#Betting101: Will Spags Bag the Cash on Early Week 14 NFL Lines?

Jason Lake

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 1:18 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 1:18 PM UTC

The New York Giants have a new (interim) head coach, and with Eli Manning back under center, they’re the hot NFL pick for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys vs N.Y. Giants

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Free NFL Pick: Giants +6
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

Maybe this is the job Steve Spagnuolo was born to do. Spagnuolo was a Super Bowl-winning defensive co-ordinator for the New York Giants before taking his first head coaching gig with the St. Louis Rams in 2009. That didn’t work out so well; the Rams went 10-38 in Spagnuolo’s three years at the helm, and by 2015, Spags was back at his old job with the G-Men. Now he’s getting a second chance under the headset, taking over on an interim basis after head coach Ben McAdoo (and GM Jerry Reese) were fired Monday.

This coaching change may or may not turn New York’s fortunes around, but it should make them a better NFL pick when they host the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX). According to our expanded consensus reports, the Giants have the highest average bet size on the very early Week 14 NFL odds board, pulling in $116 a pop as 4.5-point puppies. That’s down from +6 at the open, even though only 41 percent of bettors are on Big Blue at press time. Looks like New York is the sharp pick this week.

From Spags to Riches

There are a number of reasons to follow the money and put the Giants in your NFL picks – especially when they’re still available at +6 as we go to press. There’s the coaching switch from McAdoo to Spagnuolo; these midseason changes used to be ATS suicide, but since 2008, teams have gone 8-2 ATS in the first game for their new coaches. More specifically for Sunday, Spagnuolo will give QB Eli Manning his starting job back, after McAdoo gave Geno Smith a shot in last week’s 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders (–10 at home).

Then you have the questions surrounding Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. Word on the street is he’ll start Sunday’s game after hurting his throwing hand during last Thursday’s 38-14 win over Washington (–1.5 away), but that hand got swoled up real good after Prescott made contact with Josh Harvey-Clemons’ helmet.

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Dak Prescott's right hand seems to be swelling more by the second. Can't be easy to throw when your hand looks like a bubble. #WASvsDAL #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/vXEkcrEyL6

— John Breech (@johnbreech) December 1, 2017

At least the Cowboys won that game to stop their 0-3 SU and ATS slide without RB Ezekiel Elliott in the lineup. Arguably more important is the presence of LT Tyron Smith, who returned from a groin injury in Week 12. LB Sean Lee (hamstring) is expected to come off the injured list this Sunday, but none of these players is at full health, and the Giants figure to come out with all guns blazing against their NFC East foes. We’ll buy that for a dollar.

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