A sampling of picks made for Sunday's Cowboys vs. Giants game shows that most pundits like the Giants for the win. But will it turn into the high-scoring, offensive back-and-forth that most are predicting?
The Cowboys are 2-point underdogs at home against the Giants. The oddsmakers generally start with a base 3-point advantage for home teams in the NFL, so the Vegas odds would suggest that on a neutral field, the Giants would be favored by five points. And given that for all intents and purposes Cowboys Stadium is essentially a neutral field for the Cowboys, it follows that most experts like the Giants to win on Sunday.
Whether or not those experts have any idea of what they are talking about remains to be seen, but here's what they are predicting for Sunday's game:
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
||27-21||The Cowboys have never beaten the Giants in Cowboys Stadium, but beat them on the road to open the season. If the Cowboys are to have a real chance at a division title, they have to win this game. The Giants love this road warriors role. This time, though, I think Tony Romo gets the better of Eli Manning.|
Peter King, SI.com
||30-27||For the Cowboys, it's the fourth game against the Giants in their last 11 games. Seems amazing. Also their first time in those four that FOX has the game. So there's no secret what either team is going to try to do to win. There have been 71, 76 and 64 points scored the last three times these teams played in Dallas -- all Giant wins. I get the point: Eli Manning's going to outplay Tony Romo.|
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com
||30-27||Eli Manning won't go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs like he did in that Week 14 barn-burner at Cowboys Stadium last year. The Dallas Cowboys' secondary is much better than last year's unit. This game will be a defensive battle until the second half, when both offenses come alive. Dez Bryant has a nice day, mostly because he sucked last week. The New York Giants' secondary is a weak spot, so Miles Austin and Jason Witten should enjoy productive afternoons. Special-teams play will weigh heavily in such a hotly contested affair between two teams that don't like each other. Here's guessing that a missed Lawrence Tynes field goal is the difference.|
|Pro Football Talk||35-27
|Florio: The Cowboys aren’t nearly as good as they were in Week One, when they beat the Giants in New Jersey. The Giants are the same, but this time they won’t get complacent.
Smith: Completing a season sweep of the Giants would go a long way toward getting the Cowboys into playoff contention, but I don’t see it happening. The Cowboys’ defense will miss linebacker Sean Lee, Giants quarterback Eli Manning will have a big day, and the Giants will improve to 4-0 all time at Cowboys Stadium.
Ryan van Bibber, SBNaton
||30-27||Dallas is the picture of mediocrity this season, barely getting by Carolina last week. Nevertheless, the intensity of this rivalry makes it likely that this game will be a much tighter contest than it should be. Tony Romo went all last week without an interception. Historically, he has played well against the Giants, too, with a rating north of 100 in his last six against Big Blue. Dallas is 34-8 when Romo finishes a game with a QB rating of 100 or better.|
|Greg Cote, Miami Herald||30-27||’Boys have yet to beat Biggies in Jerry Jones’ new palace (0-3) and I don’t see that changing here in a near-pick-’em game writing next chapter in this NFC East grudge. Dallas opened season with 24-17 win at NYG behind Tony Romo’s three TD throws — Romo usually is very good vs. Big Blue — but Giants will have their revenge. Key is health of RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who has 359 rush yards in past three vs. Dallas.|
At 47.5, the over/under for the game is already the second highest for Week 8 behind only the 55 set for the Saints @ Broncos game. Nevertheless, all the experts above are taking the over and expect a high-scoring game. Of course, if the predictions are for a high-scoring game, odds are it'll be a tight, low-scoring affair.
Many sites publish their picks without providing any specific commentary. The sum of these panels does not favor the Cowboys.
|Pro Football Focus||7||1|
|NFL Around The League||5||0|
|Blogging The Boys||2||6|
Closer to home, the Dallas Morning News is unanimous in its verdict: All eight panelists believe the Giants will take this one, both straight up and against the spread.
The ESPNDallas 12-man Wall Of Shame tries hard to out-snark each other en route to a 12-2 vote in favor of the Giants.
Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram thinks the Cowboys can't overcome the loss of Murray and Lee, and gives the Giants a two TD edge, 34-20.
Summing up the predictions we've polled above, the Giants emerge as 71-18 favorites. Of course, these same experts also had the Giants as near unanimous favorites to win in Week 1, and are still wiping the clown-face cake off their faces today.
So the Giants are favored against the Cowboys. So what?
Anything can happen in a divisional game. Heck, anything can happen in a non-divisional game; witness the slobber-knocker the 2-4 Buccaneers delivered against the 5-2 Vikings just last night.
So what's your take, can the Cowboys win against the Giants? And more importantly, will they?