Cowboys Favored Over Rival Giants in Sunday Night Football Opener

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While Ezekiel Elliott’s reinstatement might move the line, one should remember the Dallas Cowboys struggled moving the ball against the New York Giants last season.

The host Cowboys are listed as 4-point betting favorites against the Giants with a 47.5-point total in their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cowboys are 5-1 straight-up in their last six games at night, but the Giants are also 4-0-1 against the spread in the last five games of this long-running NFC East rivalry. Eight of the last 10 matchups have been decided by seven or fewer points.

With the Giants, who were 11-6 SU and 8-7-2 ATS in 2016 when they earned an NFC wild card berth, the main concern offensively is whether WR Odell Beckham Jr. (left ankle) will be able to play after not practicing for more than a week. Losing Beckham would deprive QB Eli Manning of a deep threat against a beatable Dallas pass defense.

The Giants, once again, will likely have a very pass-dependent offense due to a below-average running game and offensive line, where LT Ereck Flowers could have issues blocking the likes of DE Demarcus Lawrence.

New York is a slow starter – 1-5 SU in its last six season openers – and that could be one reason to lay chalk provided the Cowboys stay in the 4.0 to 5.0-point range on the Week 1 NFL odds.

The Cowboys last year went 13-4 SU and 10-6-1 ATS, when Elliott and QB Dak Prescott were getting their feet wet as rookie starters. Winning, as well as giving bettors a cover, will probably boil down to the Dallas offense solving its woes against the Giants defense. Wide receiver Dez Bryant had just one catch in both games against New York and CB Janoris Jenkins in 2016, while SS Landon Collins and the Giants’ rush defense conspired to put Prescott in a lot of obvious passing downs.

Dallas is just 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 divisional home games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, which is either a long-term trend or something that will change soon if they are indeed a Super Bowl contender.

The total has gone over in seven of the Giants’ last nine games against the Cowboys. The total has gone over in six of the Cowboys’ last eight games in September.

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