Were you expecting any matchup other than the most popular team in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys, and the most popular team in the USA’s biggest media market, the New York Giants, to be the first Sunday night game of the 2017 season? Here is your Sports Interaction NFL betting preview.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
When: Sunday, 8:30 PM ET Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas Point Spread: Cowboys -4
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
UPDATE: “The six-game suspension for the Cowboys running back was upheld by an arbitrator on Tuesday. But because the decision came down after a league-imposed 4 p.m. ET deadline, Elliott is being allowed to play. What is complicating the matter is that there are a number of legal motions that have been filed on both sides — including a temporary restraining order. A decision on that restraining order is expected by 5 p.m. CT on Friday. If if it granted, then Elliott will remain available to play. If it is denied, his suspension will begin in Week 2.” – NFL.com
No team draws more action from a betting perspective or better television ratings in the USA than the Cowboys. They are called America’s Team for a reason. Sometimes, the smart bettor can win big betting against Dallas because the general public often inflates lines on the Cowboys by backing them so heavily. Including playoffs, Dallas was 10-7 against the spread in 2016 and 5-4 ATS at home.
The Giants were 9-7-1 ATS against the spread, including playoffs, and 3-5-1 on the road. As a home favourite in this series, the Cowboys are 6-4 straight up in the past 10 meetings but 4-6 ATS. It’s the third straight season the teams have met Week 1 in Arlington; they split the first two – each decided by one point.
Could we have a season start where there’s not a controversy about a star player fighting a suspension? Apparently not as Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is appealing a six-game suspension levied by Commissioner Roger Goodell. A decision likely will come down after this is posted, but it would be a massive surprise if Elliott isn’t still suspended at least a few games. That’s a huge loss considering he had one of the great seasons ever for a rookie running back in 2016 with a league-leading 1,631 yards to go with 15 touchdowns.
Dallas finished with the NFC’s best record at 13-3 thanks to Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott, who beat out Elliott for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Cowboys couldn’t figure out the Giants, though, 20-19 at home in Week 1 and 10-7 in New Jersey in Week 14.
New York Giants
This big question for Big Blue is whether superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr., perhaps the most electric talent in the NFL, will play. He suffered what looked like a potential season-ending ankle injury in the Giants’ second preseason game but was lucky it was simply a sprain. The Giants have kept OBJ in bubble wrap since, but it would be an upset if he doesn’t play Sunday night. Beckham is off to a historic start in his career with at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 TDs in each of his first three seasons.
As good as Beckham is, the main reason the Giants made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2011 was their defense. That unit was one of the NFL’s worst in 2015 but No. 2 last year in allowing just 17.8 points per game. The offense was 26th in putting up 19.4 points per game.
Giants at Cowboys Prediction
New York has covered the past five meetings and will again as long as Beckham plays.