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The prospect of Tony Romo not being pressured by Jason Pierre-Paul is influencing the betting matchup in the Sunday Night Football season opener between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys this week.
Defending NFC East champion Dallas is listed as 6-point to 7-point home favorites against the Giants at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cowboys opened as a 5-point favorite.
New York appears resigned to starting the season without Pierre-Paul. The star defensive end permanently damaged his right hand in a Fourth of July fireworks accident. Wide receiver Victor Cruz will sit out Week 1 in his comeback from knee surgery.
Dallas is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The ATS win was against the Giants and three of four ATS losses were to teams that finished 2014 with a winning record. The Cowboys are 5-1 SU in their last six September home games and are also 4-0 SU in their last four games as favorites.
The Cowboys enter the season with high expectations. Romo, at age 35, is complemented by perhaps the NFL’s best offensive line with center Travis Frederick, right guard Zack Martin and left tackle Tyron Smith. Romo, of course, also has the luxury of throwing to a bona fide No. 1 wide receiver in Dez Bryant.
The question mark with Dallas is how it will divide the workload at running back after saying goodbye to DeMarco Murray, who had a whopping 449 touches in 2014. Joseph Randle is listed first but there is no clear leader in a competition with ex-Oakland Raider Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and recent trade addition Christine Michael.
The Giants are 2-4 ATS in their last six road games. The long-term trend is even more inauspicious: They are 6-14 SU in their last 20 road games. Quarterback Eli Manning commands an aggressive, high-tempo offense and has an exciting second-year wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. That explosiveness helps the Giants be competitive.
The total for Sunday night’s Giants vs. Cowboys betting matchup is set at 51 to 51.5 points at the sportsbooks. The total has gone OVER in the last five Giants-Cowboys games. The total has also gone OVER in six of the last seven games where the Giants were underdogs.
The OddsShark Computer has projected a 28.8-23.4 Dallas victory.