Dallas Cowboys (11-1 SU, 9-3 ATS) vs. New York Giants (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 8:30 PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread:DALL -3/ NYG +3
The Dallas Cowboys look to avenge its only loss of the season when they travel East to play their division rival New York Giants on Sunday Night Football.
Dallas will have some extra time to prepare for this matchup. They are coming off a 17-15 victory as 3-point road chalk against Minnesota last Thursday. The Cowboys were outgained 318-264 and only managed 13 First Downs compared to 21 for the Vikings. Dallas has lost the stats in two straight games, but really good teams find ways to win even when they underperform. Dallas is a very impressive 7-3 ITS (in the stats) in their last 10 games. The Giants six game winning streak came to an abrupt end last Sunday in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 24-14 as 6-point home favorites while outgaining New York 389-234. The Giants have also lost the stats in two straight games and sit 4-6 ITS in their last 10 games.
This is a big same season revenge game for the road team. New York defeated Dallas 20-19 as 1-point road underdogs in the opening week of the season. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for just 51 yards on 20 carries, while Dak Prescott threw for 227 yards completing 25 of his 45 passes. Dez Bryant caught one ball for eight yards. The entire offense is much improved from that first game, while the Giants are one of the worst 8-4 teams I have ever seen. They don't do anything that well and now must play this game without their best pass rusher in Jason Pierre-Paul, who is listed as doubtful with a groin injury.
The Cowboys are ranked 4th in yards per game, 4th in points per game, and 5th in points against. Dallas has a sneaky good defense mainly because Linebacker Sean Lee has stayed healthy. The guy is a tackling machine and you will see how big of an impact he has if you watch this game. The Giants are ranked 26th in yards per game, 23rd in points per game, and 8th in points against. A big reason why the defense is above average is because the Giants are ranked 2nd in time of possession, which keeps their defense fresh while limiting the number of plays. I don't think that will work against the Cowboys' ball-controlled offense. Dallas is 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings and should be primed for a big effort.
Dallas is ranked 2nd in overall team efficiency, while the Giants are ranked 14th by Football Outsiders. I always talk about Special Teams play, especially in division games and Dallas has a significant advantage. The Cowboys are ranked 10th, while the Giants are ranked 21st and heading in the wrong direction. The Cowboys have the #1 ranked offense, while the Giants check in at No. 18. On defense, the Giants have an advantage which is why this line is only minus -3 points. The Giants are ranked 7th, while the Cowboys are ranked 27th according to Football Outsiders. The Giants are one of the worst teams defending Tight Ends this year. Look for Jason Witten to put up some big numbers working the middle of the field. He had nine catches for 66 yards in the first meeting.
The Giants are minus -5 in turnover differential, which is worst mark by any winning team so far this season. The Cowboys are plus +2 and hungry for more. In their past five games they have forced just one turnover. That stat tends to even out in the long run and I would not be shocked if Dallas gets at least two takeaways in this game. The Cowboys are 8-4 SU and 8-4 ATS when playing with revenge over the past three seasons. Dallas is 15-15 SU and 10-19 ATS when playing on Turf over the past three seasons. That's a good stat to like if you're backing the G-Men. However, the Giants are 0-9 SU and 3-6 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 2014.
Jeff's Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Dallas Cowboys -3
I think the Cowboys are super motivated for this rematch and were quite lucky to win last week. Look for a much better effort from Dallas who have had this game circled on their schedule. This could be a rare game where the sharps and public are on the same side. At one high-limit sportsbook, 76% of the bets have been placed on the Cowboys as of late Tuesday night. I have Dallas as 4-point favorites. Light play on the road favorite!
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