Advertisement

Pro Picks: Cowboys will edge the Eagles in an NFC East showdown in prime time

Pro Picks is a weekly column where AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi shares his picks for upcoming games. For all previous Pro Picks, head here.

___

The humbled Philadelphia Eagles own the best record in the NFL. The surging Dallas Cowboys are closing in fast.

The bitter rivals meet Sunday night with the NFC East and potential No. 1 seed at stake.

As Dak Prescott says, here we go.

The Eagles (10-2) are coming off a 42-19 whipping by the San Francisco 49ers, who also dominated the Cowboys (9-3) in a 42-10 victory in Week 5.

Jalen Hurts and the offense couldn’t get going against the 49ers and the defense allowed six straight touchdown drives after forcing two three-and-outs to start the game.

Prescott and the Cowboys are clicking, averaging 42 points during a four-game winning streak. But Micah Parsons and the league’s third-ranked defense gave up 35 points in a victory over Seattle last week.

The Eagles beat Dallas 28-23 in Philadelphia last month. The Cowboys had a chance at the end with a first down at the Eagles 6 in the final minute before self-destructing.

Even with a victory, the Cowboys will still need the Eagles to lose again to take over first place. A win would almost ensure Philadelphia, barring a collapse, would become the first repeat division winner since 2004.

The Cowboys are 3 1/2-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Pro Picks expects this one will come to the end.

COWBOYS, 27-26

DETROIT at CHICAGO

Line: Lions minus 3

Jared Goff and a high-octane offense has Detroit (9-3) winning despite a shaky defense that has given up an average of 28.8 points in the past six games. The return of Justin Fields and a much-improved defense keeps the Bears (4-8) competitive.

BEST BET: LIONS, 27-20

TAMPA BAY at ATLANTA

Line: Falcons minus 2 1/2

The NFC South is on the line and the Buccaneers (5-7) must win this game to have a shot at their third straight division title. The Falcons (6-6) are winning despite QB Desmond Ridder.

UPSET SPECIAL: BUCCANEERS, 20-17

LOS ANGELES RAMS at BALTIMORE

Line: Ravens minus 7 1/2

A three-game winning streak has the Rams (6-6) in the playoff race. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens (9-3) are chasing the AFC’s No.1 seed. Baltimore is 1-8 against the spread in the past nine games it’s been favored by seven points or more.

RAVENS, 24-17

CAROLINA at NEW ORLEANS

Line: Saints minus 5 1/2

A coaching change helped the Panthers (1-11) play more competitively. The Saints (5-7) have lost three straight and Derek Carr is back in concussion protocol.

SAINTS, 23-16

INDIANAPOLIS at CINCINNATI

Line: Colts minus 1 1/2

Rookie coach Shane Steichen has the Colts (7-5) in the playoff race with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew leading an offense averaging 25 points per game. They’ll face the league’s lowest-ranked defense. But the Bengals (6-6) are coming off a stunning upset in Jacksonville that put them back in the playoff chase.

COLTS, 27-23

JACKSONVILLE at CLEVELAND

Line: Browns minus 3

Trevor Lawrence has a sprained ankle that could force him to miss a game for the first time in his career and the Jaguars (8-4) lost wide receiver Christian Kirk to injury. They’re 6-0 away from home this season, but the Browns (7-5) are allowing just 10.2 points per game in Cleveland. Veteran QB Joe Flacco played well in his first game for the Browns, but the defense needs to step up with Myles Garrett slowed by a shoulder injury.

BROWNS, 20-19

HOUSTON at NEW YORK JETS

Line: Texans minus 5 1/2

Rookie QB C.J. Stroud and the Texans (7-5) are making a playoff run. The hapless Jets (4-8) have given Aaron Rodgers no reason to attempt an improbable comeback this season.

TEXANS, 20-10

SEATTLE at SAN FRANCISCO

Line: 49ers minus 10 1/2

Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers (9-3) are looking like the best team in the NFL. They have to keep winning to surpass Philadelphia for the NFC’s No. 1 seed. The Seahawks (6-6) have lost three in a row and were blown out by San Francisco at home on Thanksgiving.

49ERS, 31-22

MINNESOTA at LAS VEGAS

Line: Vikings minus 3

The Vikings (6-6) hope a week off gave them answers to fix a two-game losing streak. Same for the Raiders (5-7).

VIKINGS, 23-19

DENVER at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Line: Chargers minus 2 1/2

The Chargers (5-7) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-0 win. They’ll need to score more against Russell Wilson and the Broncos (6-6).

CHARGERS, 23-22

BUFFALO at KANSAS CITY

Line: Chiefs minus 2 1/2

The Chiefs (8-4) are 18-3 after a loss with Patrick Mahomes. Josh Allen and the Bills (6-6) have no margin for error. This game shaped up to be a potential AFC championship preview when the schedule came out. Now Buffalo has to fight just to get a wild-card spot.

CHIEFS, 27-23

TENNESSEE at MIAMI

Line: Dolphins minus 13 1/2

Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and the Dolphins (9-3) seem unstoppable on offense. The good news for the Titans (4-8) in a lost season is rookie QB Will Levis has shown plenty of potential.

DOLPHINS, 31-20

GREEN BAY at NEW YORK GIANTS

Line: Packers minus 6 1/2

Fresh off an upset win over Mahomes and the Chiefs, Jordan Love and the Packers (6-6) are back in the playoff race. Tommy DeVito has led the Giants (4-8) to two straight wins, but they’re home underdogs.

PACKERS, 23-20

NEW ENGLAND at PITTSBURGH

Line: Steelers minus 6

Pro Picks had the right side against the spread but picked the wrong winner, taking the Steelers 13-8. The Patriots won 21-18.

Last week: Straight up: 6-7. Against spread: 4-9

Overall: Straight up: 120-74. Against spread: 102-85-7.

Best Bet: Straight up: 9-4. Against spread: 6-6-1.

Upset Special: Straight up: 7-6. Against spread: 9-4.

Thursday: Straight up: 11-4. Against spread: 11-3-1.

Monday: Straight up: 8-7. Against spread: 10-4-1.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press