Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview, Week 1 Odds, Super Bowl Chances & Schedule

Are the Dallas Cowboys legitimate contenders in 2021, or are they simply pretenders? According to bookmakers, if Cowboys Odds were any indication, the latter would seem to be the case. Our Cowboys betting preview tells you how to best bet America's Team.
Nikki Adams
Mon, August 30, 5:23 AM EDT

Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview, Week 1 Odds & Schedule

  • Dallas Cowboys Win Total
  • Dallas Cowboys Division Odds
  • Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Odds
  • Dallas Cowboys Schedule

The Dallas Cowboys are faced with mega expectations for 2021, but none more so than the head coach and quarterback of America’s favorite team for varying reasons. 

In Mike McCarthy’s second year, the onus will be on him to prove that his rough debut in 2020, which saw the Cowboys finish with a subpar 6-10-0 record, was an aberration. The result of an unprecedented global pandemic wreaking havoc everywhere and an overwhelming rash of injuries that put extreme limitations on his coaching abilities. In other words, he’s going to have to prove that he’s not what his record says he is. 

COWBOYS 2021 OFFSEASON MOVES

Trades: None

Re-signings: QB Dak Prescott (four years, $160 million), CB Jourdan Lewis (three years, $16.5 million), DL Antwuan Woods (one year, $2.2 million)

Notable Free Agent Losses: QB Andy Dalton (to Bears), LB Joe Thomas (to Texans), CB Chidobe Awuzie (to Bengals), S Xavier Woods (to Vikings), EDGE Aldon Smith (to Seahawks)

Notable Free Agent Signings: S Keanu Neal (one year, $5 million), DL Carlos Watkins (one year, $1.8 million), EDGE Tarell Basham (two years, $5.5 million)

Notable Draft picks: LB Micah Parsons, CB Kelvin Joseph, EDGE Chauncey Golston, LB Jabril Cox

On the other hand, Dak Prescott must prove he’s worth the massive contract the Cowboys extended him in the offseason after finally caving into his exorbitant demands to be paid Patrick Mahomes type of money. When Mahomes penned his 10-year, $500 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, it was broadly expected to change the way quarterbacks were paid in the league. Whether Prescott deserved to be one of its first beneficiaries, though, is up for debate.

Mahomes won the regular-season MVP in his first season, and then for his encore, he delivered a Super Bowl. Prescott has made himself look good by littering the stat sheet over his career, but since his first start in 2016, the Cowboys haven’t amounted to much. The furthest Dallas has gone in the playoffs in the divisional round in 2018, their last postseason appearance. Overall, the Cowboys are 1-2-0 in the playoffs with Prescott since 2016. 

Despite everything, there’s a measure of optimism in Jerry’s World ahead of the upcoming season – an internal wave of motivation to make amends for last season’s disappointments. This isn’t being echoed at the bookmakers, though. As a result, the Cowboys Odds are a mixed bag in the broad spectrum of NFL betting while they’re outside of the Top 10 contenders for Super Bowl 56 too. Nevertheless, cautious optimism best describes the market on Dallas right now and for a good reason too.

So, the overriding question is: should bettors buy what the Cowboys are selling?

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Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Odds and Other Futures Markets 2021

Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Odds

As things currently stand, Cowboys Super Bowl odds are modestly tipped at +3500, while to win, the NFC is listed at +1600. Unfortunately, both these markets overlook Dallas in favor of a significant number of other teams. As a result, they fall behind 12 other teams that are perceived to be better contenders for SBLVI, and, similarly, they fall behind five other conference rivals that are deemed to be better bets to win the NFC.

  Super Bowl Odds Implied Probability
Dallas Cowboys +3500 2.8%

 Click Here For Full Super Bowl odds 

Big D fans aren’t going to be thrilled with the way these markets stack up or with the fact that they give off more ‘pretender’ rather than ‘contender’ vibes. Indeed, another aspect that might not sit well is a) teams like the Cleveland Browns (+1700), New Orleans Saints (+3000), and the LA Chargers (+3300) are all priced shorter in SBLVI betting, while b) the Cowboys are priced on a level with teams like the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts (both on +3500 odds).  

