A game of no playoff implications for two teams heading in different directions. The Dallas Cowboys have clinched the NFC East championship winning 6 of their last 7 games. Locked into the number four seed, they’re gearing up for another postseason run. For them, this game is about tweaking things and coming out healthy no matter the outcome. For the eliminated from contention New York Giants, this game is about running out the string and looking forward to a nice vacation. Considering the hated rival, Giants should be playing for pride.
New York Giants
Surprisingly, the Giants are favored by 6 points as of this writing (Dec 27). The betting bosses in Las Vegas seem to think the Cowboys are going to rest their players, and I tend to agree. Their starters are expected to play, but will not be getting a full workload in order to stay fresh for the playoffs.
Giants Coach Pat Shurmur made it clear that Eli Manning will start for New York. Manning is on track to surpass 4000 yards for 7th time in his career, currently standing at 3998. It’s to be seen if Odell Beckham Jr. plays. He’s been nursing an injury and at this point it probably makes sense to not play him. There’s no sense in risking anything with the Giants star. The player to watch is rookie phenom Saquan Barkley, who has racked up 10 touchdowns on 1198 rushing yards and has a chance to seal his name into the record books. He needs five catches to break Odell Beckham Jr.’s rookie record of 91. The amazing part of this is that he’s done this as a running back! He also needs two receptions to break Reggie Bush’s NFL record for rookie running backs set in 2006. He needs 114 yards from scrimmage to become the 3rd rookie in NFL history to record 2000 all-purpose yards in one season, joining Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James. And finally, he needs one rushing touchdown for most by a rookie in franchise history.
New York Giants Home NFL Form
16.12.2018 – LOSS – New York Giants 0 – 17 Titans
02.12.2018 – WIN – New York Giants 30 – 27 Bears
18.11.2018 – WIN – New York Giants 38 – 35 Buccaneers
28.10.2018 – LOSS – New York Giants 13 – 20 Redskins
12.10.2018 – LOSS – New York Giants 13 – 34 Eagles
Dallas will feature their own stud running back Ezekiel Elliot, who’s tallied 1,434 yards on the season. He’s the focal point of this offense, touching ball an average of 30-40 times per game. The question is if he will play or how much he will play. Elliot was held out final regular season game two years ago when Cowboys were in a similar position. He has publicly stated that taking a week off is not an option, though we shall see. I can’t imagine him getting too much work, it’s not worth the risk. Wide receiver Amari Cooper, the player who has changed dynamic of the offense since an October trade from Oakland Raiders, can surely benefit with more game time with quarterback Dak Prescott. He has only 52 yards in last two games and tightening up the timing can help optimize this offense for the playoffs.
Dallas Cowboys Away NFL Form
16.12.2018 – LOSS – Colts 23 – 0 Cowboys
18.11.2018 – WIN – Falcons 19 – 22 Cowboys
12.11.2018 – WIN – Eagles 20 – 27 Cowboys
21.10.2018 – LOSS – Redskins 20 – 17 Cowboys
08.10.2018 – LOSS – Texans 19 – 16 Cowboys
The Money Line
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
New York Giants to win @ 1.40 (2/5)
Dallas Cowboys to win @ 3.40 (12/5)
Odds taken at 09:00 GMT 30/12/2018
Our Verdict and Best Bets
The Cowboys heading for first round matchup vs Seattle or Minnesota will take the safe route with their starters and play them limited snaps. The Giants win a close one.
New York Giants Point Spread -6.5 @ 2.06 (17/16) with Unibet.