Well, that was a quick move. The New York Giants odds opened at +4.5 Monday morning against the host Washington Football Team for Thursday Night’s launch of NFL Week 2.
By Monday night, the NJ sports betting line was a memory. Almost before NJ online sports bettors could snatch it, the line dove to +3.
Much of the drop will be attributed to the expectation that Ryan Fitzpatrick is out as Washington’s QB. He suffered a hip injury in Sunday’s opening-game loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Now that he is on injured reserve, the veteran passer is out a minimum of six to eight weeks.
What’s not largely known is that his backup, Taylor Heinicke, is pretty good.
The line change may be an overreaction to Fitzpatrick’s departure, but a number of Garden State gamblers are glad they grabbed that first number.
The sportsbook boards began picking up Tuesday morning, moments after the Las Vegas Raiders’ thrilling overtime triumph over the Baltimore Ravens.
Early Thursday Night Football betting considerations
Hey DraftKings Sportsbook customers, did you miss that chance at the early line? You can buy half a point, pushing the Giants to +3.5, for -130.
Quarterback Daniel Jones has a prop line of over-under 231.5 yards at -115.
He’s a healthy +145 if he is able to throw two or more touchdown passes. That’s usually asking a lot against Washington, hence the high number. But Jones has some good history against Washington (more on that below)
For Washington, Heinicke likes receiver Terry McLaurin, who came alive after the back-up QB entered Sunday.
McLaurin is -115 for over 66.5 yards. He had 62 on Sunday.
Antonio Gibson, who pounded the rock for 90 yards on Sunday, is -115 for over 65.5 rushing yards. He’s also -115 for 87.5 rushing and receiving yards.
Caesars Sportsbook has Jones at +150 if he can throw two touchdowns. Both books have Jones and Heinicke at odds of approximately -150 to toss at least one interception. Big bettors may slam that, but it’s not worthwhile for smaller players (i.e., bet $10 to win $5).
At FanDuel Sportsbook, the Giants to win and score first is +240.
For Washington to win and score first, the total is +138
There are races to five, 10, 15, and 20 points scored with Washington significantly favored at each stop.
Want to root for both teams?
Will there be at least five combined touchdowns in the game? Yes is +102, no is -124.
Can each team score a touchdown in each half? Yes is +280.
Given the propensity for Jones’ mistakes, some type of Washington special teams score also has a reasonable chance.
This game has NFC East implications
The Giants and the Washington Football, both 0-1, need this game. While 0-2 doesn’t bounce a team from the playoffs, the Giants can borrow a phrase from famous New York Yankee Yogi Berra.
“It gets late early out here.”
That means a loss drops either of these teams at last 1.5 games behind the Philadelphia Eagles, possibly two. For Washington, going 0-2 at home would dig a huge hole.
Lately, the Giants have enjoyed playing Washington.
History favors the New York Giants
The Giants have won five straight games against Washington, although many have been close. They obtained their first win of the 2020 season against Washington, 20-19 in Week 6.
After dropping to 1 -7, they secured a 23-20 triumph over Washington in Week 9. That triumph propelled New York to a season-best four-game winning streak.
The Giants have covered in the last 11 road games against NFC East opponents. Last season that meant a win at Washington, a one-point nail-biting loss to the Eagles, and a three-point setback to the Dallas Cowboys.
The over-under total reflects an attractive betting target.
Because they were the lowest-scoring team in the NFC last year (280 points), the Giants and their opponents went over the total just three times.
And their last eight games have gone “under” the total. What does that mean for bettors? Sooner or later, a line has to be placed low enough for the teams to go over. Forty-one points is manageable here for many reasons.
It almost happened Sunday.
A third-quarter fumble by Jones led to a downward spiral in the 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos. The miscue cost the Giants at least three points and prevented them from kicking a field goal the next time they came down the field because their deficit had become 13 points.
Even two field goals on those drives would have put the final point total into the mid-40s. The over-under total for that game was 42.
On the Washington side, a bogus call cost Los Angeles at least three points. An apparent incomplete pass by Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was ruled a fumble that went through the end zone. Touchback. Strange. And at the end of the game, the Chargers were close to a score but took victory formation.
This game could have been in the mid-40s too.
‘Danny Dimes’ loves playing Washington
The Giants’ quarterback has struggled against many NFL teams. But he’s undefeated against Washington. For some reason, he is able to bring out his best games against them.
Jones’ career game occurred against them in 2019. He threw for 352 yards and five, count -em five touchdowns, both all-time highs. The Giants needed every bit of them in a 41-35 victory. Once it gets inside an athlete’s head that he does well consistently against certain teams, he often repeats it.
Where the New York Giants look to improve
Can running back Saquon Barkley step up?
The star back has not inspired much confidence upon his return from a season-ending 2020 injury. One reason he only had 26 yards on 10 carries was that Denver played keep away in the second half and the run game wasn’t much of a factor. Barkley only caught one pass for one yard. He doesn’t look right yet.
A closer look at Taylor Heinicke history
Heinicke is small and gets the ball away quickly. Heinicke was 11-15 with 122 yards and a touchdown in relief of Fitzpatrick Sunday. No picks. He’s good for the up-tempo rhythm of the Washington offense. His ability to avert sacks has let receivers break their routes and sneak open.
Heinicke elevates the level of Gibson and McLaurin, who could be attractive yardage and scoring props.
The case for betting Washington: Denver had over 400 yards against the Giants. The Broncos were 5-11 last year and the Giants made them look 11-5. Barkley doesn’t look like Barkley. The Giants usually find a way to implode.
The case for betting the Giants: Recent history and Washington is not that good either.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke