Cowboys open season as favorites vs. Giants on SNF

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(OddsShark.com) The Dallas Cowboys will open the defense of their NFC East division crown on Sunday Night Football, playing host to the division rival New York Giants as 6-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Cowboys ended a four-year playoff drought last season by capturing the NFC East title on the strength of a 12-4 record, and will be looking to continue their four-game straight up and against the spread winning streak they had built in the final month of the 2014 regular season.

Dallas is no stranger to the primetime stage, with Sunday’s Giants vs. Cowboys betting matchup at AT&T Stadium marking their 30th appearance on Sunday Night Football since the start of the 2006 season.

However, the Cowboys have been streaky at best on Sunday nights, compiling a 16-13 straight up record overall, but were a perfect 3-0 SU last season, 2-1 against the spread, including a 31-28 road victory over the Giants in which they failed to cover as 4.5-point road favorites.

Inconsistency has also marked the Cowboys’ recent performances at home, where they have picked up SU wins in their last two contests but are just 2-3 SU in their last five, including three outright losses as betting favorites.

The Giants return to action looking to rebound from a disappointing 6-10 season and missing the postseason for a third straight year.

New York finished the campaign on a somewhat positive note, picking up SU wins over the bottom-feeding Titans and Redskins before knocking off the Rams 37-27 as 6.5-point road underdogs, going 3-1 down the stretch both SU and ATS.

However, the Giants have enjoyed far less success on Sunday Night Football, going 9-14 SU in 23 appearances since 2006, including a 3-4 SU record against Dallas.

And New York’s struggles against the Cowboys have not been limited to primetime, with the Giants currently enduring a four-game SU losing streak against Dallas, 1-3 ATS, ending a strong 8-3 SU and ATS run in their previous 11 meetings according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Regardless of who has emerged victorious, high scores have been a hallmark of Giants vs. Cowboys clashes in recent years, making it no surprise that the point total in Sunday’s game is pegged at 51.5.

Each of the last five matchups between these long-time rivals have played OVER the point total, pushing the OVER to 10-2 in their last 12 meetings.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip

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HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback

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HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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