NFL Picks: Giants vs. Cowboys Week 1 Early Odds & Prediction

Jeff Grant

Thursday, June 13, 2013 1:35 PM GMT

Thursday, Jun. 13, 2013 1:35 PM GMT

The Dallas Cowboys have been terrible betting favorites in recent years, but that trend may start to reverse course with their season opener against the New York Giants. 


Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting odds for this NFC East matchup in Week 1 at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 8, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. 

Disappointing result

New York owned the best point differential in the division a year ago, outscoring opponents by 85 points, but it didn’t translate into a spot in the playoffs with the Washington Redskins landing that role.

The Giants finished with a 9-7 straight up (SU) and 7-8-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record in 2012, with the UNDER cashing in 11 of 16 contests.

Stuck in neutral 

Dallas has tallied back-to-back 8-8 seasons, while the team continues to underperform against the oddsmakers—finishing with a 6-10 ATS mark in 2012. 

The Cowboys must perform better against divisional foes if they plan on reaching the playoffs, as they’ve compiled a 5-7 record in such contests over the last two campaigns. 

Plenty of question marks 

NFL handicappers have always been able to bank on the Giants having one of the better defensive line units in football, but that might not be the case in the early going in 2013. 

Osi Umenyiora has moved on with the Atlanta Falcons, while fellow defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul underwent back surgery earlier this week—a recovery period that could potentially extend into the start of the regular season.

This personnel group has given New York a major advantage over Dallas when matching up in recent years, but that might not be the case in Week 1.

Romo 

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo hasn’t participated in OTAs in recent weeks, as he recovers from offseason back surgery, but he’s been helping the coaching staff with offensive installation and game planning throughout. 

The 33-year-old completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,903 yards, while throwing for 28 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 2012.

Romo has the potential of putting up big numbers in the season opener, considering he threw for 744 combined yards in two meetings with the Giants a year ago.

[gameodds]16/226881/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cowboys as one of their early Week 1 NFL picks, as the Giants have numerous question marks in terms of personnel, including their two best receivers.

Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have both voiced their displeasure with their current contract situation—something that often weighs heavily on a team leading up to a new season.

NFL Pick: Dallas Cowboys -3 at BET 365

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