Dallas Cowboys at NY Giants Pick Against the Spread

by | Last updated Sep 9, 2023 | nfl

Dallas Cowboys (12-5 SU, 10-7 ATS) vs. New York Giants (9-7-1 SU, 13-4 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, September 10, 8:20 PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Point Spread: Dal -3.5 / NYG +3.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5

What better way to start off Sunday Night Football than with one of the NFL’s premier rivalries? The Cowboys head to the Big Apple to open the 2023 NFL season against the Giants in front of a national TV audience. BOVADA.LV is making the visiting Cowboys 3½ point favorites and setting the game total at 46½. We’ll gladly back the G-Men at a field goal or higher. Here is the handicap.

The Giant Offense Will Be Improved

Brian Daboll took over as New York’s head coach last year and turned the team around. Daniel Jones was on a career path that would have him as a backup this year, and Daboll designed an offense to highlight Jones’ strengths, and he enters 2023 as a top 20 starter on the rise. The Giants finished 2022 in the middle of the pack and should improve this year. Saquon Barkley also resurrected his career last year totaling 1650 scrimmage yards and will again be the focus point when New York has the ball. But the addition of tight end Darren Waller will make the Giant offense more dynamic in 2023. Waller is a top 3 receiving tight end when he is healthy, and we saw in the pre-season that Daboll intends for Waller to be the focal point of the passing game. I expect New York to line Waller up all over the formation this Sunday, creating match-up problems for the Cowboys and allowing the Giants to sustain drives and put points on the board. Barkley will still get his touches and yards, along with a combination of Jones designed runs and scrambles when plays break down. New York’s offensive line will have their hands full with Dallas front, but Daboll understands the need to get the ball out quick and should have the game plan to get the job done.

The Cowboy defense was 3rd in sacks last year, led by All-World pass rusher Micah Parsons, and they will be just as good this year. If there is a weakness in the Cowboy defense, it is their ability to stop the run and their linebacker’s in-pass defense. I think they struggle to match up with Waller and to stop the Giant running game, allowing the Giants to win the time-of-possession battle and keep this game close. Dallas led the league in takeaways last year, but Daboll will be very careful when he does get in 3rd and long to prevent giving the Cowboys a short field. I don’t think the Giants’ offense can totally dominate this contest, but they will sustain multiple drives, so this game will be close in the second half.

Dallas Offense Has A Lot To Prove

Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore was told to pack his bags, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy will directly manage the offense in 2023. The last time he was in that role, he had Future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers running the show, and it still wasn’t real pretty. McCarthy will probably orchestrate a slower-paced, more conservative approach than Moore did, which will knock the Cowboys down from their position of scoring the 3rd most points in the league. It will also put more pressure on QB Dak Prescott, who threw 15 interceptions last year. I expect the Dallas offense to start slow this year as they get more familiar with the new offense. They are also without long-time starting running back Ezekiel Elliott, and although Tony Pollard is the more dynamic player, Elliott was a proficient pass blocker and could convert tough yards on the ground. The Cowboys have a lot of talent on offense, but I look for a slow start this year.

DC Wink Martindale and the New York defense will do everything they can to pressure Prescott into bad decisions. Martindale will send exotic blitzes to challenge Pollard in pass protection and make Prescott uncomfortable. The Giant defense is strong up front, so they should hold up well against the Cowbly strong O-Line and will have to focus on containing Pollard on the ground. New York has some new players in their defensive backfield for 2023, and their play will be key this week.

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3.5 Points Is Too Many

I like the Cowboys this year, and I know the Giants played a little over their head last year, but I don’t understand how this line is more than a field goal. It is a division game in week 1, which both point toward lower scoring, making it highly likely this game is won by 3 points or less. There is a lot of uncertainty for both of these teams heading into the year, and both offenses will have a conservative bias in Week 1, which should keep the score down and the game close. The line implies that if this game were in Dallas, the Cowboys would be more than touchdown favorites, which is crazy. Dallas is a very public team which should keep the line above 3, but there is also a good chance a lot of money comes in on New York as we get close to kick-off.

Take The Points and Play the Giants

The only way to play this week 1 Sunday Night Football game is to grab the 3.5 points and ride with the Giants. I also lean under 46.5 on the game total.

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