By Patrick Everson
FOX Sports Gambling Writer
In case you checked out of Sunday night’s Buccaneers-Cowboys field-goal festival, Prescott suffered a right thumb injury in the fourth quarter. Prescott is set to have surgery and is supposed to miss six to eight weeks.
Prior to the Cowboys’ 19-3 loss against Tampa Bay, several sportsbooks posted odds on NFL Week 2 games. And the consensus was that Dallas should be a 2-point home favorite against the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.
So, with Prescott’s status becoming clearer on Monday, where did bookmakers take this line?
Jumping The Fence — And Then Some
By Monday morning, almost every sportsbook in the U.S. legal market had the Bengals as 7-point favorites for the Week 2 game in Dallas. FOX Bet is also currently offering Cincy -7. Some people are probably saying, “Are you telling me Dak Prescott is worth 9 points to the spread?”
The short answer is no. The long answer comes courtesy of Rex Beyers, a longtime oddsmaker and veteran of multiple sportsbook operations, who is now the head of wagering at PlayUp USA.
“The right adjustment to me in that game would make the Bengals -7.5. But it’s not an 8- or 9-point difference. It’s closer to a 7-point difference,” Beyers said. “Before the Bucs-Cowboys game, Bengals-Cowboys should’ve been a pick ‘em, not Cowboys -2.”
Beyers said the Cowboys’ -2 opening number was perhaps influenced too much by the Bengals’ surprising 23-20 home overtime loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1.
“The Bengals had five turnovers and missed a field goal to win the game, and they missed an extra point to win in regulation,” he said. “They should’ve won that game.”
With that unusual set of circumstances in mind, Beyers didn’t penalize the Bengals much in his power ratings. But he did downgrade Dallas, which had Prescott for most of Sunday’s game against Tampa, yet managed only a first-quarter field goal.
“Cincinnati at probably 7.5 is where I’d start. I’d go 7 or 7.5. Either one is usable. Then just let the market tell you where to go,” the oddsmaker stated.
By Monday afternoon, the market hadn’t gone anywhere, with Bengals -7 still the consensus number.
PointsBet USA and FOX Bet opted to wait until Monday to post the Bengals-Cowboys line to get more information on Prescott’s prognosis. PointsBet’s rationale for opening the Bengals -7 was in line with Beyers’ explanation.
“I would say Dak is worth somewhere between 6-7 points, right around a touchdown on the spread, depending on if the Cowboys start Cooper Rush or decide to go out and get another QB,” PointsBet sports analyst Mike Korn said.
Not Built For The Futures
With Prescott now set to potentially miss half the season, the Cowboys took a significant hit in multiple NFL futures betting markets. Might as well start at the top with Super Bowl odds.
Dylan Brossman, trading operations senior manager at FOX Bet, said he moved the Cowboys from +2200 to +4000 in odds to win the Super Bowl. That said, Brossman sees a path in which Dallas can stand at 4-4 through eight games.
“Dallas was the lone NFC East team to lose in Week 1 but will get a chance to hand out L’s to Washington, New York and Philadelphia in three of the next five weeks,” Brossman said. “The Cowboys’ other two games — Cincinnati and L.A. Rams — are no cakewalks. If they can get through Week 6 with a 2-4 record, there remains hope. The return of Dak and Michael Gallup and two winnable games against Detroit and Chicago would set them up nicely to get back to .500 before a bye week and the back half of the season.”
Korn noted a few futures moved at PointsBet USA. In NFC East odds, the Cowboys and Eagles were +145 co-favorites before the Prescott injury news. Now, Dallas is out to +500, tied with the Washington Commanders and barely ahead of the +600 New York Giants. Philadelphia is now a -155 favorite to win the division.
As for NFC championship odds, PointsBet slid Dallas from +900 to +2200. And the Cowboys’ Super Bowl odds fell even further than at FOX Bet, with PointsBet stretching Dallas from +2000 to +5000.
Will the Cowboys make a move for Jimmy G or another veteran quarterback? Stay tuned.
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He previously worked for Covers and 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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Source: FOX Sports