Cowboys vs Eagles Week 18 Picks and Predictions: Expect Starters To Sit In Low-Stakes Games

With both Dallas and Philadelphia having little to gain from a win, our NFL betting picks don't expect a lot of action from the starters Saturday night. That should give the edge to the Eagles — and one of the best (and one of our favorite) backup QBs.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
Jan 8, 2022 • 12:00 ET • 5 min read
Gardner Minshew Philadelphia Eagles NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Usually, a season-ending matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles would bring lots of drama with it. But the Cowboys have already clinched the NFC East while the Eagles have secured a wild card berth — with little more to gain for either side in the regular season. 

So, who has more to play for in the first-ever NFL Week 18 matchup between these division rivals, and who will have the edge when it comes to covering the NFL betting spread?

Find out in our free NFL picks and predictions for Cowboys vs. Eagles on Saturday, January 8.

Cowboys vs Eagles odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Cowboys initially opened this NFC East matchup as 2.5-point favorites, but after news broke that the Eagles plan to sit a bunch of starters, the line re-opened at -7. But then news started to come out that Dallas is dealing with a COVID outbreak and the line dropped to 4.5. It has since moved to 5 as of Thursday evening.

The total hit the board at 42.5 and the early action has come in on the Over, moving the number to 43.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Cowboys vs Eagles predictions

Predictions made on 1/6/2022 at 11:34 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Cowboys vs Eagles game info

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Saturday, January 8, 2022
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET

Cowboys at Eagles betting preview


Monitor gametime conditions with our live NFL weather info and learn how weather impacts NFL betting.

Key injuries

Cowboys: Donovan Wilson S (Questionable), Tony Pollard RB (Out), Jayron Kearse S (Out), Trevon Diggs CB (Out), Tyron Smith T (Out), Anthony Brown CB (Out), Micah Parsons LB (Out).
Eagles: Landon Dickerson G (Questionable), Lane Johnson T (Questionable), Miles Sanders RB (Out), Dallas Goedert TE (Out), Fletcher Cox DT (Out), Jordan Howard RB (Out), Boston Scott RB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Cowboys are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games versus teams with a winning record. Find more NFL betting trends for Cowboys vs. Eagles.

Cowboys vs Eagles picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

When people talk about Week 18 in the NFL being difficult to handicap, this is the type of game they are talking about.

The Cowboys enter this game having already clinched the NFC East Division crown with an 11-5 record. They currently sit in the No. 4 spot in the NFC playoff standings, but a win and some help could see them move all the way up to No. 2.

The Eagles have also already secured a playoff spot and are currently the third wild-card team. A win and some help can move them up to No. 6...but they will play in the wild-card round on the road no matter what happens. 

So, long story short, neither team has a ton to benefit from a win while risking injury to their best players.

That said, Jerry Jones said earlier this week that he wanted all his best players on the field in this game. But then COVID had other ideas. Micah Parsons and Tyron Smith are some of the more notable names already out. We don’t know if Mike McCarthy will be comfortable sending Dak Prescott out there without his All-Pro tackle to protect him.

For the Eagles, Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith have both indicated they would like to play this week but it really would seem like a risk to have them on the field.

So, what do we do with this game? 

My gut says both teams end up playing it safe and resting most of their stars. That opens the door for one player, in particular — the Mississippi Moustache himself, Gardner Minshew. 

The Eagles' backup quarterback is good enough to start in the NFL and is going up against a Cowboys pass defense that gives up a ton of yards. Dallas already ranks 24th in pass yards allowed and will likely be without its best defender in Parsons, and could be down as many as three starting members of the secondary, including Trevon Diggs.

Bet on the Mississippi Moustache to keep this one close and take the Eagles as home dogs.

Prediction: Eagles +5 (-110)

As hard as it is to try and figure out the spread for this NFC East matchup, the total might be even tougher. That said, while the early money came in on the Over, we’re going to lean the other way.

As noted, the Eagles have a more than capable backup quarterback in Minshew but the lone game he has played this season was against the Jets. Plus, he’ll be without the likes of Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders, who both had big performances in that matchup.

Meanwhile, it's really hard to see the Cowboys giving their key starters on offense extended playing time, particularly now that Smith is out. On top of that, it sounds like Tony Pollard won’t go while he is dealing with a foot injury.

With so many players potentially sitting this one out, we’ve got to side with the Under.

Prediction: Under 43.5 (-110)

Trying to handicap this game is like trying to find Giants players who actually like Joe Judge. It ain’t going to be easy. When it comes down to it, my gut still says that the majority of key players for both teams will still out most if not all of this game, and that could lead to some sloppy situations. 

So, with that in mind, let’s take a stab at some longshot touchdown scorers. Defensive touchdowns that is. It doesn’t hurt that Dallas and Philly lead the NFL in defensive touchdowns. Put a little something on both and pray for chaos. 

Pick: Cowboys Defense anytime touchdown (+470)
Pick: Eagles Defense anytime touchdown (+550)

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