The Browns made their first playoff appearance in forever last season; the Saints are starting a new era without Drew Brees and have named the unpredictable and mercurial Jameis Winston (what?) as the starter for 2021, and the Chargers are going into the upcoming season with first-year head coach Brandon Staley and second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. How these teams managed to impress bookmakers more than America’s favorite team may be the most confounding for Big D fans. Moreover, to be painted with the same brush as the Dolphins and Colts are, both of which have serious quarterback question marks ahead of 2021 well, that just smacks of disingenuity, doesn’t it? Or, does it? 

Dallas Cowboys NFC East Odds

The Cowboys find some favor in the race to the divisional title. In the NFC East division, the Cowboys are the team to beat at +150. However, their favoritism and advantage are negligible because Washington is nipping at Dallas’ heels as the second-best bet at +260. The rest of the field is priced reasonably, too, with the Giants at +450 and the Eagles at +525. Simply put, the Cowboys aren’t runaway faves in this division.

On paper, Dak Prescott is the best quarterback in the division – a cut above Ryan Fitzpatrick (Washington), Daniel Jones (Giants), and Jalen Hurts (Eagles) – and the Cowboys offense, loaded with weapons as it is, figures to be one of the most prolific in the NFC East, if not the NFC as a whole. Unfortunately, the Cowboys defense was absolutely THE WORST unit last season, so newly appointed defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will have his work cut out to shape it into a semi-decent unit. Suppose the fact that the defense can’t possibly be worse than it was last year is some consolation. 

On the flip side, there’s a level of uncertainty surrounding Dallas because of the question marks that hang over Prescott. His ankle injury last season and a recent shoulder injury during preseason training camp are casting doubt on his fitness and form. The Cowboys are quietly optimistic, but if there’s a lesson in last season’s debacle, it’s the Cowboys are nothing without Prescott.

Team NFC East Odds Implied Probability
Dallas Cowboys +150 40%
Washington Football Team +260 27.8%
New York Giants +450 18.2%
Philadelphia Eagles +525 16%

Complete NFC East odds

Dallas Cowboys Win Total

Books project the Cowboys on 9 wins this season, three more wins than they managed in 2020. However, in the newly expanded 17-game NFL schedule, 9 wins is a smidge over .500. Additionally, the odds the Cowboys will go OVER 9 are EVEN, while the odds that they’ll go UNDER 9 wins are priced at -120. That stands in stark contrast to the Cowboys odds to win the NFC East.

This is a function of the uncertainty that surrounds Dak Prescott right now. But, as well, bearing in mind Washington is the second-best bet to win the NFC East at +260, and the Football Team’s odds are favorable to go OVER 8.5 wins on the season, the market is underlining the impression that the NFC East may be more of a two-horse race than Big D fans would acknowledge.

Dallas Cowboys Team Schedule & Odds

If there’s one thing Dallas has going for it, it’s the schedule. The Cowboys schedule is one of the easiest in the league – according to Strength of Schedule rankings, they have the 31st toughest schedule (or second easiest schedule depending on perception). However, the first week of the season won’t be a cakewalk as the Cowboys are set to kick off the season against the Buccaneers on Thursday night. 

Predictably, Cowboys Week 1 Odds are discouraging; the Cowboys are catching over a touchdown. After week 1, the Cowboys go ten weeks without seeing any of last season’s playoff contenders before facing the Kansas City Chiefs (week 11). After which, the only other 2020 playoff teams they face are the New Orleans Saints (week 13) and the Washington Football Team twice (weeks 14 &16). 

All told, the Cowboys couldn’t have received a better schedule had they scripted it themselves. Whether they capitalize on it will depend on many factors, but, perhaps, none more so than the health and fitness of Prescott. As that question remains unanswered, it’s probably best to proceed with caution when betting on the Cowboys. 

Week Opponent Spread Total
1 @ Tampa Bay +7.5 50.5
2 @ L.A. Chargers +1.5 52
3 vs Philadelphia -4.5 49.5
4 vs Carolina OTB OTB
5 vs NY Giants OTB OTB
6 @ New England OTB OTB
7 BYE    
8 @ Minnesota OTB OTB
9 vs Denver OTB OTB
10 vs Atlanta OTB OTB
11 @ Kansas City OTB OTB
12 vs Las Vegas -7 OTB
13 @ New Orleans OTB OTB
14 @ Washington OTB OTB
15 @ NY Giants OTB OTB
16 vs Washington OTB OTB
17 vs Arizona OTB OTB
18 @ Philadelphia OTB OTB

2020 Dallas Cowboys Betting Stats

  • Record: 6-10
  • ATS: 5-11
  • Over/Under: 9-7

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