There are a lot of reasons why football games are hard to predict, but the biggest is natural variance. The same team might play well or not play well in different weeks based on nothing more than who woke up on the right side of the bed that morning. Injuries are another issue; it can be difficult to determine just how important a specific player is to his team, particularly because matchups might make a player more important in one week than he is in the next. The more injuries a team has, the more difficult it can be to figure out how much a team will be hurt by the loss of those players.
Both of these issues come up in this week's Upset Watch pick. We have two desperate teams coming off losses and dealing with a number of injury questions in a game with huge playoff implications. One of those teams in particular has been among the least consistent of the 2019 NFL season.
Upset Watch: Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday night's game is the biggest of the season so far when it comes to playoff leverage. In the weekly Football Outsiders playoff simulation, the Eagles make the postseason 79% of the time when they win this game but only 41% of the time if they lose. The Cowboys make the postseason 63% of the time in simulations where they win this game but only 25% of the time if they lose. ESPN's Football Power Index simulations show a similar result.