Betting News & Analysis

Sunday Night Football: Cowboys-Giants betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

2REJ3HN Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brandin Cooks runs the ball during the NFL football team's training camp Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in Oxnard, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

• Bet the Cowboys spread (-3): There is a big talent gap between these two teams on both sides of the ball.

• Bet Brandin Cooks over 43.5 receiving yards: The new Cowboys receiver is poised to feast against the Giants' rookie outside cornerbacks.

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Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Dallas Cowboys come into the 2023 NFL season with the sixth-best odds to win the Super Bowl, and they also place sixth in PFF's Week 1 power rankings. Last season, the Cowboys fielded the third-best defensive unit in coverage and pass rush by expected points added per play. That was in part due to a large number of explosive defensive plays, including sacks and turnovers. Dallas returns an enhanced secondary having picked up Stephon Gilmore from the Colts to pair with standout cornerback Trevon Diggs.

There are some concerns on offense, though — mostly coaching-related. Former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore had a top-10 no-huddle percentage and a top-three situation-neutral pace rate while ranking first in both points per game and yards per game in three of his four seasons. The Cowboys replaced him with Brian Schottenheimer, who has consistently produced some of the least productive offenses while operating at a slow pace.

Just once in 12 years has Schottenheimer posted a passing rate in the top half of the league. Mike McCarthy will be calling the plays, however. Personnel-wise, Brandin Cooks replaces Noah Brown as one of the three main receivers, which can be seen as an upgrade, but a committee of tight ends is taking over for the departed Dalton Schultz. At least the Cowboys get to unleash Tony Pollard in an expanded role.

The Giants return the same coaching staff as last year when they exceeded expectations en route to a playoff berth and a Coach of the Year award for Brian Daboll. The main concern for New York, despite their middling offensive unit, is the defense. They are starting two rookies at outside cornerback first-round pick Deonte Banks and sixth-round selection Tre Hawkins. And they return a defensive front that gave up a league-high EPA per play figure and recorded the highest average depth of tackle on rushing plays.

The Giants' offense has to do everything it can to stay on the field. Top-five tight end Darren Waller has arrived to enhance the passing game, but the Giants did not improve at outside receiver, still fielding Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton and Parris Campbell with Sterling Shepard and currently injured Wan’Dale Robinson set to make an impact a bit later in the season.

Dallas Cowboys -3 (-118 DraftKings)

There is a big talent gap between these two teams on both sides of the ball, but the Giants have a solid coaching advantage, making this one tricky.

The Cowboys have some injury concerns on the offensive line, with left guard Tyler Smith already ruled out and left tackle Tyron Smith currently questionable. Things will get even trickier if Smith is ultimately ruled out, but the talent gap between these two teams on both sides of the ball is so large, and my biggest question about anything in this game is just how well the Giants defense can hold up.

Adoree' Jackson, the Giants' best corner, will be matched up against Cowboys WR1 CeeDee Lamb, but Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup are more than talented enough to take advantage of positive matchups on the outside against a pair of rookies. And the Cowboys defense, a top-three unit in the league, faces a Giants offense that should regress after overperforming in 2022.

WR Brandin Cooks Over 43.5 Receiving Yards (-113 Caesars)

The Cowboys' outside receivers will have strong matchups against two rookie cornerbacks, with one of them being a sixth-round pick. Brandin Cooks seemed to be on a bit of a decline over the past year or two but gets a significant quarterback upgrade in Dallas compared to Houston, so we should expect a positive bounce-back.

CeeDee Lamb being matched up against Adoree' Jackson and some offensive line concerns hindering things should create opportunities for other receivers to play a larger part in the game. Cooks with his impressive route running is poised to get open quickly and provide a consistent outlet for Dak Prescott if the pressure gets home.

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