Cowboys vs. Giants 2013, Week 12: Betting odds, trends & picks

Tom Pennington

Cowboys-Giants will have an immense impact on the NFC Playoff picture. Based on trends, it will also be a difficult matchup for bettors to predict.

The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants are moving in decidedly different directions. The Cowboys have had two weeks to think about a 49-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, during which they were dominated in all facets. The Giants are winners of four straight to put themselves back in the race for the NFC East crown after looking moribund during an 0-6 stretch to start the season. They will host the Cowboys on Sunday as 3-point favorites, according to Odds Shark.

If you are looking to bet the game straight-up, the Giants appear to be the stronger pick. Not only have they not lost since early October, but they have dominated their series against the Cowboys. New York has won six of the last nine meetings against Dallas. The Cowboys won the last meeting between the two teams, 36-31, in Dallas during Week 1, however, and successfully covered a 3.5-point spread.

Going on the road changes the complexion of the game somewhat for Dallas. The Cowboys have lost five of their last six games on the road. They've been ugly against the spread, as well, particularly against the Giants. Dallas is 6-13-1 ATS in its last 20 games against the Giants, and 8-17 in its last 25 games against the Giants on the road.

However, the Cowboys have otherwise been solid against the spread this season, going 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games. Unfortunately for bettors looking for an easy trend to latch on to, the Giants have also been excellent ATS of late, going 4-1 over their last five games after starting the year 0-5.

The total for the game is currently set at 46 points. If the 3-point line holds, the total projects the Giants as either 25-22 or 24-21 victors Sunday, and makes a push on both the point spread and the total impossible. Typically, when these two teams face off, plenty of points are scored. The point total has gone over in seven of the last nine meetings between the Cowboys and the Giants, and four of the last six meetings in New Jersey. The Cowboys are scoring 27.4 points per game while allowing 25.8 per game this season. The Giants score 19.2 points per game while allowing 25.6 per game.

Odds Shark's computer model prefers the Cowboys this week, though the model takes into account the season's entire body of work for both teams. Bettors may have some doubts about the Cowboys after watching their beating at the hands of the Saints. Conversely, the Giants look like a much improved team from the outfit that didn't pick up its first win until the second-to-last weekend in October.

Fans should expect a high quality game, given its importance to the NFC playoff picture. Unfortunately, the trends don't paint a clear picture for bettors. At a glance, the Giants appear to be the hotter team. Those siding with New York this Sunday will be placing their hopes in a relatively small sample size of games, however.

Pick: Cowboys | Computer Prediction: 24-17 Cowboys (follow Odds Shark on Twitter for line updates and injury news)

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