The 2013 "Sunday Night Football" season opener pits the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys. Eli Manning and Tony Romo have faced each other 12 times, and in those 12 meetings, Manning has the advantage with a record of 6-5 straight up and 6-4-1 against the spread in the regular season and a 1-0 SU and 1-0 ATS record in their lone playoff game. Manning and Romo have faced each other five different times on "Sunday Night Football" in their careers, with Manning also having the edge 3-2 SU and 3-2 ATS.
Many sportsbooks opened this line at Cowboys minus-2.5 or minus-3 at the end of April in Las Vegas, and since then the line has climbed to a steady minus-3 with a few minus-3.5s showing up across town.
According to ESPN Insider's PickCenter, the public is currently backing the Giants on the road in Dallas at a 54 percent clip. If you averaged the predictions from numberFire and TeamRankings, the predicted score would be the Cowboys 25 (24.8) and the Giants 23 (22.9), with the best bet based on that score being the Giants plus-3.5.
Two statistics are working in favor of the Giants on Sunday night. One, they are 4-0 SU and ATS in their past four meetings in Dallas. And two, in the past seven meetings between Manning and Romo, the road team is 5-2 SU and ATS, which puts a large advantage into taking the points.
The roster changes from 2012 to 2013 for both the Giants and Cowboys are minimal, which makes the familiarity between the two teams just that much more intense. The biggest defensive loss for Dallas going into this Week 1 game is the absence of DT Jay Ratliff, who has been placed on the PUP list. His absence is a huge loss to a rush defense that allowed 4.5 yards per attempt in 2012 (25th in the NFL).
Let's get some analysis of the line from Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hilton and handicapping advice from some wiseguys:
Spread: Opened at Cowboys minus-2.5, now minus-3
Total: Opened at 49; now 50