The 2012 NFL season begins for real Wednesday night as the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and their NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, get it on at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey Wednesday night (8:30 pm Eastern, NBC).
Earlier this week most Week 1 NFL odds boards were chalking New York Giants at -3 for this game, with an ‘over/under’ of 46.5. But as of Wednesday morning most NFL betting outlets had bumped the Giants to -4, and lowered the total to 45.
For bettors who don’t want to give the points New York could also be played at around -200 on the moneyline at various NFL betting shops, while Dallas could be gotten at upwards of +170 to win this game outright.
To review, the Giants went 9-7 last year to win the NFC East. They then beat Atlanta in an NFC Wild-Card game, upset the 15-1 Packers in Green Bay in the divisional round, then beat the 49ers in San Francisco in overtime to win the NFC championship.
Then, for the second time in four years, New York shocked a favored New England team in the Super Bowl, winning this time 21-17.
On the other side of this matchup Dallas started 3-4 last year, then won four in a row to get to 7-4 and appeared on its way to a division title. But the Cowboys then lost four of their last five games, including two to the Giants, to finish at 8-8 and out of the playoffs for the second straight season.
The key matchup in Wednesday’s game may be the now-healthy Giants defensive line vs. a banged-up Cowboys offensive front. Three Dallas offensive linemen missed significant parts of the pre-season because of injury, necessitating a cut-day trade with Miami for back-up C Ryan Cook. On the other side of the ball G-Men Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora battled injuries last year, but are healthy are rarin’ to go for this season.
New York, as mentioned above, swept the two games from the Cowboys last year, rallying for two late scores to win the first game 37-34, then destroying Dallas in the regular-season finale 31-14. So the Giants have taken five of the last six games in the rivalry with the Cowboys.
Also, five of the last six games in this series have played ‘over’ on the totals.