New York Giants (0-0) at Dallas Cowboys (0-0)
As weird as it might sound, the Cowboys have had trouble at home in recent years, especially as home favorites. In fact, they’re 8-26 ATS as home favorites since 2010. They’re only favored by one point here (it’s also a pick ‘em in many places), but they haven’t been good in general at home in recent years. Their home field advantage over the past 6 seasons has only been about a point. That’s weirdly true of the entire NFC East, which is a combined 59-39 ATS as road underdogs since 2008, including 44-24 ATS as divisional road underdogs over that time period. The Giants are 39-26 ATS as road underdogs since 2004, including 17-10 ATS as road divisional underdogs over that time period.
In addition to all of the trends, the Cowboys could struggle at the start of the season and don’t deserve to be favored here at all, especially given that they don’t have much homefield advantage. Tony Romo is once again hurt and will miss at least the first month of the season, leaving 4th round rookie Dak Prescott to start in his absence. The Cowboys’ offense struggled mightily in Romo’s absence last season. Prescott looked good in the pre-season and should be better than any of their backup quarterbacks were last year, but he’s still completely unproven and could struggle through growing pains as a rookie. Prescott will have a healthy Dez Bryant and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, which the Cowboys didn’t have last season, but they’re offense takes a big hit without Romo.
The Cowboys also figure to once again struggle mightily on defense, especially early in the year with starters Rolando McClain, Randy Gregory, and DeMarcus Lawrence all suspended. McClain, a linebacker, might not play all season and the Cowboys are especially thin at defensive end without Gregory and Lawrence. Career backups Jack Crawford and Benson Mawoya will be every down defensive ends to begin the season. The Giants have issues on the right side of the offensive line, at linebacker, and at safety, but they’re improved from last season, especially on defensive line. I like them to pick up the early road win here, but I wouldn’t put any money on it.
New York Giants 31 Dallas Cowboys 27 Upset Pick +100
Pick against the spread: NY Giants +1