New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys Preview and Pick – Point Spread

New York Giants (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-0 SU, 1-0
ATS), 8:20 p.m. EST, Sunday, September 20, 2009, Cowboys Stadium,
Arlington, Texas, TV: NBC

by Badger of

Point Spread: Giants +3/Cowboys -3
Over/Under: 43.5

The Dallas Cowboys will host their longtime NFC East Division rival
New York Giants in the first-ever National Football League game
played in the new, billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium this Sunday in
primetime on NBCs Football Night in America.

Both teams won their regular season openers last weekend, setting the
stage for one of these teams to take an early lead in the race for
the NFC East title.

The Cowboys have officially moved on and have started life A.T.O. after Terrell Owens and its looking really good so far as the
Cowboys drilled Tampa Bay in week one, 34-21. Quarterback Tony Romo
threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, all three to different
receivers, as the Cowboys rolled to a 20-point 4th-quarter lead
before giving up a late touchdown to make the final score look closer.

The Giants on the other hand were involved in a little tougher game
to start the season, outlasting the rival Washington Redskins by a
23-17 score. The Giants defense picked up right where they left off
last season, despite losing coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to the Rams
in the offseason, harassing Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell all
game long and returning a fumble for a score in a game that also
wasnt as close as the score indicates.

The oddsmakers opened the game with the Cowboys listed as the standard 3-point favorites due to the home field advantage, and the point spread
has held firm during the early action at the window. But there are a
few sportsbooks that have moved the number down to Dallas minus -2.5,
and 5Dimes has moved it all the way down to Dallas minus -1
point, so shop around for the best number you can get.

The over/under total opened at 44 and is still listed at the number
in some places, but most of the offshore sportsbooks have dropped the
total to 43.5.

These two teams are nearly identical on offense in terms of
personnel: solid young quarterbacks, big offensive lines, multiple
running backs that feature power and speed, and a bevy of talented
but unproven receivers trying to replace former big-name stars. The
difference is how each team goes about distributing the ball and
their preferred method of distribution.

The Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin prefer to pound it on the
ground with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw (31 runs - 29 passes vs. Wash.), while the Cowboys like to air it out a little more and
let Romo open up the running game (24 runs 27 passes vs. TB).

Clearly, the key to Sundays game will be the Dallas defense. The
unit that ended last season ranked 8th in the NFL was taken to the
woodshed by Tampa Bay and journeyman QB Byron Leftwich last week. The
Bucs racked up 26 first downs and 450 yards of total offense,
including 174 yards on the ground, but somehow were kept off the
scoreboard by the Cowboys defense. Dont think for a second the
Giants coaching staff isnt all over that video, breaking it down
step by step to try and duplicate the same results.

Both teams held serve at home last season to split the series,
including the Cowboys 20-8 victory over the Giants in December last
season. Both teams also covered the point spread at home to split the
against-the-spread series at 1-1 last year too.

However, this is the first game in Dallas owner Jerry Jones pride
and joy known as Cowboys Stadium, so the entire slate needs to be
cleaned in regards to the betting trends in this game.

For the record, the Giants are 9-1 ATS the last 10 times they were
listed as road underdogs. That flies in the face of recent history
though, as it is actually the favorite that is 4-1 ATS in the last
five games head-to-head.

The under also would be a strong play, since it is 4-1 in the Giants last five games versus NFC East teams and also 10-4 in the last 14
games played in Dallas in this series, but that was the old stadium
and therefore needs to be kept in context.

Badgers Pick: This great NFC East showdown turns into a shootout in
primetime, as the Cowboys will look to christen new Cowboys Stadium
in style with a big show on offense. The Giants should be able to
keep up with them, so Im on the over here. Take the over of 43.5.