Plan B has come early. New York Giants fans and New Jersey online gamblers have a safety valve, courtesy of the NJ sports betting industry.
What happens when a team starts 0-3, as the New York Giants have before invading the 2-1 New Orleans Saints as a decided underdog?
Betting saves the day.
Gamblers have a full plate of options from NJ online sportsbooks, some of which can soften the pain inflicted by a bad team.
Yes, the Giants trail the NFC East division-leading Dallas Cowboys by two games.
No. they can’t manage the last two minutes of a game.
But alas, gamblers can wager into the trend.
Like with previous games, there are questions surrounding the New York Giants this week.
Can the Giants keep it close?
DraftKings Sporrtsbook gamblers issued a resounding “no” early in the week, favoring the Saints with 73% of the spread handle when the line was New Orleans -7. That sentiment helped drive the line to 7.5 by midweek.
Gamblers don’t expect the Giants to score much. The over-under is a modest 42 by modern-day NFL standards and only 38% believe the game will reach that total.
There are few bargain hunters in the moneyline realm. New Orleans obtained 90% of the spread handle despite an unattractive -320 moneyline (that was at -335 early Thursday morning).
The Giants have been in high-underdog territory like this before. But they have come through.
Big Blue has covered the spread in its last 12 road games against NFC opponents and has a big spread to work with.
New Orleans has won its last 15 October games.
What Happened to Jameis Winston, hero of the ‘over’?
The interception prop of 0.5 at +125 at DraftKings starkly reveals his new life. Jameis Winston was once good for three a game.
The New Orleans quarterback was football’s first 30-30 man a couple years back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a rueful distinction of 30 or more passes and interceptions.
This made Winston the hero of “over” bettors everywhere because he could throw a Pick 6 followed by a touchdown pass.
It also prompted Tampa Bay to bring in Tom Brady while Winston went to New Orleans.
Everybody won. Brady seized a Super Bowl for the Bucs and Winston learned Sean Payton’s system in New Orleans. When Drew Brees retired, Winston won the starting job this year.
In two of his three games, he has thrown no picks. He has only tossed two for the year against seven touchdowns. Winston is playing a controlled game to this point.
He was 13 of 21 for 128 yards as the explosive New Orleans offense ran the ball 38 times in a 28-13 win against the New England Patriots.
Here’s a Caesars Sportsbook prop that evaluates another end of the equation.
Winston is -115 to throw for more than 199.5 yards. Sounds simple in the pass-happy NFL, right? Ironically, he has yet to clear 200 yards in any game but has tossed seven touchdowns against only two picks. His highest passing yardage total so far came during NFL Week 1 versus the Green Bay Packers (148).
Can Daniel Jones continue to play fairly well?
The Giants’ quarterback is averaging 260 yards passing per game, easily on track to reward “over” bettors for his season’s yardage total. He also has thrown no picks in three games.
It’s not his fault that receivers are dropping passes and that the offensive line has abandoned him at key junctures. He is the only Giant really playing hard.
Jones rushed for a two-point conversion last week and had a beautiful long TD scamper against the Washington Football Team called back for a penalty.
The Giants need to give him some help.
Can the Giants reward bettors early?
Another Caesars’ prop will tempt Giants bettors who have seen them score the first touchdown twice in three games. The Giants are +145 in this category.
Line shoppers observe a prop at DraftKings and Caesars that reveals the value of half a point.
The Giants have not been scored upon in the first quarter of a game. Hard to square that with an 0-3 mark, yes, but they have come out strong each time.
If bettors seek to parlay that into a winning ticket, DraftKings has the Giants at +2.5 and +100 for the first quarter, along with +185 if they win it.
Caesars has the same idea but considers the Giants +3. That gives bettors a push if the Saints are leading by a field goal. That changes the price to -125.
Bettors who buy points often pay about 25 basis points, changing a +100 price to -125. It’s often a good deal.
More props on Jones, running back Saquon Barkley and the Giants receivers will go up closer to game time.
There is no prop for self-inflicted wounds, however. The Giants’ clock management at the end of the last two games has been horrific.
What about Big Blue getting win No. 1?
Some New Jersey BetMGM backers actually saw this 0-3 start coming.
New York won its first game in Week 6 last year. It paid +1000 to bettors who made that wager before Week 1 last year.
The G-Men are moving that bet into focus with their bad start.
When will the Giants win their first game?
Should they spring an upset this weekend, the number is +1200. If it happens against the Cowboys in Week 5 it would be +1600.
If the Giants don’t win their first game until Week 6, it would have to be against the Los Angeles Rams, 3-0, and pay +2000. After that, odds would go even higher.
Although some bettors wagered into this, the fan base expected much more. The Giants had gone 6-5 after an 0-5 start and nearly won the NFC Least. That now looks moot.
DraftKings reflects the team’s lowered expectations in a relatively new adjusted team-by-team betting prop.
Big Blue, expected to win at least seven and perhaps eight, have an over-under of 4.5 victories, with -115 juice on each side.
The Giants can do their own version of Jim Mora’s “Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?” rant from several years ago about the Saints.
That statement can apply to the Giants, who are -2000 not to make the postseason, +1000 to do so.
The numbers reveal the likelihood that the NFC East will be a one-playoff-team division. Only the division champion, the Dallas Cowboys are 2-1 atop it now, will probably be good enough to reach the playoffs.
Big Blue needs to make a move while it’s still in the same zip code as the NFC East leaders.
But if they don’t, the bettors still can.
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun