Monday Night Football: New York Giants (2-0) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Opening Line: Giants -3.
Opening Game Total: 39.5.
Team Totals: (21.25), (18.25).
Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns.
The Line Report
- This line opened as Giants -3.
- This line has moved down to Giants -1.5 as of Saturday evening.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Giants -1.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Giants as a pick’em.
- This total opened at 39.5 points and that’s where it’s currently settled.
Giants: WR Wan’Dale Robinson (Out), CB Aaron Robinson (Out), WR Kadarius Toney (Doubtful), DL Leonard Williams (Doubtful), EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Questionable), EDGE Azeez Ojulari (Questionable).
Cowboys: QB Dak Prescott (Out), LG Connor McGovern (Out), WR Michael Gallup (Questionable), TE Dalton Schultz (Questionable), Quinton Bohanna (Questionable), LB Micah Parsons (Questionable), S Jayron Kearse (Questionable).
The Giants Offense vs. Cowboys Defense
Giants LT Andrew Thomas has started this season strong. That said, the Giants interior remains at the bottom-of-the-barrel and blue-chip RT Evan Neal is entering his third game as a pro here. Cowboys’ superstar linebacker Micah Parsons doesn’t always rush the passer, but he’s a major factor in that phase. When including Parsons as part of the Cowboys front, Dallas has a significant trench edge in the passing game.
Kadarius Toney is doubtful, rookie Wan’Dale is Robinson out, and Kenny Golladay has been a complete non-factor since joining the Giants. In their current state, you could argue that the Giants enter this game with the worst group of pass catchers in the league.
Notes and Observations
- The Giants are 2-0 against the spread this season.
- The Giants are 0-2 on overs this season.
- Per The Edge, Daniel Jones is 29th in the league in passing yards and tenth among quarterbacks with 46 yards rushing.
- Jones has only had one notable game on the ground against Dallas in his career, where he had 54 yards rushing during his rookie season in 2019.
- Saquon Barkley is far and away the best offensive player that the Giants have. Among running backs Barkley is second in the league in rushing and 23rd in yards receiving.
- Through the first two games the Cowboys have allowed the 12th-most rushing yards and the 11th-fewest yards receiving to running backs.
- Despite coming off an Achilles injury, Sterling Shepard leads the Giants in target share (26.4%) and team air yards share (47.7%). Richie James Jr. is second in both of those categories, though he has 32 fewer snaps than Shepard.
- The Dallas Cowboys have allowed the 11th-most yards receiving on the 16th-most receptions to wide receivers this season.
- That wide receiver production came against the Buccaneers and Bengals, who both have top-five caliber wide receivers’ groups at full strength. This Giants wide receiver group sits at the other side of the spectrum.
- Giants tight ends Daniel Bellinger and Tanner Hudson have been non-factors in the passing game through the first two weeks.
- The Cowboys have allowed the third-fewest yards on the 14th-fewest receptions to tight ends this season.
The Cowboys Offense vs. Giants Defense
The Cowboys offensive line had a very rough opening day against the Buccaneers. They were much, much better during last week’s win against the Bengals, though. I have the Cowboys offensive line ranked 17th in their present state. The Giants best defensive player is Leonard Williams, who is listed as doubtful for this contest. Even if Giants edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari suit up for this game, it will be their first action of the season. If the Giants front four was at full strength, they’d have a trench edge in this contest. As things stand now, I’m treating this as a relative stalemate.
Notes and Observations
- The Cowboys are 1-1 against the spread this season.
- The Cowboys are 0-2 on overs this season.
- Per The Edge, Cooper Rush was 16th in passing yards, ninth in yards per attempt, and 26th in air yards per attempt in Week 2.
- To frame that another way, the Cowboys were relatively conservative with their backup quarterback last week while being able to generate strong yards after the catch against the Bengals.
- We can reasonably expect a similar macro game plan for Rush on Monday Night Football. Perhaps with a shot play or two mixed in.
- Ezekiel Elliott is 24th in rushing yards while Tony Pollard is 45th among running backs. Pollard is eighth among running backs in yards receiving, while Elliott has caught two-of-four targets for negative seven yards receiving.
- The Giants have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards and the eighth-most yards receiving to enemy backs this season.
- CeeDee Lamb is the expected alpha in the Cowboys wide receiver room with a team leading target share (31%) and team air yards share (41%).
- Michael Gallup has not yet been ruled out for this contest as of Saturday night. If Gallup can’t go, Noah Brown is the WR2 in Dallas.
- The Giants have allowed the fifth-fewest yards receiving on the fifth-fewest receptions to opposing wide receivers this season.
- Among tight ends Dalton Schultz is seventh in the league in target share (18.3%). Schultz is currently on the injury report.
- The Giants have allowed the 11th fewest yards receiving on the 12th fewest receptions to tight ends this season.
This is What You’re Betting On in Giants vs. Cowboys
A bet on the Giants is a bet on an overachieving Giants team that has won their first two games behind good defense and smart coaching. Leonard Williams is trending towards missing this contest. If he does, this will be a big blow for a Giants defensive front that could greatly impact this game. If Dak Prescott was playing in this contest, Dallas might be a 4-point road favorite or more. Since Cooper Rush is the Cowboys quarterback, a bet on the Giants is a bet against Rush. My biggest concern with a bet on the Giants is, outside of a heroic Saquon Barkley game like he had on opening day, how does this offense exceed expectations against the Cowboys defense?
A bet on the Cowboys is a bet on Cooper Rush keeping Dallas alive until Dak Prescott returns. It’s also a bet on a backup quarterback winning two games in a row. Aside from that, the Cowboys defense has two major advantages against the Giants offense. Dallas has an edge in the trenches and against New York’s thin wide receiver group. Factor in Daniel Jones being among the least reliable starting quarterbacks in the league, and a dominant performance from the Dallas defense is on the table here.
For the Cowboys offense the Giants best defensive player, Leonard Williams, is currently listed as doubtful. New York’s two primary edge rushers have missed the first two games, too. Your biggest concern if you’re betting on Dallas is their significantly diminished offensive capabilities. However, they’ll be facing a New York defense that could be down multiple starters.