NFL Week 1 Pick: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:51 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 10:51 PM UTC

Surprise, surprise, the NFL put America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, on the Sunday night Week 1 prime-time telecast against a rival from the country’s No. 1 media market.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-4, 47.5)

The only team to beat Dallas twice last year was the NFC East-rival Giants, so you know the Cowboys are itching for some payback to kick off the 2017 season. Injuries/suspensions may play a big role here. Survivor Pick: Cowboys.

Two of the best young offensive players in the NFL are Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Early this week, it was possible neither was on the field Sunday night in Arlington. In a minor upset, Elliott will play -- which changed my pick on this game. He was suspended six games by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Elliott appealed, as all players do, and it was held up -- but because the decision came after some arbitrary deadline, Elliott gets to play in Week 1. I don't pretend to understand. He had one of the best rookie seasons ever for a running back in 2016 in leading the NFL with 1,613 yards to go along with 15 TDs – both Cowboys rookie records. Elliott had 44 carries for 158 yards and a TD in two games vs. New York. Beckham suffered a scary-looking knee injury in the Giants’ second preseason game vs. the Browns. OBJ avoided ligament damage but suffered a sprain; it would be an upset if Beckham isn’t on the field here. He had 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 scores last year, and eight catches for 167 and a score vs. Dallas.  

  • Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC.
  • Giants are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Free NFL Pick: Cowboys -4Best Line Offered: Bet365

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Dallas will be without a key defensive player in middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens. He’s out around eight weeks with a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee but is lucky it wasn’t a season-ending torn ACL. Hitchens had 78 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2016. Some combination of Jaylon Smith and Justin Durant will take his place. Smith shredded his knee in his final game at Notre Dame and missed his 2016 rookie season. Durant was signed before this year’s training camp began. This will be the debut of Giants receiver Brandon Marshall, who was cut by the Jets this offseason. New York could have one of the best WR trios in the league in Beckham, Marshall and Sterling Shepard. As noted above, the Giants swept Dallas last year but it was by only a combined four points. The teams met Week 1 in AT&T Stadium and the Giants won 20-19. Elliott was held to 51 yards and a TD, while Dak Prescott was 25-for-45 for 227 yards. Eli Manning threw for 207 yards and three scores – Beckham caught four passes for 73 yards but didn’t score. Both games stayed well under the total last year, and I see no reason why this should be any different thanks to that excellent New York defense and maybe a less-than-100 percent Beckham. 

  • Under is 7-2 in Giants last 9 games overall.
  • Under is 7-2 in Giants last 9 road games.
  • Under is 7-3 in Giants last 10 vs. NFC.
Free NFL Pick: ‘Under’ 47.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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