-6 ATS in those games and ended up settling for a Wild Card bid. Philadelphia then traveled to Tampa Bay and got blown out 32-9.

Still, with Jalen Hurts at QB and plenty more talent in Philadelphia, the late-season showdown against Dallas almost certainly will have playoff ramifications. Caesars opened the Eagles -2.5 and hasn’t moved yet.

“These teams battled last year for the NFC East, and this is a big rivalry game,” Feazel said. “I could see this line moving to either side of the spectrum. Hopefully all the starters are playing, and hopefully it means something.” 

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.

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