I have already given my pick on the spread for this game, and now it’s time for my pick on the total, which currently sits at 48 ½ in the NFL Odds. The spread is still at -3 ½ in favor of the Cowboys, so let’s take a look at the factors surrounding the total in this game, and see if we can find value in it just like we did with the spread.
Both of these teams are going to struggle at one point or another on defense this season, and for both teams, the secondaries seem like the root of the problem. For the Giants, the preseason loss of Stevie Brown is going to sting more than some are letting on. Brown was a great safety opposite of Antrel Rolle, and now the G-Men are forced to go with Ryan Mundy at free safety.
On the other side, the Cowboys have less of a situation at corner, but the combination of David Carr and Morris Claiborne is still short of great. Their main concern will likely be their safeties. Will Allen is no longer a spring chicken after spending a decade in the NFL, and Barry Church played in three games last season. Yes, this is the same Church who had to miss practice this summer because he bit down on a jolly rancher and had to have a root canal. This is the type of intellect we are dealing with the in Cowboys’ secondary.
On top of the issues with the secondaries, these offenses should both be up to the task against one another. The ‘Over’ cashed more during the first two weeks of the season last year, and I think that early season ‘Over’ trend will carry over in this season. I believe 48 ½ is just a bit too low for these high-powered offenses, and after what we saw on Thursday night, the ‘Over’ could be the bet of Week 1.
Also worth noting is Anthony Spencer for the Cowboys is doubtful, and that will let off some pressure on Eli Manning, and on the Giants side, their best pass rusher, Jason Pierre-Paul is a game time decision. If both of these guys don’t play, that just enforces my free pick on the ‘Over’.
The Sharp Pick
With the injuries, the inconsistency and the offenses for both of these teams, I think 50 points scored is very reasonable to believe for this game. The change in defensive scheme for the Cowboys going from Rob Ryan to Monte Kiffin is going to take some time to adjust to, and I see Manning and the Giants’ offense taking advantage of the scheme change, along with the likely confusion at some point in this game.
The Giants’ and Cowboys’ offenses are being very underrated this season in both fantasy football and handicapping, and while there may be some familiarity among these two teams, the ‘Over’, along with the Giants taking points seem to be the best NFL Pick. The ‘Over’ has cashed in six of the last eight games these two teams have played one another, as well as four out of the last five times these two have played from Dallas. Take the ‘Over’; it should be a shootout in Big D.
My Pick: ‘Over’ 48 ½ at Bet 365