The Dallas Cowboys will be leaning heavily on a pair of heralded rookies Sunday afternoon when they host the New York Giants as slim 1-point home underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Cowboys tallied just four straight-up wins last season, including just one victory without starting quarterback Tony Romo, who missed 12 games to injury.
With Romo sidelined once again by a back injury, Dallas has turned to rookie passer Dak Prescott, who makes his NFL debut in Sunday afternoon’s Giants vs. Cowboys betting matchup at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Prescott faces a huge task as he tries to revive a Cowboys offense that mustered a feeble 17.2 points per game in 2015, but rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is expected to help him. This year’s fourth-overall draft pick, Elliott was named a unanimous All-American last year after rushing for 1,821 yards for Ohio State, finding the end zone on 23 occasions.
The uncertainty Romo’s injury creates and the club’s reliance on its young stars have taken their toll on the Cowboys’ Super Bowl 51 odds, which have slipped to +1800 after opening at +1500. However, Dallas maintains solid +240 odds to win the NFC East, trailing the Giants, who sit as the +175 favorites.
New York finished with a 6-10 record last year, surrendering over 40 points per game in a disastrous three-game SU losing streak to finish the season. The Giants notched a 27-20 home victory over the Cowboys last season, but are winless SU in their past three visits to Dallas, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, covering just once during that stretch.
Jimmy Garoppolo also will make his much-anticipated debut as an NFL starter when the New England Patriots visit the Arizona Cardinals for a Sunday night game as 6.5-point underdogs.
The Patriots are winless SU in their past three games as underdogs of six or more points but are 7-1 against the spread in eight such contests dating to 2001. Arizona, meanwhile, looks to reverse its dismal record at the sportsbooks in recent home contests, covering just once in its past seven games at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Elsewhere, the Green Bay Packers will be looking to justify their position as Super Bowl 51 favorites when they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars as 6-point betting favorites on Sunday.
The defending NFC East champion Washington Redskins kick off a Monday Night Football doubleheader as 3-point underdogs against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. The scene then switches to San Francisco, where the 49ers will play host to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday as 3-point underdogs.
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