Right in the middle of this year’s Thanksgiving Day NFL tripleheader is a much-anticipated matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. for this NFC East showdown in Arlington, Texas.
The Cowboys are obviously no stranger to playing on what is arguably the best holiday of the year, but this matchup is particularly interesting because of what’s at stake. Both the Cowboys and Giants are 7-3 entering Thursday’s matchup, meaning this game could have major division race and playoff seeding implications.
Dallas is coming off a 40-3 thumping of the Minnesota Vikings, reminding everybody why this team should be considered an NFC contender this year. The Cowboys now have a +84 point differential on the campaign and would be the No. 5 seed in the playoffs if the season ended today.
The Giants, meanwhile, are coming off a 31-18 home loss to the Detroit Lions of all teams. They have won just one game over the last four weeks, and the wheels seem to be falling off a bit for Brian Daboll’s squad after a 6-1 start. New York has a +1 point differential and is currently the No. 6 seed.
All that contest should explain why oddsmakers are giving so much respect to Dallas at home. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Cowboys as a 9-point favorite with an over/under of 44.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Time/TV: 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Fox
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Cowboys -9
Money line: Giants +328/Cowboys -430
Analysis: Last week was a perfect situation for those bettors paying attention. The Cowboys were a short favorite at the Vikings, who were coming off a big win over the Buffalo Bills. Dallas proved to be the obvious play in a game that was really never in doubt. The Giants were a short underdog and lost outright to the Lions.
This week’s handicap is not nearly as simple. Not only are these two teams coming off completely different performances last week, but there are other factors at play here. It is a short week, a game between division rivals, and you never quite know how prepared teams will be on a holiday.
Both squads have been winning bettors’ money, too, as each team has a 7-3 clip against the spread. The teams are a combined 5-13-2 to the over, which should lead bettors to target the total of 44.5 ahead of kickoff.
In the end, it is hard not to side with the Giants to at least stay within this number. The Cowboys are a legitimate contender, while the Giants have been a bit overvalued in the market, but this is too many points for a team with the better coach in a divisional matchup. Especially when this game could be lower-scoring.
Prediction: Cowboys 24, Giants 17
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