What does the new 17-game NFL schedule, being announced this week, mean for the New York Giants?
At least one extra win, according to early DraftKings Sportsbook betting odds.
The G-Men, 6-10 last season, have an over-under of seven victories for 2021 in the 17-game format.
The Giants drew quick action, advancing to -130 from -125 for the “over” and +107 rather than +103 for the under.
It’s a bullish sign and an interesting revelation of value.
The 17th game is looking like it will be a hit with fans, bettors, and sportsbooks. It takes a week from the bogus NFL preseason schedule, adds it to the regular season, and produces another full-scale wagering week.
It also moves the Super Bowl back to Feb. 13. That’s psychologically enormous for some, with football lasting into mid-winter and bridging pitchers-and-catchers reporting for MLB spring training.
Will the dead of winter be … dead?
What we know about the 17th game
The 17th game features teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their division the previous season. The AFC will be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021.
That means the Giants’ additional game involves a road matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Both teams finished second in their respective divisions.
The New York Jets, who finished in the AFC basement, obtain a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles under the same arrangement.
Looking at NY Giants betting value
So at first glance, there is value with the Giants at DraftKings.
And some bettors jumped on it.
Big Blue moved from +400 to +350 to win the NFC East and remained +225 to reach the playoffs, -286 not to.
The division title has good betting odds. Win a division and you automatically qualify for the playoffs and host a first-round game.
The playoff wager?
It’s a reach and involves wild cards.
If last season’s 7-9 division-winning mark by the Washington Football Team is a benchmark (even if that becomes 8-9 with the extra game), forget the wild card. Only a division title will do.
Ten, not nine, could be the new floor for NFC wild card teams. Division bets look safer.
More NFL betting odds at DraftKings
The Dallas Cowboys are +125 to win the NFC East.
They are usually overbet as a result of outsized media attention. NFC East backers delighted in turning the phrase “How ’bout them Cowboys,” the team’s unofficial catchphrase, as they plunged last year.
This is good news for other teams.
The Washington Football Team is second-favored at +260.
The G-Men are third at their new +350 and the Eagles are at +500.
There’s excellent value on the Giants and Eagles, par value on defending-division champion Washington, and a skimpy return on Dallas.
Giants totals at other NJ online sportsbooks
William Hill has the G-Men at -120 for “over” 7 and +100 for under.
BetMGM has a couple of numbers to meet Giants bettors’ eyes.
It has the G-Men at +8000 to win the Super Bowl. That’s the largest prize for the Giants around the books. The Jets and Eagles have the same number.
BetMGM has a prop on the receiving yards of Kadarius Toney, New York’s first-round draft pick, as over-under 524.5. It’s -110 either way.
Why NJ bettors will back the Giants
For one, the G-Men are moving in the right direction.
The Giants fought back from 0-5, winning six of their final 11 games last year. They nearly won the NFC East despite losing star back Saquon Barkley for the season in Week 2.
Projecting Barkley for a full season even at 80% of his abilities would improve the offense.
He was sorely missed last season. Barkley had more than 2,000 all-purpose yards in 2018. He had more than 1,400 in 2019.
His absence was colossal. The Giants lost his ability to flare out, catch a dump-off pass in space and create substantial yards after the catch.
Barkley near his peak takes the pressure off quarterback Daniel Jones. It also loosens coverage against a suddenly strong, new-look receiving corps.
The Giants obtained Kyle Rudolph, a proven all-pro tight end, from the Minnesota Vikings.
Wide receiver Darius Slayton is a legitimate deep threat. Kenny Golladay, an off-season pickup from the Detroit Lions, complements him.
Toney, a speed merchant, provides a third strong receiver. Some depth charts have Golladay and Toney as the top two receivers, with Slayton third.
Either way, Toney adds punch to the Giants, who scored the NFC’s lowest point total, 280, last year.
And his selection may produce a draft coup.
The Giants traded back from 11 to 20 when receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith were taken off the board.
New York acquired a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 fourth-round pick, and a 2021 fifth-round pick from the Chicago Bears for the 11th selection.
Moving down nine spots in the draft and bringing three more players? Superb.
The Giants are comin’.
On defense Azeez Ojulari, a good edge rusher, was the second overall pick by the Giants, at selection 50. The Giants had a respectable defense last year and focused most of their draft on defensive selections.
Why NJ bettors won’t back the Giants
It starts with Daniel Jones.
This is the Giants’ year of decision regarding “Danny Dimes.”
Some of his big plays have been great. He rumbled for a 34-yard touchdown against the Eagles in a victory last season. He took off on an 80-yard scamper, the longest QB run in Giants history, in a loss to the Eagles.
Jones remains a strong running threat, but fumbles and interceptions have plagued him. He holds the ball too long, having it swiped from his hands while preparing to throw a pass, or tosses costly interceptions. Jones’ turnovers became Pick 6’s or directly led to game-changing touchdowns too often.
Jones also missed three games because of injury.
This is the year he becomes a leader or a backup.
Did you know?
A dime is a perfect football toss, in modern jargon. Jones reluctantly accepted the “Danny Dimes” nickname originally and now he’s all in. Jones filed to obtain a trademark for the name. Think merchandise. Think Danny Dollars.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola