Giants vs. Cowboys Odds & Picks: Bet On Dallas In Crucial NFC East Battle
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Amari Cooper
Giants vs. Cowboys Odds
The Cowboys head to the Meadowlands to battle the Giants with a potential playoff spot on the line. It’s pretty simple for both teams: To win the NFC East, they need to win this game and have the Washington Football team lose to the Eagles on Sunday Night Football.
The Cowboys are suddenly resurgent after winning three straight games with Andy Dalton under center. What seemed to have been a lost season after Dak Prescott went down can now potentially be a division championship — they’ll just have to get by one of the stingiest defenses in the NFC.
Four week ago, the Giants looked like they were going to win the NFC East handily. Since then, they’ve lost three straight games and have managed to score only 26 points in the process. Daniel Jones is healthy again to start at quarterback, but he’ll have to do it with a lot of his weapons out on Sunday.
The last time the Cowboys faced the Giants, Prescott was getting carted off the field with a season-ending injury. The good news is that Dallas had a backup in Dalton, who is looking solid under center. In the last three games, he has the Cowboys offense clicking on all cylinders, gaining 6.2 yards per play.
The Cowboys’ passing attack has been lighting up the scoreboard over the past three games, as Dalton has thrown for a whopping 8.5 yards per attempt and completed seven touchdown passes. With all of his weapons in the passing game healthy, he should be able to continue that trend.
The rushing attack has been average over the past few weeks, but the emergence of Tony Pollard gives Dallas a boost. The good news is both Ezekiel Elliott and Pollard are healthy to play, so Dallas also has all of its weapons on the ground at its disposal.
The biggest problem with the Cowboys’ defense is they’re giving up way too many explosive plays. They’re in the bottom 10 of the NFL in both explosive rushing and passing plays allowed, per Sharp Football Stats. That is the main reason they’re allowing 5.9 yards per play and 30 points per game.
The Cowboys are actually pretty solid against the pass, ranking in the top 10 in defensive passing success while allowing 7.4 yards per attempt. However, they really struggle against the run, allowing a whopping 5.0 yards per carry (dead last in the NFL).
The good news is that the Giants don’t have a potent rushing attack with Saquon Barkley on the sidelines, so the Cowboys may not get exposed.
New York Giants
To say the Giants offense has been anemic the last three games would be an understatement.
They’re gaining only 4.4 yards per play — the lowest average in the NFL over the past three weeks. Their passing attack has flat-out stunk. And Jones, over the past two weeks, is throwing for only 6.0 yards per attempt and has just one touchdown pass.
To make matters worse, he will be missing a lot of his weapons — tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Golden Tate are out, while wide receiver Sterling Shepard is questionable.
What’s kept the Giants offense afloat this season is their rushing attack, which hasn’t been that bad, even with Barkley out for the year. The Giants are gaining 4.4 yards per carry, but rank 23rd in rushing success rate. How you beat the Cowboys defense is running the football, so the Giants will need to lean on their ground game.
The reason the Giants even have a shot at making the playoffs is because of their defense. New York has been steadily improving over the second half of the season and is allowing only 5.5 yards play, 11th in the NFL.
The secondary has been terrible from a success rate standpoint, ranking 29th in defensive success. However, the unit does not get beat deep, ranking sixth in explosive passing plays allowed. The Giants are going to need to keep that trend going against this potent Cowboys passing attack.
The strength of this defense is stopping the run. They rank ninth in rushing success allowed and allow only 4.1 yards per attempt. If they’re going to win this game, they’re going to have to do it with their defense, because the offense isn’t giving them much help at the moment.
With all of the weapons missing on the offensive side of the ball for the Giants, they’re going to have a tough time moving the ball — they’re the least-explosive offense in the NFL.
Dalton has looked fantastic over the last three weeks and has all of his weapons ready to go, so the Cowboys should cruise to a victory.
I have them projected around 2.5-point favorites, so there’s value on them at -1.
Pick: Cowboys -1 (up to -1.5)