Cowboys Packers Playoffs

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Cowboys

vs.

Packers

NFC Divisional

Playoff Pick

1/11/15

The Packers will host the Cowboys to get things started on Sunday in the Divisional round with a 1:05 PM est. kickoff time with the winner heading to the NFC Championship Game. The Packers are currently a -6 point favorite at 5 dimes and betonline with a total of 53.

By the time you read this, you’ve probably heard refereNCe to the 1967 “Ice Bowl” a million times and will likely continue to see those refereNCes right up until kickoff. Without a doubt, all the pre Game shows will have a segment on it. If this Game were played on Friday, the temps may very well be close to those record cold temperatures back in 1967. But things are going to “warm” up a bit over the weekend. Sundays predicted high is 21 degrees. No “Ice Bowl”, but cold nonetheless.

Will the cold weather favor either team? Not likely. Both teams have to play in it. Plenty of players from both teams come from warm climates and quite frankly, even if you were born and raised in Green Bay, it doesn’t prepare you to play a football Game in those conditions. However, with that being said, it does bring into focus the key to the Game for the Cowboys which is their running Game.

The running Game and the passing Game go hand in hand. Tony Romo is in off one of his best seasons ever. Why? Because the Cowboys running Game behind a great offensive line has been humming along this year. That opens up the passing Game and presto, that translates into wins. How about 8-0 on the road!

The Cowboys should have some success offensively this week but the Packers no doubt will have some success on that side of the ball as well. Aaron Rodgers has been scorching hot this year and led the Packers to a perfect 8-0 record at home. But note Rodgers did not practice Wednesday and is still bothered by a calf injury which has somewhat limited his mobility.

All of the numbers we like to use favor the Packers by 6 or 7 points, just like the posted pointspread. Our Model, when using data from the full season and the last 7 Games has the Packers on top by 8 and 6. The only parameter that favors the Cowboys is when we use data from only the last 4 Games. In that scenario, it has the Cowboys on top 36-21. That has a lot to do with who each team played along with the Packers losing to Buffalo.

Sometimes there’s no edge to be found when handicapping a Game statistically. As a handicapper, when you’re number is the same as the posted line, generally, you’d pass. That’s the case here but this is such a big Game and we realize readers want an opinion. So here goes…….

One thing all of Our statistical handicapping methods agree on is, this should be a good Game. Why not, these were two of the better teams in the NFL this year. No question the Packers will enjoy the home field advantage and all of the trimmings that go along with that. However, don’t discount the sense of urgeNCy with this Cowboys orGAnization. Many times you watch teams build towards a Championship gradually over time. Maybe one year they win a Wild Card Game. The next year maybe they lose in the AFC or NFC Title Game before finally kicking the door down the next year.

Those teams are generally filled with up and comers. QB’s on the rise (Russell Wilson) and so on. Now, the Cowboys aren’t an “old” team, but many of their key players are in fact getting on in years. No piece to the puzzle is more important than the QB because let’s face it, in the NFL, it takes a legitimate, big time QB to win. Just take a look at the QB’s who remain in this years playoffs. Tony Romo belongs here and it’s very unlikely he’ll ever get this far again. It’s really now or never for this team and with that in mind, we’re going to back Dallas here.

Anytime you can back an underdog that has a legitimate chance at a straight up win, that’s a good position to be in. No question the Cowboys can win this Game. Dallas +6

***Also note that all of Our models predictions say this Game goes well over the posted total of 53. However, with the cold weather and with the Dallas running Game being so important to this outcome, we’d lean towards the under.

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