Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming MNF game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Cowboys at Giants, Monday, Nov. 4, 8:15 p.m. ET
The Cowboys arrive in the Big Apple fresh off a bye and a potentially season-saving win prior to that. Dallas went into a Week 7 battle against the division-rival Eagles smarting from three straight losses to the Saints, Packers and Jets that had raised plenty of questions about the job security of head coach Jason Garrett and the team’s postseason aspirations overall. The ‘Boys were able to quiet the critics with an impressive 37-10 victory in which all of their key offensive pieces shone.
Relative to their expectations this season, the Giants also put together a highly encouraging offensive performance in a 31-26 road loss to the Lions in Week 8. The shine on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had dulled a bit after a spectacular Week 3 debut against the Buccaneers heading into the game against Detroit. However, Jones generated a performance very reminiscent of what had gotten the NFL world abuzz about him after just one game. He threw for four touchdowns and 322 yards versus the Lions despite still missing receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion). Saquon Barkley also played his second game following his three-game absence due to his serious ankle sprain and compiled 143 total scrimmage yards overall. The defense still let Big Blue down in the end, however, and that remains a source of concern coming into this Monday night matchup.
Perhaps the biggest issue for the Giants’ defense, especially against a talented quarterback like Dak Prescott, is the anemic pass rush it features. New York has only totaled 22 sacks through its first eight games. They didn’t take Prescott down once when the two teams met back in Week 1. A trade for the Jets’ Leonard Williams this past week is aimed at improving that weakness, but the 2015 first-round pick has never had more than seven sacks in a season. Additionally, the Cowboys’ offensive line has given up just 12 sacks all season and has the third-lowest adjusted sack rate (4.1 percent) in all of the NFL per Football Outsiders. That same wall of blockers also produces the third-highest adjusted line yards per carry (4.91) per FO, so the challenge will be just as daunting for New York when it comes to slowing down Ezekiel Elliott.
All that said, there’s plenty of reason to believe the Giants will put up much more of a fight against the Cowboys than they did in their 35-17 season-opening loss. New York actually played tough early in that contest before seeing Dallas pull away in the second half. What’s more, it was Eli Manning and not the much more dynamic Jones helming the offense in that game for New York. And, Golden Tate was in the first game of his season-opening four-game suspension. With Tate is now fully integrated in the offense. Shepard is also cleared to return for this game. Therefore, the rookie QB is going to have his full arsenal of weapons — Barkley, Evan Engram and the emerging Darius Slayton in addition to his top two wide receivers — on the field together for the first time this season.
I see what should be a very close and entertaining game in this spot, with the Cowboys likely squeaking out a close win in the end.
The Cowboys began as 7.5-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook early in the week before the number was bet down a half-point. The Giants’ ability to play a competitive matchup against the Lions on the road in Week 8 and Jones’ very strong showing particular likely played a part in a little money coming in on New York.
The Cowboys are 4-3 (57.1 percent) against the spread this season, including 1-2 (33.3 percent) as an away favorite. Dallas is also 3-0 ATS in NFC East games in 2019.
The Giants are 3-5 (37.5 percent) against the spread this season, including 0-2 as a home underdog. New York is also 1-1 ATS in NFC East games in 2019.
With New York having its offensive cupboard fully stocked and this being a primetime home game, I see Big Blue doing enough to keep any loss under a touchdown.
The Pick: Giants +7 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
We already know the Cowboys can put points up on this defense. The fact they’re coming off a bye week should only enhance their ability to do so. But the Giants are also capable of contributing in that regard and will be able to attack the Cowboys with a variety of pass catchers at different depths downfield while also unleashing Barkley on the ground.
The Over is 4-3 (57.1 percent) in the Cowboys’ games this season, including 2-1 (66.7 percent) in their away games. In turn, the Over is 4-4 (50.0 percent) in the Giants’ games this season, including 0-4 in their home games.
I can actually see this turning into a bit of a shootout considering the explosive offensive pieces on either side. Therefore, I’m going with the Over on 48 points.
The Pick: Over 48.0 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Best Prop Bets
Dak Prescott 300+ passing yards, Amari Cooper 100+ receiving yards & Ezekiel Elliott 100+ rushing yards: (+1100 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
In the Week 1 between these teams, Prescott and Cooper exceeded the 300- and 100-yard marks, respectively. Elliott likely would have done the same on the ground had his touches not been capped due to his just-concluded holdout. Then, the Giants have allowed 143.2 rushing yards per game at home. They’ve been surprisingly stout against the pass at MetLife (181.5 yards per game), but they gave up 306 passing yards to the one quarterback they faced there of similar caliber and talent to Prescott, Kirk Cousins.
Any time touchdown scorer: Dak Prescott (+220 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
Prescott has scored three rushing touchdowns this season and has no fewer than six in any of his first three campaigns. Two of his 2019 rushing scores have come in the last two contests. Plus, the Giants are tied with the Falcons and Seahawks for the second-most rushing TDs allowed to quarterbacks (three) this season.