Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 7:00 PM
It’s very tough to know right now just exactly how good the Dallas Cowboys are. They basically took the month of August off rather than worrying about getting up to speed for the regular season. Tony Romo barely played. Their dress rehearsal was a quick step on stage for a song or two. There are so many veterans on this team that everyone just decided they’d be fine.
Maybe they will be! Last year’s team went 12-4, dominating a division that many thought was going to be competitive. They certainly aren’t afraid of the Giants. Dallas finished six games ahead of them in the NFC East last season. And, the Week One pointspread hovering around -6 or -6.5 is one of the tallest on the card. Is Sunday night’s game on NBC going to be the Dallas dress rehearsal for next Sunday’s game at supposedly rejuvenated Philadelphia?
Let’s review last year’s key stats as we consider the Cowboys outlook for Sunday night’s TV game and the 2015 playoff chase…
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
NY Giants: 6-10 (#23 schedule in USA Today)
Dallas: 12-4 (#31 schedule in USA Today)
The Cowboys played a very soft schedule last season. So, you can’t really call them a 12-win caliber team. That being said…they took Green Bay down to the wire in the playoffs…and believe they were robbed in that game. With the same Packers squad then just coming moments away from the Super Bowl the next week in Seattle…you can say that Dallas is still a legitimate championship threat in this conference. They can play with anybody.
NY Giants: 5.4 on offense, 6.0 on defense
Dallas: 6.1 on offense, 5.8 on defense
Two lousy defenses here…and that 5.8 mark for the Cowboys is the elephant in the room when discussing their championship hopes. Teams who are that bad at stopping people have a very tough time running the table in January. Even if Tony Romo is on his best behavior…he has to play perfect football vs. quality to overcome what his defense is allowing. That may not matter Sunday (+0.3 is a lot better than -0.6 in this stat!). It will later.
NY Giants: -3
The Giants had troubles all through 2014 adjusting to their new offense. They basically turned into a doormat when you consider that their bad stats came against an easy schedule. Maybe everything’s going to click this season. Nobody’s expecting that…which may be exactly what Eli Manning wants. Great sign for the Cowboys that Romo stopped making so many boneheaded mistakes. But…+6 against a gift schedule doesn’t equate to something meaningful vs. quality though. Can Romo be trusted in January?
NY Giants: 7-9 ATS
Dallas: 10-6 ATS (1-1 ATS in playoffs)
Dallas used to be consistently overpriced as “America’s Team.” A few years of soap operas caused that to wear off. When they legitimately became pretty good last season, it caught oddsmakers and sharps by surprise. That 1-1 ATS mark in the playoffs represents a 24-20 home win over Detroit as a six-point favorite, and a 26-21 loss at Green Bay that beat the number. Are they still underpriced. Let’s check the latest number…
Current Line: Dallas by 6, total of 49.5
It’s a divisional rivalry game, which often inspires the underdog…and it’s hard to trust favorites that have bad defenses. But the Dallas team that did themselves proud in the playoffs should probably be more than a TD favorite over a league doormat like the Giants. The market is telling you that there’s still a skeleton or two in the Cowboys closet…and that Eli Manning still deserves some respect as an underdog.
What should YOU play at that line? JIM HURLEY knows how important Sunday nights are in the sports betting world. He’ll make sure you get the right side or total in this one. You can purchase the final word for all Sunday action on game day right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 before the early games begin…or during normal business hours Monday through Friday.
Back with you tomorrow to preview the Monday nightcap out in California. That’s the Vikings and 49ers in Game Two of the ESPN doubleheader. Then our midweek report will get you ready for Broncos/Chiefs in the Thursday nighter. Look for big game previews all season long in the NOTEBOOK. Here’s what’s on the immediate agenda…
Monday: NFL TV Preview…Minnesota at San Francisco
Midweek: NFL TV Preview…Denver at Kansas City
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview…Ole Miss at Alabama
Sunday: NFL TV Preview…Seattle at Green Bay
Wow…some big games coming up! For now…is Dallas ready to become America’s Team again? America’s top handicapper will have the answer. Join NETWORK Sunday to get all the BIG, JUICY WINNERS from JIM HURLEY!
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