In Week 16, the Dallas Cowboys (9-6) clinched the NFC East with their win over the Buccaneers at home. That win locked the Cowboys into the No. 4 seed, rendering their Week 17 game meaningless.
However, owner and general manager Jerry Jones has said the Dallas will treat this upcoming week "like a playoff game." However, that is something that is easier to say to the media than to execute on the field.
Dallas may have some incentive to play hard in Week 17 as their offense has struggled as of late. Their Week 17 matchup with the Giants provides them an excellent opportunity to improve on their lack of a passing game. Expect Dak Prescott, who has struggled in the past two games, to get extended work throwing the ball.
The New York Giants (5-10) have been a much better team since their Week 9 bye week. Over their last seven games, they are 4-3, with two of their losses coming on the last drive of the game. Despite some key injuries to both sides of the ball, this is a much more competitive team than what we saw earlier in the year.
The Cowboys know they will be hosting a playoff game next week, likely against Seattle or Minnesota, and they will want to be healthy heading into that game. For that reason, it is likely that Dallas won't play some key starters, such as Tyron Smith or Zack Martin.
This week's spread seems to reflect that as the Giants are favored by six at 888Sport. However, that line opened at Giants -3 and has seen significant movement since. If and when the Cowboys announce who will and won't play, I expect that line to move even more
In any event, this is just the second time all season the Giants will be a favorite at home. While I understand why the Giants are favored in this game, six points feels like too many. I expect this to be a relatively low-scoring game that comes down to the last drive or two.
But before betting on this game, NFL betting fans should be sure to check the injury report to see who is in and who is out. With the offseason and the playoffs upcoming, both sides could be overly cautious with injured players. With that said, I like the Giants to win this game, but for the Cowboys to cover on the road. Take Dallas and the points with 888Sport.
Part of the reason for the Giants' recent success is that quarterback Eli Manning has played better in the second half of the season. He has a passer rating of 95.3 in his last seven games and has been sacked just 15 times. His improvement has helped the Giants stay in games they probably shouldn't have been in.
But the real story in New York is their rookie running back Saquon Barkley, who has some motivation to have a big game in Week 17. With the Rookie of the Year honors still up for grabs, a big game on Sunday could swing voters. I fully expect the Giants to give him a big workload in the team's final game.
The over/under of 41.5 at Karamba is one of the lowest of the week. Again, oddsmakers seem to believe that both the Cowboys and Giants could be resting starters in Week 17.
The line is also lower due to the fact the Giants' star receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. is unlikely to play after missing the last three weeks due to a quad injury. Keep an eye on his status, along with linebacker Alec Ogletree on the Giants' side of things.
Even when at full strength, these two offenses have been below league average. With even the remote possibility that a few players sit out, it's hard to imagine this game having a lot of scoring. Bet the under with Karamba , as I expect a 20-17 type of game in New York.
Bet with the Expert Edge - Stats, Insights & Specials
Read Review ||BET NOW||T&Cs Apply. 18+ Gamble Responsibly|
Get Yourself Over The Line
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+. T&C Apply|
Gallops, Trots, Greyhounds & More - Join Now
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+. T&C Apply|
Be the first to receive the latest welcome offers, free bets, tips and strategy