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NFL, Week 1: Dallas Cowboys -7.5 vs. New York Giants, 46.5 O/U
Dallas Cowboys: 27.01 Points, -360 ML, New York Giants: 19.49 Points, +290 ML
While the New York Giants have had the Cowboys number in Dallas for most of this century – I feel like that era is over. Further, I feel that the conventional wisdom – Giants always play well in Dallas – is keeping this spread artificially close. In actuality, these NFC East Rivals are far apart in talent and current competitive position.
The Cowboys are only a 7.5 point favorite against the NY Giants Week 1. I think the Cowboys in this spot are a great bet.
I have the Cowboys as 3 points better than an average team and the NY giants as 3 points worse than average team. That six points difference would generally be extended to a 9 point spread, given a standard 3-point home field advantage. That said, it’s fair to argue that the Giants are accustomed to playing in Dallas, and that the Cowboys should have less than a 3 point home-field advantage in this match-up.
Between 2000 and 2016, the Giants won in Dallas 10 out of 18 games, including once in the 2008 playoffs en route to a Super Bowl.
However, since acquiring Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, the Cowboys are 2-1 in Dallas against the Giants and 4-2 overall, including winning 4 straight.
The Giants have scored 20 or less points in 5 out of the 6 games against the Cowboys since 2016. That output came was with a roster that included Odell Beckham Jr. Without him, I fail to see the threat that should have the Cowboys worried. The Cowboys have one of the best front 7 defensively in the NFL, and will gladly load the box to stop second-year phenom, Saquon Barkley. In two games against Dallas last year, Barkley racked up 137 yards in 28 carries. That equates to a solid 4.9 yards per carry, but only 68 yards per game. Not enough to bend a defense.
Giants Face Cluster Injuries on Offense
If the Giants are going to score and compete against the Cowboys they will have to toss the ball downfield. Unfortunately all of the Giants receivers appear to be out of commission at the moment. Key free agent signing, Golden Tate, received a 4 game suspension last week after testing positive for a banned substance. Although Tate plans to appeal, history shows that PED appeals are seldom honored in the NFL regardless of the reason. Making matters worse, 2nd and 3rd string receivers, Sterling Shepard and Corey Coleman, are both out of training camp with injuries.
Competing to take their place week 1, the Giants have fifth rounder Darius Slayton, who himself is already dealing with a hamstring injury. Beyond him, Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler look to make an impression. Both receivers were recently cut by the Denver Broncos. Even as Latimer and Fowler might struggle to make a team in other camps, they may start for this Giants week 1.
Another receiver hopeful to make the Giants team, Russell Shepard recently told ESPN “We have nothing to lose!” referring to their wide receiver core. That doesn’t sound like a squad that is a serious threat.
The Giants come into week 1 with less offensive firepower than anytime in recent memory against a Dallas team that has held them to 15 points per game over the last 3 seasons. I like the Cowboys to win and cover.
Tease the Cowboys down to Win Week 1
Instead of betting the Cowboys to cover, a better bet to me is to tease them down so that they just have to win the game. Teasers are really only good bets when in the NFL and when going through key numbers 7 and 3. A suitable second half of the teaser could be the Seattle Seahawks to win at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. A teaser brings the Seahawks down to -2 from -9. The Bengals themselves are facing a significant injury at the wide receiver position, with AJ Green out with 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury.
Best bet on FanDuel Sportsbook: Week 1 2-team teaser, Cowboys -0.5 and Seahawks -2 (-120).