The New York Giants must enjoy their trips to the Lone Star State, as they are 4-1 both straight up and against the spread the last five times they've traveled to take on the division rival Dallas Cowboys. Eli Manning and Co. will try to make up a game on the NFC East-leading Cowboys when the teams meet Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.
Point spread: The Cowboys opened as five-point favorites; the total was 48 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 25.6-20.2 Cowboys
Why the Giants can cover the spread
The Giants laid an egg Sunday night in Philadelphia, but before that, they had won and covered three games in a row. New York opened the season by scoring a total of 28 points in losses to Detroit and Arizona and then scored 30, 45 and 30 in wins over Houston, Washington and Atlanta. The Giants suffered a regression against the Eagles, but, hey, it happens.
By the numbers, New York doesn't impress, ranking 24th in total offense and 22nd in total defense. The keys this week will be to run the ball with Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams and to stop Dallas' DeMarco Murray.
Why the Cowboys can cover the spread
The Cowboys are making a claim as the best team in football at the moment. They've won five in a row, going 4-1 ATS in the process, and just beat the defending Super Bowl champions on their home field, supposedly one of the toughest places in the league to play. Dallas spotted Seattle the first 10 points last Sunday and then flew past the Seahawks for a 30-23 victory as a 10-point dog.
The Cowboys, led by 115 yards on 29 carries by Murray, outrushed Seattle 162-80 and won time of possession by a 38-22 margin. Do you think there's any correlation between Murray's carries and Dallas' victories? Finally, Dallas won't have to deal with Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who unfortunately is out for the season after suffering a knee injury Sunday night.
Dallas just beat the defending champs, while New York just got shut out and lost one of its best players. But are the Cowboys ripe for a letdown? And might the Giants be in line for a rebound?
This is one of those rivalries where the records don't matter, and the line on this contest might get pushed toward Dallas. So the smart money in this spot might reside with New York, plus the points.
- NY Giants is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games on the road.
- Dallas is 4-1 ATS in its last five games.