Get your NFL bets ready because this Thursday the season officially kicks off. Week 1 features a plethora of matchups across the board, some between evenly matched teams, and others that will certainly result in a blowout. The contest between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys falls into the former.
Both teams are coming off a disappointing, under .500 season. The Giants were plagued by their inability to finish out games and the Cowboys were debilitated by injuries. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the 2016 season hasn’t even begun and they’re already dealing with the injury bug. Romo suffered a season ending injury in 2015 and Dallas was barely able to finish the season with a 4-12 record. Now he’s expected to miss at least half the season due to a back injury. However, this season Dallas will certainly be better suited for success without Romo than they were last year. The reason for that change can be attributed to one person: Dak Prescott.
Prescott started the 2016 training camp as the 3rd string QB for the Cowboys. A solid offseason performance and a couple of injuries later and now Prescott will be suiting up as the starter Week 1. In doing so Prescott becomes the 1st 4th round quarterback to start Week 1 since 1977. Prescott’s performance in the preseason has been exemplary, and while critics may argue that it’s just the preseason, it still shows his skill and understanding of the Cowboy’s offense. Prescott will be put up to the test right out of the gate by going against a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. The NFL bets might not pick Prescott in this matchup, but there’s no doubt the young star will be eager to prove them wrong.
This game might end up turning into a shootout, due to both teams sporting terrible pass defense. Last season the Giants ranked 31st in the league against the pass, but the Cowboys didn’t rank much better, only managing to rank 22nd. Eli Manning will enter the 2016 as the only Manning within the NFL and will be looking to add to his family’s prestigious football history. Interestingly enough this game will pit two quarterbacks against each other as well as two of the league’s best receivers. The Giants have Odell Beckham Jr. to help out Manning, while Prescott will be turning to Dez Bryant to help carry the load offensively.
Dallas may have a young quarterback under center, but the offensive line protecting him is arguably the best in all of football. Joining Bryant will be Jason Witten and rookie Ezekiel Elliott. Witten has proven himself to be one of the best tight ends in the game time and time again. The Cowboys offense ranked 2nd in the league in points per game and they will certainly need to rank that high again considering their defense ranked 30th in points allowed per game. The Cowboys may be America’s Team, but they’ll need to perform as early as Week 1 if they want anyone’s NFL bet to favor them.
Manning and Beckham will be joined by Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings on offense. Cruz is a solid slot receiver who will help take the pressure of Beckham, as long as Cruz can stay healthy. Rashad Jennings averaged a favorable 4.4 yards per carry last season and will be looking to build on that success. Defensively the Giants were terrific against the run but terrible against the pass.
Both of these teams are evenly matched which is made evident by how the odds are pegged across the top sportsbooks such as SBGGlobal.eu. Neither team is coming in as a favorite and whoever wins this contest will get an early start to winning the NFC East.