Dallas Cowboys (7-3) at New York Giants (3-7)
One of the more powerful trends says that road favorites of 3 or more are incredibly dominant off of a bye, going 40-12 ATS since 2002, including 21-4 ATS in divisional matchups, like this one here. It makes sense. The Cowboys are a significantly better team than the Giants and should be very well prepared for this game with 2 weeks off and take care of business. On the season, they move the chains at a 76.01% rate, as opposed to 72.54% for their opponents, a differential of 3.48% that ranks 10th in the NFL. The Giants, meanwhile, rank 22nd, moving the chains at a 71.87% rate, as opposed to 74.45% for their opponents, a differential of -2.59%.
The Giants also don’t have quite the same homefield advantage as most teams do, at least they haven’t in recent history. In the Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning era, since 2004, the Giants are 51-41 on the road, getting outscored by an average of 0.51 points per game, as opposed to 50-39 at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 2.71 points per game. The Giants seem to only be marginally better at home. This isn’t unique to them as the whole NFC East recently has had less homefield advantage than average. At home, the NFC East is 72-81 since 2010, outscoring opponents by an average of 0.96 points per game and going 57-93 ATS. On the road, they are 73-77, getting outscored by an average of 2.37 points per game and going 79-69 ATS. As you can imagine, road teams in NFC East divisional games tend to do well, going 31-22 ATS over that time period. The Cowboys are already a perfect 4-0 on the road this season and looking to push it to 5-0 this week.
There are two reasons why this isn’t a bigger play on Dallas. One, Dallas has to play Philadelphia in 4 days on Thanksgiving. Favorites are 36-58 ATS before Thursday Night Football since 2008. Two, on the other hand, the Giants have an easy game in Jacksonville where they are currently projected to be 3.5 point favorites. Teams are 85-57 ATS since 2012 before being road favorites of 3 or more and home underdogs are 68-42 ATS since 2002 before being road favorites. They don’t have the same upcoming distraction that the Cowboys have. However, I still like Dallas as big road favorites off of a bye in a place that hasn’t had a ton of homefield advantage recently.
Dallas Cowboys 34 New York Giants 24
Pick against the spread: Dallas -3.5