Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:45 AM EST
DALLAS -7½ -110 over N.Y. Giants
4:25 PM EST. Our goal is to try and figure out where the value is and combine it with market perception to come up with the right side, so here are the facts: Dallas lost last week at home to Cleveland, which isn’t the end of the world but they were down 41-14 and that resonates. Meanwhile, as a double-digit dog playing in Los Angeles against the Rams, the Giants hung around for all four quarters and covered comfortably. In terms of recency bias, give the edge to the Giants. The next thing to consider is that these two are division rivals and now we have a 1-3 team spotting significant points. That is going to be a decent selling point on the Giants but we’re not buyers.
The Rams pulled a no-show against the Giants and still won by eight points. The week prior, the Giants lost to the 49ers by 27. In Week 1, New York lost to Pittsburgh by 10 when spirits were high. Spirits aren’t high anymore and now the Giants make the trip from New York to L.A., back home to New York and then onto Dallas.
The Cowboys defense is taking nothing but heat and harsh criticism. This was from the Dallas Morning News on Monday after the ‘Boys latest debacle:
“When shortcomings place you on a historic trajectory, when even an untrained eye recognizes there’s something rotten in the state of Dallas defense, nothing is off the table. Questions of scheme, effort and job security are fair game. Mike Nolan knows the drill. “We didn’t play very well,’’ the Cowboys defensive coordinator said Monday afternoon in the aftermath of a discouraging loss to Cleveland. “I’m not skirting the issue at all. We played very poorly. “I hope we don’t have to live through another one of those. But if we don’t get things corrected, it could happen.’’
So far, the Cowboys rank 25th in defensive DVOA against No. 1 receivers and 27th in DVOA against No. 2 receivers. After Sunday's loss to Cleveland, a lot of attention has been paid to the Cowboys' poor run defense, but the Dallas pass defense (25th in DVOA) has actually been worse than the run defense (23rd). The Cowboys have allowed four 100-yard receiving games so far, to Robert Woods of the Rams, Calvin Ridley of the Falcons and both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf of the Seahawks. Dallas lost star cornerback Byron Jones in the offseason, and two of their three starters from Week 1 are currently injured, Anthony Brown and Chidobe Awuzie. The third starter is a rookie, Trevon Diggs.
The point here is that no matter where you turn, there is negative press surrounding the Cowboys and now a team perceived as being awful is spotting a Pittsburgh-like price. That’s a bit curious and it prompts us to move in. The Cowboys players and coaches are surely sick of hearing and reading how bad their defense is. They are surely sick of losing with all that talent. At some point, Dallas is going to really stick it to somebody and this enticing takeback on New York suggests to us that this is the week that Dallas indeed sticks it to someone. We saw this line move from -9½ to its current price and if you happened to bet the Giants earlier in the week, you beat the closing line. We're going to beat the opening line and play the 'Boys at the beautfully reduced price.
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DALLAS -7½ +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)