The NFL Week Eight odds are out, and the card includes Tom Brady versus the New York Giants.
From the nostalgia realm, Big Blue is one of few teams to have Brady’s number in big games, beating him in two Super Bowls and foiling the New England Patriots’ unbeaten-season bid in 2007.
These days, Brady is one of the NFL’s hottest stories. He’s rejuvenated as the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his new team will be at MetLife Stadium one week from tonight to face the G-Men. From an NJ sports betting perspective, this is one of the more lopsided contests on the NFL Week Eight card.
The 1-6 Giants opened at +10 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The over-under is 47.5. Tampa Bay games hit the over the last two weeks, while the under payed out on Giants games.
Let’s look at the key factors surrounding this matchup.
NFL Week Eight: Brady, Bucs and Giants
Brady, who is 4-1 all-time against the Giants during the regular season, leads a team that has roared into prominence.
The Bucs have notched 83 points in their back-to-back wins over two strong teams, the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders.
The Giants are 1-6, but the line is important. They are 4-3 against the spread this season. Their last three games, all of which were against NFC East squads, were decided by a total of five points. And if we make it the last four games, the point differential is -13.
So New York is playing teams tough.
Gronk is looking like Gronk
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, cajoled out of retirement after Brady left New England, scored for the second straight week when the Bucs throttled Las Vegas, 45-20, on Sunday. The Gronk to score props are going to heat up.
Brady’s favorite target with the Pats was looking rusty up until Week Six. And it coincides with Tampa Bay covering the spread emphatically. The Bucs look poised to go on a tear.
At the same time, the Giants are going in the opposite direction. Marquee running back Saquon Barkley is out for the season with a torn ACL. Big Blue does have credible threats in wide receivers Darius Slayton and Golden Tate, but the lack of an explosive back has hurt them.
So who is their best runner now?
That would be quarterback Daniel Jones. He had an 80-yard run against the Philadelphia Eagles in Thursday night’s 22-21 loss and a 49-yard scamper against Washington the previous week. The latter is New York’s only victory so far.
Brady + Bucs putting teams away
Brady is getting terrific protection.
The Packers and the Raiders rarely got near him, and he was not sacked in either game. Brady relaxed in the pocket as though he was in a rocking chair. Just look at his 2020 numbers so far.
Tom Brady and the Patriots have been trending in opposite directions this season 😳 pic.twitter.com/Jz8tdkZDYx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 25, 2020
If he gets that kind of time, the Giants are in trouble, and bettors taking the over (47) will salivate. Tampa Bay scored on six of its final possessions on Sunday and showed the mark of a championship team by applying the dagger via three fourth-quarter touchdowns.
The Giants offense is a different story. Besides lacking weapons, Jones is not getting good protection. This scenario often leads him to commit a turnover. He had a second-quarter interception and a fourth-quarter fumble that sealed the Giants’ fate against Philadelphia.
Giants can’t close out games
Brady continues to go for the jugular.
Sunday’s game against the Raiders is the perfect example.
At the end of the first half, with Tampa holding a 14-10 lead, Brady threw on 4th-and-3 and converted. Seconds later, he tossed a beautiful aerial into the corner of the end zone for a Bucs touchdown with 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Then there are the Giants, who cannot finish a game. Even in their lone victory, they could not hold a one-touchdown lead. The defense was burned on a late TD pass, but Washington coach Ron Rivera gambled on the two-point conversion and lost.
New York also had Philadelphia in a 21-10 fourth-quarter hole, but a slew of defensive penalties changed the momentum. The Eagles scored two touchdowns in the final six minutes to win. However, the Giants preserved the cover at +4.5.
Could NFL Week 8 be a trap game?
The Bucs are on fire, but the game after this one is huge. They host the New Orleans Saints, who toppled them 34-23 in the season opener.
Both teams have two losses, but if New Orleans defeats Tampa Bay, the Saints will have a pivotal tiebreaker for playoff considerations. It’s also considered a statement game.
If the Bucs are going to change the Saints’ NFC South dominance, the game after this one is the tilt that matters. Tampa Bay must avoid looking past the Giants.
The Giants don’t have the luxury of calling anything a trap game, but they have two important clashes with Washington (Nov. 8) and the Eagles (Nov. 15) after this game.
Given the strange nature of the division, they are 1.5 games off the lead, held by the Eagles at 2-4-1. One win in this division becomes instant relevance.
The Eagles are in first place now. Washington, 2-5, is in second.
New York Jets @ Kansas City Chiefs
Bettors don’t laugh about a team’s record, they play into it. New York Jets backers were in the minority Sunday against the Buffalo Bills but were rewarded with the team’s first cover in an 18-10 home loss.
The Jets played with vitality and spark. Sam Darnold returned at quarterback, and the Jets defense kept a potent Buffalo offense out of the end zone.
Fast-forward to Week Eight, and the Jets are getting a whopping 20.5 points against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. To rub salt in their 0-7 seasonal wound, the Jets will see their star 2019 free-agent acquisition, Le’Veon Bell, on the other side of the ball.
That’s some sad irony for the Jets.