Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants Odds

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This Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Giants and Cowboys will be one that is seriously lacking in the stakes department.

Dallas’ victory over Tampa Bay in Week 16 clinched them the NFC East division title, so they’re guaranteed a playoff bid. But they also have nothing to play for. A win does not improve their potential matchup, and they have no chance at securing a first-round.

New York is in a similar boat, albeit at the opposite end of the spectrum. They’ve long since had nothing to play for. They’re 5-10 and expected to be without star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. This could be quarterback Eli Manning’s last game in a Giants uniform, so there’s that emotional element attached to it, but the squad figures to be noticeably undermanned. We might even see Manning get the ax early if the Giants are more concerned with prioritizing their draft positioning.

At the same time, the Cowboys are just as likely to rest their key players. Quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t expected to see too many snaps. We’d bank on something similar happening with superstar running back Ezekial Elliott.

If the Giants are going to keep all of their first-stringers in for even three-quarters of a game, they should have the juice to win this one. Even with their zero-point dud in Week 15, the offense is starting to find a groove. They’re averaging more than 26 points per game since Week 12, and Dallas’ relatively conservative approach could make for another high-scoring outing even without Beckham in the fold. New York is laying a -7, and we’re cautiously optimistic that they’ll cover.

Prediction: New York Giants (-7)

Super Bowl Odds for Cowboys

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    Dallas Cowboys (+2700)

Are The Cowboys Viable Super Bowl Contenders?

At a +2700, the Cowboys are hardly considered late-season Super Bowl favorites. They’re laying between the ninth- and 10th-best odds entering Week 17, and not many experts foresee them getting out of the first round.

It isn’t hard to see why so many are low on them. They’re ticketed for a date with the Seattle Seahawks, who have been playing scorching-hot football of late. Dallas will get to play at home, but that might not mean as much when looking at how their offense has struggled.

The Cowboys are 24th in the NFL in points scored per game. Their air attack in particular has a been a huge letdown. Prescott and company aren’t turning the ball over at an astounding rate, but Dallas ranks 24th or worse in passing attempts, passing yards, passing touchdowns and net yards per passing attempt.

Defense matters most in a playoff setting, and the Cowboys are fine there. They currently place fourth in points allowed per game and are the second-best team in net yards allowed per rushing attempt. 

But their own reliance on Elliott on the other side of the ball is too stark too ignore. Plus, it’s not like they’re invincible on defense. Their secondary doesn’t force too many turnovers. They play a more conservative style that invites short to modest completions. Postseason offenses will have a higher chance of picking them apart.

Perhaps the Cowboys escape the first round. Again: Playing at home will help. But in the grand scheme of the Super Bowl discussion, their +2700 isn’t nearly enticing enough to warrant an investment.