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2005 Dallas Cowboys NFL Handicapping Review Part 2


By Tom Wilkinson


Bill Parcells took over as head coach of the Cowboys in 2003 after a series of embarrassing losing seasons under Dave Campo and immediately improved Dallas to a 10-6 record and playoff berth, restoring hope and expectations in Big D and with many sports betting players. There was a sports handicapping warning, however, in the second half of that 2003 season and that was the relative lack of sports betting value that Dallas offered.

Dallas has always been a popular public or “name brand” team amongst sports betting players, generating a lot of “fan” money at sportsbooks and online sports betting websites. At the start of the 2003 season Dallas offered decent value as they were coming of a succession of losing seasons. The Cowboys beat the sports betting odds in 5 of Parcells’ first 6 games but then, as the public became enchanted with them again, Dallas lost its sports handicapping value and beat the sports betting odds in just 4 of their final 11 games in 2003, which should have been a sobering warning to the prudent sports betting players considering the Cowboys for their lists of football picks.

Sure enough, coming into 2004 with high expectations, the Cowboys were wagered on early and often by the general sports betting public and offered no value, except in the role of a “go against” team. Dallas dropped 7 of their first 10 games both straight up and against the sports betting odds in 2004 nuking a lot of bankrolls in the process.

The 2004 Dallas season is an excellent sports handicapping lesson for sports betting players. When sports handicapping a team in ANY sport it is important to consider their question of value based on if they may have overachieved the previous season. There is a dangerous trap that a sports betting player can fall into of backing teams that came too far too fast and Dallas’ leap from a 5-11 team to a 10-6 playoff team covered up a lot of weaknesses within the club that Parcells didn’t have time to fix and that ended up blowing up in Dallas’ face in 2004. To put this another way sports teams are like stocks, and if they leap way up in performance there is eventually going to be a market correction, as the sports betting odds makers will catch up with ANY surprise teams and jack up the sports betting line appropriately. Dallas beat the sports betting odds in 4 of their final 6 games, which demonstrates sports betting odds value changes in itself.









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