One of the more exciting games of Week 1 will surely come on the first edition of Sunday Night Football as the Giants travel to Dallas to do battle with the Cowboys. It’s a key divisional showdown in the always competitive NFC East. You could make the argument all four teams have improved and certainly all four teams expect to make the post-season in 2017.
Much of the pre-game chatter for this contest has surrounded the statuses of Ezekiel Elliott and Odell Beckham Jr. Both are huge stars and are massively important to both of their teams moving the chains. After some confusion surrounding Elliott’s suspension, it seems like he will be able to play through 2017 uninterrupted, and he will definitely be raring to go on Sunday evening. The sophomore back is a hard and elusive runner and has the kind of skill-set that can give the Giants’ stop unit fits.
For Beckham, his status remains a little more in doubt as of Sunday morning. While he travelled with the team to Dallas, many pundits are suggesting his chances of suiting up and playing to his full ability are no better than ‘50-50’. If he can’t go it’ll be a huge loss for the Giants, but look for Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard to try and pick up the slack.
It is always a great way to start the year when these historic rivals square off. Divisional games always mean a ton – and when you get them in Week 1, you can feel the intensity right away. Read on below for detailed game analysis and an official betting selection for Giants/Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
Giants vs. Cowboys Betting Odds:
New York Giants +4 (-110)
@ Dallas Cowboys -4 (-110)
Over 47.5 (-110)
Under 47.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Cowboys Pick:
The news isn’t sounding good in the lead-up to kick off for the Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. Though there are a ton of conflicting reports and surely some intentional misdirection, even if the talented wideout does play – he won’t be anywhere near 100 percent.
One talented player who will be playing will be Ezekiel Elliott – the Cowboys running back. The Giants do have a strong defensive front, and Dallas’ O-Line has likely gotten worse – but Elliott is a dominating runner who can move the chains consistently.
Add in sophomore QB Dak Prescott’s mobility – and that dual threat attack should keep New York guessing for much of the night. The Giants have shown an inability to effectively defend against the aerial attack, specifically as it pertains to covering tight ends. Their linebacking crew is among the worst in the league, and as a result look for the veteran Jason Witten to be counted upon on Sunday.
When the Giants have the ball, their biggest concern has to be protecting Eli Manning – because they can’t. Look for DeMarcus Lawrence and Taco Charlton to be forces against this porous O-Line and make life very tough on Manning. Add in potentially not having Beckham Jr. to bail him out, and Eli could be forced into some turnovers and mistakes.
One area the Giants likely aren’t scaring anybody with is their run game. Paul Perkins isn’t a threat behind that weak offensive line, and as a result the Cowboys can allocate their secondary to worry about New York’s options through the air.
Though the Giants have improved and taken steps, it won’t be enough on night one to overtake the Cowboys – who are still the class of the NFC East. Beckham Jr. or not, look for Dallas to control the lines of scrimmage and utilize Elliott to move the chains with regularity. With only having to lay four points at home, the value lines with the favoured Cowboys on Sunday night.
PICK = Cowboys -4 (-110)