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Giants deliver as big favorites

With everything seemingly in favor of the New York Giants, the betting public jumped on board Sunday, and Eli Manning delivered a victory that looked too easy.

Manning passed for three touchdowns in the first half as the Giants rolled over the Dallas Cowboys, 35-14.

The Giants, who closed as 81/2-point home favorites, improved to 7-1 straight up and 6-2 against the spread. The Cowboys dropped to 5-4 and 3-6 against the spread.

“We got sharp money and public money all over the Giants,” MGM Mirage sports book director Jay Rood said. “It’s tough to get anyone to bet the Cowboys right now.”

Dallas’ despair has a lot to do with quarterback Tony Romo’s hand injury that has sidelined him for three games. In his absence, veteran Brad Johnson has played poorly, and Johnson was benched and replaced by Brooks Bollinger against the Giants.

The Cowboys finished with only 183 total yards as Johnson and Bollinger combined to throw three interceptions.

“It shows how much the NFL is driven by quarterback play,” Rood said. “This is a quarterbacks’ league, and even though Romo wasn’t playing great, it’s a position that instills confidence in the entire team. The Cowboys are losing their swagger.”

Dallas is last in the NFC East going into its bye week. Romo is expected to return at Washington on Nov. 16.

“It’s amazing because after three or four games, everybody was saying this is a Super Bowl team. But now the Cowboys might not even make the playoffs,” Paramount Sports handicapper Lee Sterling said.

On what Rood said was a slow wagering day, the bettors beat the books by backing the Giants and betting against undefeated Tennessee.

The Titans, 8-0 straight up and 7-1 against the spread, opened the week as 51/2-point home favorites over the Green Bay Packers. The line plummeted to 31/2 and 3 by kickoff, and the Titans won 19-16 in overtime.

Underdogs are 8-5 in Week 9 with Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami and the New York Jets recording outright upsets.

The Bengals were 71/2-point home underdogs in their first win of the season, 21-19 over Jacksonville.

The Jets closed as 5-point road underdogs in a 26-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills, who have lost three of their past four games.

Rood said the Dolphins helped the books by upsetting Denver, 26-17. The Broncos closed as 4-point home favorites.

The four afternoon games resulted in a split decision between the books and bettors. The public supported the Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, who routed the Seattle Seahawks, 26-7. The Eagles closed as 7-point road favorites.

The bettors erred by backing the Broncos and Oakland Raiders, who were embarrassed 24-0 by the Atlanta Falcons. Rookie quarterback Matt Ryan has Atlanta at 5-3 straight up and against the spread.

“We had quite a bit of money on the Raiders,” said Rood, who closed the Falcons as 3-point road favorites.

The Indianapolis Colts edged the New England Patriots 18-15 in Sunday’s late game. Rood said a majority of bettors rode the Colts as 6-point home favorites.

The Redskins are 21/2-point home favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers in tonight’s game. The total is 361/2.

The Giants opened as 3-point underdogs at Philadelphia in the most attractive matchup of Week 10.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907.

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