Early NFL Bettors Support Cowboys in Week 12 vs. Giants

Jason Lake

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 4:24 PM GMT

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 4:24 PM GMT

The Cowboys were a unanimous early NFL pick for their Sunday nighter against New York. They’re still pulling in a supermajority as we go to press. Is there any hope for the G-Men this week?

Jason’s record after Week 10: 28-39 ATS, 11-16-1 Totals

Profit: minus-37.63 units

And they said everything on the Internet is written in permanent marker. When the Week 12 NFL odds first hit the board, the Dallas Cowboys were getting 100 percent support in their Sunday Night Football matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) with their NFC East rivals, the New York Giants. But as we go to press, our consensus reports only show 69 percent of bettors on Dallas as a 3-point road fave (–120). Early information gets overwritten sometimes. But we can confirm that the Cowboys were indeed a unanimous pick.

People (presumably sharp people) are still clearly in favor of betting on Dallas this week. We’ve seen a slight increase in chalk for the Cowboys at several of our featured online sportsbooks; any time the football odds are dancing around that magic number three, it’s doubly important to pay attention to the vigorish and do your comparison shopping, no matter which side you’re betting. But how much of a deal would you need before betting on the Giants seemed like a good idea?

Browse the betting market for the best prices with SBR's live NFL odds

Roughing the Bettor
It’s always nice to see your chosen team get over the +3 hump and grab that extra half-point. It’s the most valuable half-point in NFL betting, with a “fair price” of 21.4 cents (up from 20.8 cents a few years back) according to the calculations at Wizard of Odds. Roughly one-sixth of NFL games end with a winning margin of three, so in a situation like this where the Giants are relatively small home dogs, we can expect that half-point to be a difference-maker when making our NFL pick. A bit less than 1/12th of the time, or somewhere around eight percent. You need to account for the fact that we “expect” Dallas to win by three, but hey, these are all rough estimates anyway.


Roughly eight percent is nothing to sneeze at. But are the Giants (3-7 SU and ATS) even in the neighborhood of losing by just three points to the Cowboys (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS), and not by a couple of touchdowns or so? For another ballpark estimate, we can use the Simple Rating System at Pro Football Reference. Dallas has a plus-1.7 SRS; New York is at minus-4.3 SRS. That’s six points of difference; give the Giants 2.5 points for home-field advantage, and you’re left with… let’s see, carry the one… 3.5 points. Not just in the neighborhood, but right next door.
 

I’m Perhaps Only a Small Loser, Baby
When we look at how great the Cowboys have been doing this year, and how poorly things have gone for the Giants, we have to take strength of schedule into account. And sweet baby corn, Dallas has had it easy thus far. According to the efficiency stats at Football Outsiders, the Cowboys had the No. 29-ranked schedule through Week 10. The Giants? No. 3. That’s fairly consistent with the numbers at PFR through Week 11: No. 29 for Dallas and No. 10 for New York.

We mentioned that the G-Men are on a 0-5 SU and ATS losing streak, with all five opponents being of the tougher variety. Of those losses, only one was by single digits, and that was last week versus the San Francisco 49ers (–4), who won 16-10 at the New Meadowlands. But this losing streak also included a 31-21 final against the Cowboys (–4.5) in Arlington. Once again, we can envision the Giants losing by less this week; flipping home-field advantage should be worth about five points on average.

We’ll see how the NFL odds mature over the next couple of days as we prepare to deliver our football picks against the spread and total. But the takeaway for now is that Sunday’s game isn’t an instant auto-bet on the Cowboys, no matter how much support they got at the open.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":290737, "sportsbooksIds":[19,43,227,1096,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Check out our full coverage for the Cowboys vs Giants:
Back Giants 1st Half Over Cowboys
Betting Trends in Cowboys vs. Giants Scream Over
Betting the Total on Cowboys vs. Giants for Week 12 NFL Picks
Bet 1.4 Units on Cowboys ATS vs. Giants for Week 12
Add Cowboys to Steamroll Giants to Your Week 12 NFL Picks

comment here