Offensive Issues Mar Giants-Cowboys Clash

The Giants and Cowboys combined for a paltry 23 points in Week 1. Sports Betting Resources predicts more offensive trouble Sunday night. Pick and betting preview here.

Giants vs. Cowboys (-3)

Opening Line: Dallas -3.5
Opening Total: 43.5
Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Site: AT&T Stadium

Line Movement

CG Technology installed the Cowboys 6-point favorites in advanced lines back in May. After a dismal 18-6 defeat at Carolina in the season opener, the spread reopened at -3.5 in favor of Dallas on Sunday. The half point was gobbled up in minutes.

An initial 43.5 total adjusted to 44 within 10 minutes on the oddsboard, but has slowly sunk since. The current offering stands at 42 points. As of Thursday, September 13, 68 percent of tickets across the major online sportsbooks are backing New York to cover, 60 percent also like the UNDER.

Predictive Analysis

The Cowboys (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) take a lot of public money as America’s Team. Couple this with the field goal typically attributed to the spread due to home field advantage, and valuations are usually bloated in the betting market.

Since head coach Jason Garrett took over for owner Jerry Jones in early November 2010, Dallas is just 16-32 ATS (33.3 percent) ATS hosting NFC opponents. When kicking off favorites, the mark falls to 10-24 ATS (29.4 percent), the team coming up 2.8 points shy of a -5.6 average line.

A leaky defense tends to be the scapegoat for Garrett in the latter situation. All but 10 of the 34 opponents have reached or surpassed their projected team total. The unit allows 24.6 points per game.

The big question mark is whether the Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) offense can take advantage. It has put up more than three touchdowns in a contest once since late October of 2017: a 34-29 home loss to the Eagles in which QB Eli Manning connected for a pair of 50-plus yard TD throws. In the last 11 games, New York posts 14.2 points per contest. Manning averages 5.8 yards per passing attempt, 1.0 TDs, and 0.9 INTs in this stretch.

The G-Men will have to tighten up on defense to stand a chance as well. Garret averages 27.1 points per game hosting New York in seven meetings, scoring 19 or more every time out. In five catching pints, the Cowboys have put up 27 points or more in all but one: last year’s 19-3 season-opening win.

Pick

Both New York and Dallas began the season against two of the tougher defenses in the NFL (Jaguars, Panthers), but each performance was far from inspiring. The Giants posted 5.2 and the Cowboys 4.1 yards per play, ranking in the latter half league-wide in efficiency for the week. Dallas showed major issues on the O-line, giving up a sack on 17.1 percent of Dak Prescott dropbacks. New York mustered just 46 rushing yards on 22 carries before rookie RB Saquon Barkley broke free for a 68-yard TD run in the final minute of the fourth quarter. Neither deficiency will fix itself overnight.

Look for New York to hang around in low-scoring division clash. Buy the hook and back the G-Men at 3.5 points.

Projected Score: Cowboys 23-20