The New York Giants have fired Ben McAdoo. Big Blue canned their second-year coach after a Week 13 loss to the Raiders left the team at 2-10, tied for the second-worst record in the NFL.

The G-Men entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations following an 11-win campaign and McAdoo was +1700 before the season began to be the first coach fired. A lost season plus questionable decision making (benching of Eli Manning) ultimately led to McAdoo’s departure.

Sunday the Giants host the Cowboys in their first game under interim coach Steve Spagnuolo. Dallas is a 5.5-point favorite on the road. With McAdoo out, will the Giants play better?

Forget the x’s and o’s, what can history tell us? Using the Bet Labs database, since 2003, McAdoo is the 22nd coach to be fired in-season. Here are how the previous 21 teams did in the next game:

YearTeamCoachspreadWin?Covered?
2016RamsJeff Fisher15NoNo
2015EaglesChip Kelly4YesYes
2015TitansKen Whisenhunt7YesYes
2015DolphinsJoe Philbin2.5YesYes
2014RaidersDennis Allen7NoYes
2011ChiefsTodd Haley11YesYes
DolphinsTony Sparano-1YesYes
JaguarsJack Del Rio3NoNo
201049ersMike Singletary-6YesYes
BroncosJosh McDaniels-4NoNo
CowboysWade Phillips11.5YesYes
VikingsBrad Childress-1YesYes
2009BillsDick Jauron9NoYes
200849ersMike Nolan-5NoNo
RaidersLane Kiffin7NoNo
RamsScott Linehan12YesYes
2007FalconsBobby Petrino13NoNo
2005LionsSteve Mariucci2.5NoNo
2004BrownsButch Davis11.5NoNo
DolphinsDave Wannstedt9.5NoYes
2003FalconsDan Reeves8NoNo

On average, teams are 5.5-point underdogs in their first game after a coach gets fired. These teams have gone 9-12 (42.9%) straight-up, a marked improvement from how they played prior to the head coach leaving town. Combined, the 21 teams had a 56-150 (27.2%) record before the coach was dismissed.

The improved win rate leads to a profitable record against-the-spread (12-9 ATS). At the time of publication, less than 40% of spread bets are on the Giants as home dogs. It is a small sample, but it is reasonable to theorize that teams would play better once a coach, like McAdoo, who had lost the locker room is no longer part of the organization.

New York has nothing to play for but with Eli back at starter, McAdoo out, the G-Men have a chance to deal a devastating blow to the Cowboys playoff hopes if they can pull the upset in MetLife Stadium.