It’s nothing like the situation in Buffalo, but nasty weather could play a role in East Rutherford when the New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. Does the UNDER belong in your NFL picks?
Jason’s record after Week 11: 29-43 ATS, 13-17-1 Totals
Profit: minus-45.95 units
The weather outside is frightful. Freezing temperatures were recorded in all 50 states on Tuesday – yes, even Hawai’i was affected. November hasn’t been this cold in nearly 40 years. The Great Lakes region has gotten the worst of it, especially in western New York state, where they’ve had to send in the National Guard. The Buffalo Bills won’t even get to host the New York Jets on Sunday; their game has been moved to Monday night at Ford Field in Detroit.
Meanwhile, in East Rutherford, we’re looking at a beautiful, sunny (if somewhat chilly) weekend. But there’s rain on the horizon, and it should arrive in time for Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC), when the New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys at the New Meadowlands. The NFL odds for Week 12 have served up a total of 47.5 points for Sunday’s matchup; the OVER is getting about 2:1 support as we go to press, but the weather might give us enough reason to bet the other way.
Making the Wind and Rain
Week 12 is usually pretty early for busting out weather-related NFL picks, but Old Man Winter is already here. Which means it’s time to get reacquainted with Richard Borghesi. He published a couple of very useful academic papers in 2007 that dealt with the impact of weather on football betting, and when it came to NFL totals, the UNDER did better in the wind and rain, while the OVER performed better in the cold and snow.
This is because of the elements themselves, plus the betting market’s reaction to the elements. We all freak out when the snow starts hitting the ground, but as it turns out, snow doesn’t really impede the game of football all that much – unless it snows big-time, like in Buffalo. Rain, on the other hand, can really screw things up. Ever tried to catch a greased pig? With 11 very large men trying to take your head off at the shoulders?
We’re about to witness something similar. That’s if the weather reports are accurate; there’s a 100-percent chance of precipitation over the New Meadowlands Sunday night, with about half an inch of rain expected, and winds from 10-15 mph. The rain is supposed to continue into Monday, as well. It’s possible that the game will be over and done with before things get too bad, but for now, it’s looking pretty bleak.
Always Bring a Raincoat
One of the other big takeaways from Borghesi’s work is how poorly warm-weather teams perform in these conditions. We weren’t quite ready to fade the Cowboys when we made our football picks against the spread, but this would be a good time to mention that the UNDER is 18-12 in the last 30 road games Dallas played in December – we’ll use that month for comparison’s sake, since that’s the weather at the moment.
Then you have the fact that the Giants (OVER 6-4) are playing some horrible football these days, particularly on offense, where they’ve fallen to No. 24 overall (No. 24 pass, No. 21 rush) on the DVOA charts at Football Outsiders. New York’s No. 22-ranked defense has also played a role in the team’s demise, which is why the OVER has remained profitable this year. And we can’t completely dismiss the Cowboys (OVER 5-4-1) and their No. 8-ranked offense (No. 9 pass, No. 4 rush), nor their No. 21-ranked defense. But all those numbers were built up over the course of the season, mostly in good weather. That’s not what’s in the forecast this Sunday.
Free NFL Pick: Bet 'Under' 47.5 (–102) at 5Dimes
Check out our full coverage for the Cowboys vs Giants:
Back Giants 1st Half Over Cowboys
Betting Trends in Cowboys vs. Giants Scream Over
Early NFL Bettors Support Cowboys
Bet 1.4 Units on Cowboys ATS vs. Giants for Week 12
Add Cowboys to Steamroll Giants to Your Week 12 NFL Picks