New York Giants Injuries Leave Them Shorthanded Against Dallas Cowboys

Posted on: November 23, 2022, 02:31h. 

Last updated on: November 23, 2022, 02:31h.

Grandma is cooking Thanksgiving turkey tomorrow, unless the New York Giants sign her to play wide receiver, cornerback, or offensive lineman.

Yes, the Giants have been bitten by the injury bug. But this particular bug is a Goliath beetle, and medical schools are asking if their students can be flown to Dallas for lessons in Triage 101 from Professor Brian Daboll, who moonlights as an NFL head coach.

The line on Sunday’s game between the two teams with identical 7-3 records is Dallas -9 1/2 or -10 Wednesday afternoon after opening at Dallas -8. Expectations for Big Blue were low after they lost numerous key players to injuries in last Sunday’s 31-18 stink bomb of a loss to the Detroit Lions.

And we use the word stink bomb because we are refraining from using a vulgarity to describe a loss in which Saquon Barkley managed only 22 yards on 15 carries, rookie receiver Wan’Dale Robinson blew out his knee after catching 9 passes for 100 yards, and top cornerback Adoree’ Jackson blew out his knee on a punt return, among other disasters.

The offensive line is now almost exclusively second-stringers and players playing out of position, and those guys now must try to protect quarterback Daniel Jones against a Cowboys defense that not only leads the NFL in sacks with 42, but also has allowed the fewest points (16.7 per game) and the fewest passing yards (174.5 per game).

Kickoff is 4:30 p.m. EST, and it is reasonable to assume that this one should be a Cowboys beatdown by the time dinner is served. If the oddsmakers are correct, only the fans in Dallas will enjoy dessert. Giants fans get humble pie.

Where Will Injuries Hurt The Giants The Most?

The patched-together secondary must defend against Dak Prescott, who averaged 226.4 passing yards per game, but must hit 250 Thursday to cover the over/under of 249.5. He is +250 to throw for at least 300, and +700 (at DraftKings) to throw for more than 350 yards. At +900 to throw for 300 yards or more is Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who was sacked twice and was intercepted twice against Detroit while throwing for 341 yards, his highest total of the season by a lot — 124 more than he had against Green Bay in Week 5.

Presumably, the professional wide receivers who back up the injured Sterling Shepard (knee), Robinson (knee), Collin Jackson (Achilles), Daniel Bellinger (eye socket) and Richie Jones (knee) are capable of catching Jones’ passes, although Kenny Golladay has proven that just because you are paid $70 million to catch passes, sometimes you just drop them. His next TD catch will be his first since Oct. 4, 2020, which was 25 1/2 months ago.

If we operate under the assumption that the Cowboys will be throwing more than usual against the backup cornerbacks, it is safe to assume that the Giants will yield TD passes and will be forced do the same thing, especially after Barkley’s dreadful outing against the Lions when his longest carry was for 4 yards. He still ranks second in the NFL with 953 rushing yards, 57 fewer than Tennessee’s Derrick Henry. But when you did what the Giants did last week and telegraph what is coming like you are Samuel Morse– handoff to Barkley up the middle, followed by  handoff to Barkley up the middle — opposing teams that are bad against the run can still stop him, as the Lions proved.

Whether Jones can find someone reliable on pass plays aside from Barkley and Darius Slayton is the big offensive question for the Giants. That’s if Jones has enough time against Dallas’ pass rush to stand in the pocket and look around. Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka will probably go with some misdirection trickery in order to allow Jones to scramble to the sides and have a run-or-pass option. Slayton is +700 to have a 100+ yard receiving game, which is how far-fetched DraftKings sees it. Giants running back Gary Brightwell, who rushed for a TD the last time he touched a football in an actual game, Week 5 in London against Green Bay, is priced at +2600 at FanDuel to be an anytime TD scorer for New York.

Jones has more rushing yards than every NFL quarterback not named Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, or Jalen Hurts. Jones’ 437 rushing yards rank him 36th leaguewide, and he may be forced to run for his life if Dallas’ defensive line pressures him the same way they did in a 23-16 victory over the Giants in Week 3, when Jones was sacked five times, three by DeMarcus Lawrence.

Jones’ rushing over/under is 37 1/2., which is curious because Jones rushed for 79 yards on 9 carries the last time these teams met. Those looking for a repeat performance can get a Jones alternate rushing yardage line of +550 for 75 or more rushing yards, or +1100 for 100 at DraftKings, which is offering a free NFL makeup bet if your wager loses on Thanksgiving. (Note the “OPTED-IN” gray area below the nav bar below. You have to opt-in, and then add it to your bet slip by checking a box.)

What Is At Stake In The Big Picture?

The Cowboys are performing as well as most folks predicted, while the Giants have overperformed and have had their fair share of good luck over the course of their 10 games. But the recent rash of injuries has knocked their odds down to +2500 to win the NFC East. Dallas, with the same 7-3 record entering this game, is +300. Philadelphia (9-1), which still must play New York twice, along with a road game at Dallas and a home game against Tennessee (7-3), is -360 to win the division.

The Cowboys are +450 to make it to the Super Bowl out of the NFC, while the Giants are +4000. Insert your own sleeping Giant joke here, and you can laugh all the way to the bank if they win with a moneyline of +340.

But injuries to front line players have a history of turning dream seasons nightmarish, and it would be a stunner to see the Cowboys lose. That’s after they just took out the Vikings 40-3 on the road in Minnesota behind seven sacks and two rushing touchdowns from Ezekiel Elliott in his return from injury. They also scored on their first seven possessions and held Justin Jefferson to three catches for 33 yards. Remember that bag of trick plays Giants coach Brian Daboll was tapping into earlier this season? Giants fans can only hope he has a few the Cowboys are not prepared for.

Any Trends Or Line Deviations Worth Noting?

Both teams are 7-3-0 against the spread. Dallas has gone over four times in 10 games, and the Giants three times in 10 games. The over/under of 45 1/2 was seeing 70% of bettors taking the “over” at Draft Kings, and moneyline action was an 84-16 split in terms of handle. At BetMGM, the spread split was 60-40 in favor of Dallas, and the over-under split was 63-37 in favor of the over, spokesman John Ewing said.

Among the nine sportsbooks licensed in New York, BetMGM and Caesars had the line at 10 as of mid-afternoon Wednesday. WynnBet, FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, BetRivers, and BallyBet had it at 9 1/2. Also at -9 1/2 are the Buffalo Bills, who are playing in Detroit for the second straight week (a blizzard forced there there last Sunday) and remain the Super Bowl cofavorites at +450 along with the Kansas City Chiefs.

For those who care, the most exotic bet combination of unlikely events that we could find was a +4454 moneyline parlay price on all three underdogs to win: Detroit, New York, and New England (in the nightcap against Minnesota). A $10 wager would pay $455.40.

What the heck, eh? Football (even the soccer variant) can bring surprises.