MNF Preview: Dallas at New York Giants

In two wins to start the season for the G-Men, Saquon Barkley has 236 rushing yards, one TD and a 6.1 yards-per-carry average.

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys

Line: Giants -1

Total: 39.5

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

When: Monday, 9/26 at 8:15 p.m. ET

TV: ABC

Dallas has dominated NFC East rival New York over the past five years, winning nine of the last 10 meetings, but the Giants are favored in Monday night’s primetime showdown at MetLife Stadium.

The Cowboys are playing without injured quarterback Dak Prescott, while the Giants have a chance to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2009. New York is tied with Philadelphia atop the division standings and is one of six teams in the NFL that is still unbeaten.

Dallas was without Prescott last week, but backup Cooper Rush threw for 235 yards and a touchdown in a stunning upset win over Cincinnati. Kicker Brett Maher drilled the game-winning field goal in the final seconds, as the Cowboys won outright as 7-point underdogs.

Sportsbooks opened New York anywhere from -3.5 to -4.5, but the early betting action has been on Dallas as a road underdog. The Giants were 1-point favorites as of Friday afternoon, while the total dipped from 40 to 39 at most shops.

New York won just four games last season, so it is already halfway to that total this year after taking down Tennessee and Carolina in Brian Daboll’s first two games as head coach. The Giants could take another huge step forward on Monday night, as Dallas is the defending division champion.

“This is a divisional opponent and the quickest way to get into the postseason is to win divisional games,” New York wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. “They are always huge games no matter what start you have.”

DraftKings currently has Philadelphia priced as the -250 favorite to win the NFC East, with Dallas (+450) and New York (+550) sitting behind the Eagles. Washington brings up the rear as a 12-1 longshot.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has not been amazing so far, but his 176 yards and a touchdown against Carolina was enough to get the job done. Running back Saquon Barkley has been the story offensively, leading all running backs with 236 rushing yards through the first two weeks.

He also ranks fifth in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage (282). New York’s primary issue offensively has been the offensive line, which has allowed eight sacks. Jones has done a solid job of protecting the ball, completing 71 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and one interception.

New York is facing a Dallas defense that finished in the middle of the pack last year and currently ranks sixth in yards allowed per game this year (300.5). The Cowboys are led by reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons, who has a league-high four sacks. They have allowed two touchdowns through their first two games, which are the fewest allowed by the franchise since 1996.

The Cowboys are heading on the road for the first time this season following their upset win over Cincinnati last week. They are going to be without Prescott for at least one more week, giving Rush another opportunity to start.

Wide receiver Michael Gallup is listed as ‘probable’ to make his season debut coming off a torn ACL from January. Head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that Gallup likely won’t take on a full workload, but he should get some minutes nonetheless. Tight end Dalton Schultz is a game-time decision after spraining his knee last week.

Dallas has been one of the most profitable teams in the NFL dating back to last season, going 14-6 against the spread in its last 20 games. The Cowboys have gone 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against New York, and they are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games. New York is just 2-6 ATS in its last six contests.

The Giants have cashed the ‘under’ in 11 of their last 13 games, while Dallas has gone ‘under’ in four of its last five games. They have gone ‘over’ in five of their last seven head-to-head meetings. This is the lowest total on the board in the NFL this week.

The pick: Giants -1

There are virtually no trends to back up a bet on New York in a game against Dallas, but I still think that is the play after this line has shortened to essentially a pick’em as of Friday afternoon. The Giants have a chance to go 3-0 for the first time in 13 years and are playing against their biggest rival in primetime, so the atmosphere is going to be electric on Monday night. Dallas is in a letdown spot in its first road game of the season following a huge upset win over Cincinnati last week. The Giants are shaping up to be a completely different team offensively if Barkley can stay healthy, while Dallas has not been able to run the ball effectively and will be without Prescott again this week. I will take my chances with the Giants as small home favorites in this game.

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