NFL Betting: NFC Conference Value Pick
If you’ve been keeping an eye on NFL betting at Bodog, you’ll know we’ve already taken a microscope to those AFC teams offering up the most value in the NFL futures market. Now, we take an easy turn to put the same lens on NFL betting in the National Football Conference.
Of course, we’re still three months away from the regular season beginning, but it won’t be too long before training camps hit and pre-season games are underway. Before we know it, we’ll be seeing the inevitable shift in the odds as we get an early glimpse into what may come soon after, with the current form of the players and teams in full view.
Until then, the favourites to win the NFC Championship are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+325), the Green Bay Packers (+450), and the Los Angeles Rams (+450). These are solid bets to make as they’re all strong teams, especially now that Aaron Rodgers has finally signed a contract extension with the Packers.
But while these are all decent choices, their steep odds may not necessarily offer you the best value for football betting this time around. Here at the Bodog sportsbook, we’ve taken a deeper dive into the teams that are just barely scraping the favourites loop to see which less-popular pick still stands a good chance, and it seems we’ve got a winner.
Bodog’s NFC Value Pick – The Dallas Cowboys
Our verdict? The Dallas Cowboys are in with a very decent shot at the NFC Championship – even if we envisage them ultimately taking a fall at the final hurdle in the Super Bowl.
Sure, the Cowboys may have been in the unenviable position of being the punchline to dozens of jokes for a good, long time, but there’s a chance that era might be coming to an end. And with NFC conference odds of +900, there are sizable returns available if they can pull off a conference win.
It’s by no means a done deal, but if everything falls into place, then the Cowboys could end a long drought without the trophy.
The Dallas Cowboys’ 2021 Season
The Dallas Cowboys are, by far, the most profitable and most valuable team in the NFL, thanks in part to the global fame that accompanied protracted periods of success, dating right back to the 1970s.
Despite generating a tidy US$280 million in profit last year, and having a net worth around US$6.5 billion, the Cowboys haven’t gotten their hands on the Lombardi Trophy since 1995. It attests to the fact that, on paper, having a Texas-sized fanbase is as good as any number of contemporary championships.
Going into 2021, America’s Team hadn’t so much as appeared in the playoffs for three years, but in Mike McCarthy’s second year as head coach, things were different. Finishing at the top of the NFC East with a 12-5 record, the Cowboys had the joint-third best record in the league. In fact, they went entirely undefeated in their division and, at 10-2, held the best intra-conference record.
By Christmas, the team had secured a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and ended the regular season on January 9 with a crushing 51-26 victory against the Eagles.
Alas, this comeback story was cut short just a week later by the San Francisco 49ers in the wild card round. The 49ers started strong and sailed into the final quarter 23-7, and although the Cowboys mounted an inspired offensive in the dying minutes, those quickfire 10 points weren’t enough to turn the tide.
It was an important game for the team either way, and just getting into the playoffs was a step forward for the Cowboys and McCarthy.
Dallas Cowboys Star Players
The Cowboys’ highest player honours last season went to the MPV-ordained Dak Prescott. with the 29-year-old quarterback ranking seventh in the NFL for total passing yards. He also tied fourth on the list of most passing touchdowns in 2021 and finished ninth for most interceptions.
Having been at the Cowboys since 2016, Prescott’s 2021 season was his best on record for most completed passes at 410 from 596 attempts. It was a good comeback after spending 2020 sitting out for much of the season and bodes well for 2022.
The Cowboys also have a top-ten player in rushing. With 10 touchdowns and 1,002 yards from 237 attempts, Ezekiel Elliott is one of the best running backs in the league. He, too, has been with the team since 2016, but 2021 was his time to really shine.
Ceedee Lamb was also key to the Cowboy’s successful resurgence in 2021. The 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft had built on his strong rookie season to top the team in yards, scoring 1,102 from 79 receptions.
Why the Cowboys Offer Value for 2022
Although they were sent packing in the wild card round, the Dallas Cowboys had their best season for some time in 2021.
In the regular season they routinely beat their opponents by double-digit margins, including the 56-14 decimation of the Commanders, the 43-3 thrashing of the Falcons, and the comprehensive 44-20 dressing down of the New York Giants.
If you want to boil it down, you can attribute the on-field dominance to some combination of a solid defence that ranked seventh in the league and an offence that topped the charts in 2021.
You can make the counter-argument about Jerry Jones needing to loosen his grip on the decision-making. This line of thinking is not without merit, but there are strong signs that his Cowboys may have finally turned a corner. Keeping in mind that the team won three Super Bowls during his tenure, so it’s not like he doesn’t have value.
Dallas have retained all of their star players, as well as the majority of their full roster from last season, since supplemented by a long list of signings and promotions of players from the training squad.
This gives McCarthy the ability to build on the success of 2021 to mount a stronger playoff campaign in January. With strong offensive and defensive battalions, he’s certainly ready to conquer the league in 2022.
Come the end of the year, if the Cowboys are sitting at the top of their division again, their current NFC conference odds of +900 will look like a bargain. They have all the puzzle pieces, but their success next season all depends on whether they can put them together in the right order. Do you think they can? NFL betting is officially open, so lock in the odds while they’re in your favour.