Dallas Cowboys (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. New York Giants (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS)
NFL Football Week 12
Date and Time: November 23 8:30pm ET
Where: MetLife Stadium
by Evergreen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:DAL -3.5/NYG +3.5
Over/Under Total: 48
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It is tough to be an also-ran this early in the season but that is exactly what the New York Giants are as the welcome the Dallas Cowboys for Sunday Night Football. Outside the x-factor that comes with divisional games, this one seems like it could be a walk for Dallas but, as they say, that is why we play the games. The Cowboys will be looking to stay atop the NFC East and spoiling the Boys trip is all that is on the mind of the Giants.
The Vegas books and the online betting sites have Dallas as 3.5 point favorites with the over/under listed at 48. The Giants are scuffling of late, going 0-5 against the spread in their last five games and 0-4 ATS in the last four against the NFC. Dallas is riding a four-game ATS win streak as the visitor and has won four of the last five ATS against New York. The over has hit in the last four games between these teams.
The bye week came at a good time for the Cowboys as it gave Tony Romo a good rest to get his back feeling better. The Cowboys lost consecutive games while Romo was either out or limited but dumped the Jaguars in London with Romo two weeks ago. Dallas got the better of the Giants in week 7, winning 31-21. Romo and Eli Manning dueled with each throwing three touchdown passes but the Giants had no answer for DeMarco Murrays 128 rushing yards and the Cowboys cruised. That was Dallas third consecutive win against the Giants and fourth in the last five games.
It seems clear that Dallas will keep pounding Murray as is it has worked for them so far. Murray has 1,233 yards and seven touchdowns entering the week and has been the key to the offensive and defensive success. The Cowboys run, control the clock and look for a couple of big passes off of play-action to score, averaging an 8th best, 26.1 points per game. That ball control keeps a suspect defense off the field and they are fresh when they are put to work. Dallas was awful on defense last year and they arent much better on a per-play average this year but they rank no worse than 15th in any yardage category and rank 10th in points allowed, giving up 21.2 per game. Running the ball has cured all ills in Dallas.
New York stumbled out of the game but looked pretty good after winning three straight and sitting 3-2 heading into week six. Unfortunately, they havent won a game since and really havent looked good in most of those losses. They have faced a tough schedule during that span with games at Seattle, Dallas, Philly and Indianapolis but the Giants were clearly outmatched in those games and didnt put up much of a fight. A 16-10 loss to San Francisco last week included a five interception performance by Manning and the return of Rashad Jennings did little to spark a sputtering offense. A fresh Dallas squad will not make for an easy week to turn things around.
Dallas might not need much more than a run-first gameplan against the NFLs worst run defense but they can still handle business if the Giants sell out to stop Murray. Romo still has good chemistry with Dez Bryant and the big wideout had 151 yards in the first meeting. Gavin Escobar and Jason Witten combined for 92 yards and two scores in that week 7 contest so there is little reason to think that Giants can hold the Cowboys down. Eli Manning does have a couple of good receivers in Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham but really needs a return to form by Jennings. The Giants offense was at its best when Jennings was healthy and averaging over 100 yards from scrimmage. Some production there could give Manning more time to find Randle, Beckham and tight end Larry Donnell, who had 90 yards the last time these teams met. Some kind of back-and-forth shootout favors the Giants so expect New York to push the pace on both offense and defense.
Dallas has been hard to trust over the past few years and late November is right about the time that they start going in the wrong direction. That could be good news for New York but the G-Men are just too incomplete on both sides of the ball to stop a full-strength Cowboys squad coming off a bye. Dallas will land the body blows with Murray and fall back in coverage when the Giants turn to the pass. There are eight Cowboys with at least three pass break-ups and Manning will likely toss a few interceptions along the way. I expect the Beckham and Manning combination to see success again but that alone isnt enough to win or cover. Too much Dallas running, plain and simple. Dallas 27 New York 20
Evergreen’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: DALLAS