Why a relatively healthy Dallas team can beat favored Giants
It might be difficult to imagine amid all the Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez-New York Jets hype that has reigned supreme this preseason, but there exists another team in New York. And it just happened to win the Super Bowl last season.
Wednesday night, the 2012 NFL season begins as the New York Giants square off against the division rival Dallas Cowboys, and hope their journey toward another Lombardi Trophy starts off on the right foot. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are looking for revenge, recalling that if Tony Romo's pass for Miles Austin in Week 15 wasn't underthrown by a few feet, it could have meant a playoff berth for them, as well as shutting the Giants out of the postseason altogether.
It appears Austin and Hakeem Nicks will play, but Jason Witten will not. And while John Phillips has been a decent fill-in during the preseason, no one will mistake him for Witten. That means the Cowboys will need to rely on DeMarco Murray and the rushing attack to control the clock and keep an improved defense (minus nose tackle Jay Ratliff) fresh.
Opening as a three-point favorite, the Giants are now favored by four over the Cowboys. Last season, when favored by three or more at home, the Giants were 2-4-1 against the spread, including surprising outright losses to the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, and had an average margin of cover of minus-4.5 points (meaning they didn't cover the spread by an average of 4.5 points). The Cowboys were 2-2 ATS in road games in which they were at least a three-point underdog, and had a miserable average margin of cover of minus-8 points, including blowout losses to the Philadelphia Eagles (34-7) and the Giants (31-14).
Who should you take in the game? Well, I'll leave that to the experts. Below you'll find analysis of potential line and total movement from bookmaker Jay Kornegay of The Las Vegas Hotel and a pick on the spread from handicapper Geoff Kulesa of Wunderdog Sports.
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