The Dallas Cowboys won't kick off the 2013 NFL regular season against the Giants for another 140 days, but the Vegas sportsbooks have already released the lines for the NFL opening weekend. Following almost immediately upon the release of the schedule, Vegas has the Cowboys as short -2.5 favorites against the Giants on September 8 in Dallas.
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 Cowboys and Giants would be pretty evenly matched. And given that for all intents and purposes Cowboys Stadium is essentially a neutral field for the Cowboys (the Giants have won four straight against the Cowboys in Dallas), one could make a (tenuous) argument that the Cowboys are slightly favored.
However, it's important to keep in mind that the line doesn't necessarily reflect the actual chances of either team winning the season opener. Vegas usually sets the line to make sure that the money being bet is spread 50/50 over both teams (the key to remaining a profitable bookmaker). So while the opening odds released on Friday reflect the bookmakers' best guess as to where the action would remain even on both sides of the bet, once the action starts coming in on one particular side of the line, the bookmakers adjust the line to reflect the betting public's betting pattern.
So what do you say, will the game be as close as the bookmakers suggest it will be, will it be another slugfest (the four games in Cowboys Stadium have averaged 66.0 total points scored per game), and will Jason Garrett improve to 3-0 against the Giants in his first game of the season as head coach?
|NFL Schedule, Week 1 2013|
|Thu, Sept. 5, 8:30pm ET|
|Sun, Sept. 8, 1:00pm ET|
|Sun, Sept. 8, 4:25 pm ET|
|Sun, Sept. 8, 8:30 pm ET|
|Mon, Sept. 9, 7:00 pm ET|
|Mon, Sept. 9, 10:15 pm ET|