Spread: Cowboys by 3
Money line: Giants +130; Cowboys -150
There is no easy way to say it—but the Dallas Cowboys looked dreadful on offense last week. They struggled to open holes and did a poor job of protecting Dak Prescott. When Prescott did have time to throw, he often threw it short.
Without the massive offensive line from a couple of years ago, the Dallas offense struggles to get on track. Is it something that can be fixed this season? Probably not unless they want to trade for a proven commodity (which they will not do) or get lucky with a guy off the street (not happening).
To be fair, the Carolina Panthers have one of the best defensive fronts in football. Anyone would struggle under the onslaught they subjected Prescott and Elliot to.
But the Giants defense isn’t nearly as good. Elliot should be able to find some running lanes this week. When he does, that will open up the passing game more for Prescott. That should then lead to points for the Cowboys—theoretically.
On defense, the Cowboys will look to put a ton of pressure on Eli Manning and to bottle up Barkley at the line of scrimmage. If they can do that and get the Giants offense off the field quickly, the Cowboys should win this one with relative ease.
But don’t expect that to happen.
Dallas will get out to an early lead over the Giants but will fail to put them away. Then in the second half, the offense will lose its focus and the defense will slack off. What once looked like an easy win will turn into a close battle down the stretch.
It will be a close, low-scoring game (so take the under), but the Cowboys will win and cover the spread.