MNF best bets: NFC East rivals rush toward the prime-time spotlight
Each Monday, we'll finish off the week that was in the NFL with a look at value spots in the remaining game under one condition: you promise not to chase. Whether Sunday provided a boost to the accounts or left a little to be desired, Monday Night Football provides an opportunity to show responsibility in your betting, as there will always be another wild Sunday to get lost in.
It's not exactly the early '90s, even if Micah Parsons is starting to get comparisons to Lawrence Taylor, which I'm sure thrills the New York die-hards. However, with the Cowboys' win last week and the Giants' 2-0 start, at least we're getting this game when there's something to get excited about for both NFC East rivals.
Both defenses have done a nice job of keeping opponents out of the end zone, giving up just one touchdown in each of their games, which is why this total is as low as it is. Given the Cowboys have played the Buccaneers and Bengals, that's pretty impressive. Meanwhile, the Giants have held up against the Titans and Panthers just long enough to edge each team at the end of games.
The line opened Giants -2.5, but we've seen it dip down to around PK over the course of the week, in part due to Cooper Rush's solid showing last week. He's got it done on the road before, subbing in for Dak Prescott in prime time last year, and all the against-the-spread trends show Daniel Jones doesn't get it done at MetLife Stadium.
The Cowboys will continue to lean on their run game and defense. Since the Giants have given up 4.9 yards per carry this season, after finishing 23rd in that category last season, and Jones can be a turnover waiting to happen, we'll lean with the Cowboys' strategy prevailing.
Pick: Cowboys ML -105
Tony Pollard over 59.5 total rush + receiving yards (-115)
As frustrating as it can be to watch Ezekiel Elliott as the focus of the Cowboys' offense, at least they've shown a desire to get Pollard the ball. He's a big play waiting to happen, but we just don't know if that will be in the run or pass game. So let's take the over on combined yards from scrimmage and not have to worry about forward or backward tosses.
Noah Brown over 3.5 receptions (+110) / anytime touchdown (+225)
The Giants' wide receiver usage is a mess, so most valuations in their prop markets are a guess at best. However, the Cowboys have a couple of moving pieces that create opportunities in their passing game.
Michael Gallup's expected return has discounted Brown, but he'll still get plenty of snaps. Gallup won't be ready for a full workload, and Brown has good chemistry with Rush, as evidenced by his five catches on five targets last week. Brown is a big body in the red zone as well, and if Dalton Schultz can't go, he'll be the guy Rush trusts in one-on-ones. Brown is also worth a taste for an anytime touchdown.
Jake Ferguson anytime touchdown (+500)
Ferguson went from playing on 16% of the snaps in Week 1 to 56% in Week 2, and it wasn't all because of Schultz's injury, which happened late in the game. If Schultz can't play, Ferguson gets on the field more and will be the recipient of any plays targeting the tight end near the goal line.
First touchdown scorer: Noah Brown +1100 / Jake Ferguson +3000
In games with low totals, if you're going to bet on an anytime touchdown, you might as well get frisky and put a fraction of a unit on the first touchdown. If there aren't expected to be many scores, "any" score has a better chance than normal of being the first score.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.