Can the New York Giants get off the deck?
That question burns in the minds of New Jersey online sports bettors as Big Blue hosts the Atlanta Falcons as a slight chalk Sunday with two dreaded initials – M.W. – hanging overhead.
Must Win. To some, it’s preposterous to suggest an NFL Week 3 game can attain that significance.
But the Giants know that either the Dallas Cowboys or the Philadelphia Eagles will have two victories after their Monday night battle.
The Washington Football Team, if its underdog odds of more than a touchdown across the major sportsbooks plays out against the Buffalo Bills, will still have one.
The Giants, 0-2 now for the fifth straight year, have the only goose egg in the NFC East standings.
The New York Giants need a W
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings Sportsbook told NJGamblingSites.com “the Giants are not a bad team.”
“They played pretty well against Washington last week. They were able to move the ball. Unfortunately, they are not able to stop teams right now,” said Avello.
The good offensive effort was sabotaged by self-destruct mode against Washington.
The Giants were gut-punched in a last-play field goal, losing a game they had seemingly won. Washington had missed the field goal, but an offside call against the Giants produced a second chance, and their second loss, 30-29.
By Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff, the Giants will have endured 10 long days to stew about it.
So will the moneyline bettors. The Giants did cover the +4.5 spread, but bettors who took attractive odds on the Giants to win outright, and who parlayed that with prop bets, got singed.
“That final play was a seven-figure turn for us alone,” said Avello. “That changed a lot of tickets. That was huge for so many gamblers.
“Overall, I still think the Giants can win six or seven games, but right now they are not as good as the other three NFC East teams. If Dak Prescott stays healthy for Dallas, the Cowboys will be the team to beat in that division.”
NY Giants and NFC East futures
To underscore Avello’s point, here are the NFC East division odds at DraftKings:
- Dallas -130
- Eagles +350
- Washington +350
- Giants +900
At Caesars Sportsbook, there is even more confidence in Dallas and less in the Giants.
- Dallas -150
- Washington +350
- Eagles +475
- Giants +950
Last season, the odds shifted substantially after every game because division teams scuffled. It was wise to consider buying teams on the dip after they lost.
But if the Cowboys are as good as projected, there will be fewer opportunities to move up this season.
Big Blue’s state of affairs
Coach Joe Judge, who came from the New England Patriots coaching system that has few special-teams breakdowns, has entered hot-seat territory.
In Week 1, he challenged a scoring play that would have been reviewed anyway, costing the Giants a timeout.
In Week 2, the Giants left 11 points on the board against Washington, managed the clock poorly to leave Washington a timeout on the last possession, and made bad plays at crucial times.
The fans are restless. The jury is starting to turn on the Judge. That heightens the pressure for this game.
What the Giants can build on
Quarterback Daniel Jones had a beautiful 58-yard touchdown run called back by an iffy holding call downfield. Nonetheless, Jones’ run off left tackle may be the best-designed quarterback keeper in all of football.
The Giants gained 391 yards last week, the most offense ever accumulated under offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Can they continue.?
Sterling Shepard is turning into a go-to receiver, with Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney likely to be heard from sooner than later.
That’s part one of high offensive expectations for this contest.
What about part 2?
The Giants also have a leaky defense. Combined, bettors who love offense may have an angle.
What makes the over-under target of 47.5 at most books attractive to gamblers is the Giants have given up 57 points through two games.
The Falcons have allowed an NFL-worst 80, including 20 in the fourth quarter to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a 48-25 loss.
Falcons-Giants betting angles
Here is a look at some of the bets that are up. More will come in closer to game time.
At DraftKings, both teams to score more than 20 points is -120 for yes (as of Thursday morning). Not bad to lay a little juice.
Both teams to score 25 points is +265. That’s an excellent payout considering both teams would have produced winners on this ticket last week.
If by some chance this is a shootout, both teams to score 30 points pays a handsome +600.
Total touchdowns for both teams at more than 5.5 is -110.
Caesars offers the result of the first scoring play:
- New York Giants touchdown +155
- Atlanta touchdown +250
- New York Giants field goal +350
- Atlanta field goal +380
- New York Giants safety +2500
- Atlanta safety +2600
BetMGM allows bettors to create a de-facto prop boost with a neat prop wrinkle.
The Giants on the moneyline are -160. The Falcons on the moneyline are +135.
But the MGM prop enhances the odds if both teams score more than 10 points, which they should.
The Giants to win and for both teams to score 10 points drops the G-Men to -125 on the moneyline. It also boosts Atlanta to +150. Picking up a few basis points for incorporating a near-sure thing into the bet?
It’s an edge to bettors and perhaps an opportunity to slam for a big gambler.
Potential player props to watch
NJ amblers should also keep an eye out for yardage props and scoring opportunities for several Atlanta players.
Calvin Ridley is the leader of this receiving corps with the trade of Julio Jones. He scored last week.
Cordarrelle Paterson is a speed merchant. He scored last week.
Kyle Pitts is the tight end selected fourth overall in this year’s NFL Draft. He had 73 yards last week.
Then there is quarterback Matt Ryan. He tossed for 300 yards against Tampa Bay. He’s also good to throw interceptions. Ryan tossed three last week.
On the Giants’ side, Danny Dimes to score a rushing TD is usually a strong possibility. Jones may be the best rushing quarterback this side of Lamar Jackson and often is the Giants’ running game.
Shepard has become Jones’ favorite target and caught nine balls last week.
Then there is the spot play consideration factor. Golladay and Toney have griped about not getting more balls thrown to them. That sometimes results in more opportunities the following week.
Running back Saquon Barkley may not be ready to turn on the full jets yet, but did look better in Week 2 than Week 1, returning from a season-ending 2020 knee injury.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon