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Spread for Giants vs Cowboys Game Remains at 7 After Zeke Ends Holdout

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Updated Apr 7, 2020 · 9:58 AM PDT

Zeke Elliott celebrating
Zeke has officially been fed. Photo from @dallascowboys (Twitter).
  • The Dallas Cowboys are listed as seven-point favorites in Sunday’s NFL season opener against the New York Giants
  • Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott ended his holdout and signed a contract on Wednesday
  • Despite this development, the line remains unchanged

What is Ezekiel Elliott worth to the Dallas Cowboys? Not that much this week against the New York Giants in the opinion of the oddsmakers at the top sportsbooks.

Cowboys star running back Elliott ended his contract holdout Wednesday and signed a six-year, $90-million pact with Dallas. He’s expected to see limited duty in Sunday’s season opener.

Perhaps taking that into consideration, Elliott’s return had no impact upon the line on the game. Dallas remains a seven-point favorite in the Giants vs Cowboys odds at most leading sportsbooks, though others have the line at Dallas -7.5.

New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
New York Giants +265 +7.5 (-120) Over 45.5 (-110)
Dallas -330 -7.5 (Even) Under 45.5 (-110)

Odds taken 9/04/19.

How Will Cowboys Utilize Elliott?

Dallas coach Jason Garrett suggested that Elliott, who hasn’t practiced with the Cowboys since June, was likely to see somewhere between 20-25 reps. He’ll share backfield duties with rookie Tony Pollard and fullback Jamize Olawale.

Elliott averaged 59.3 snaps per game last season, and touched the ball on nearly 43 percent of those snaps, so 20-25 snaps is quite the downturn from his usual workload. That should benefit the Giants.

Elliott led the NFL in rushing with 1434 yards last season, the second time he’s done so in the last three years. His value to what the Cowboys do on offense can’t be downplayed.

Does The Line Favor Giants?

It’s the first time since 2015 that the Cowboys have been favored by at least seven points against the Giants. The last time they were given this wide of a margin in the point spread was in the opening week of the 2015 season. Dallas failed to cover, winning 27-26 as the seven-point chalk.

Last season, the Cowboys beat the Giants 20-13 as three-point favorites and also won 36-35 as 7.5-point underdogs. Dallas is 4-0 against the spread in their last four meetings with the Giants.

Prior to that, the Cowboys went 0-3-1 ATS in their previous four games playing the Giants.

Should You Take The Points?

The Cowboys are 2-1-1 the last four times they were favored by at least seven points. Overall, Dallas was 9-8-1 ATS last season.

Though they were 5-11 straight up last season, the Giants were a decent ATS play at 8-7-1. On top of that, they are 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 games in which they were given seven or more points.

The Cowboys have won by seven or more points at home against the Giants just three times in their last 10 meetings. The total has also gone under 45.5 in the last three Giants-Cowboys games at Dallas.

There is uncertainty in the Dallas camp. No, the Giants are not the better team. But Saquon Barkley, their ace back, is primed and ready to role.

This has trap game written all over it for Dallas.

Play: New York Giants (+7, -120), Under 45.5 (-110)

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