The New York Giants are in uncharted territory with books installing the G-men as field goal favorites over the Atlanta Falcons for Sunday’s clash in the Big Apple. The Giants aren’t often considered the better team in the past couple seasons. And yet, that’s the case for this Week 3 matchup against the beleaguered Falcons. But can the Giants be trusted in this rare spot of favorite with NFL picks against the spread?
|Game: Atlanta Falcons (0-2) at New York Giants (0-2)
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ. Date: Sunday
Time: 1 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
|Atlanta Falcons||+3 -115||+130||48 -110o|
|New York Giants||-3 -105||-150||48 -110u|
Head to Head
Sunday’s game marks the first meeting between Matt Ryan and third-year quarterback Daniel Jones. Ryan led the Falcons to the 23-20 win over the Giants in their last meeting in October 2018. Eli Manning was the Giants’ quarterback and Dan Quinn and Pat Shurmur were under the headsets, battling it out from opposing sides of the field. A lot has changed since.
Next game: vs. Washington Football Team
After getting thoroughly embarrassed by the Philadelphia Eagles 32-6 in their season opener at home, the Falcons succumbed to a second straight loss in Week 2. NFL game betting lines closed with the Falcons catching 13 points, but they barely whiffed at the point spread in the 48-25 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
Atlanta’s problem remains the defense, which is the worst in the league after allowing an average of 40 points per week. The offense isn’t that much better, though, ranking eighth-worst with 304 yards per game. Ryan went 35 of 46 for 300 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions vs the Bucs.
It’s too early for a verdict on the Arthur Smith era, but the facts are that the Falcons are winless and are 0-2 against the spread with an average losing margin of 24.5 points. Allowances can be made for the first-year head coach because he’s only getting started. Ryan is another matter, entirely. The 13-year veteran has been in decline recently and it’s starting to become a problem. The Falcons are 11-23-0 straight up since 2019.
To add insult to injury, Tom Brady, tanned and all smiles, celebrated Tampa Bay’s victory on social media. The Falcons could have moved on and drafted a quarterback with the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Instead, they stayed loyal to Ryan and went with tight end Kyle Pitts. That decision is likely to come under scrutiny if the Falcons continue on the negative trajectory, and if those quarterbacks that were still on the draft board at the time – Justin Fields and Mac Jones, namely – enjoy a banner rookie season.
Tom Brady (@TomBrady) September 20, 2021
Questionable for Sunday are wide receivers Frank Darby (calf) and Russell Gage (ankle), and cornerback AJ Terrell (concussion), according to Tuesday’s injury report.
New York Giants
Next game: at New Orleans Saints
The Giants finished under .500 (6-10) in Joe Judge’s first year at the helm and they’re on course for another underwhelming season after losing the first two games. They opened with a 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium and followed with a narrow 30-29 defeat to the Washington Football Team in the nation’s capital. The Giants were underdogs on both occasions, but they did cover the four-point spread in Week 2. Small consolation, though it is.
Judge inherited a flawed Giants outfit with a young quarterback that he’d never drafted. His mandate is to turn around the flailing franchise, but he’s yet to meet with any success. One reason for that might be Jones. He’s shown a shocking propensity for turnovers since starting in 2019. Poor ball security, questionable pocket presence and lack of general awareness are just some of the many red flags that are a source of frustration to all those concerned.
This year could be Jones’ final trial. What happens over the remaining 15 games will decide his future. One bright spot: He’s yet to throw an interception. Then again, it might be just a matter of time before he does. The schedule is about to get tougher after Week 3.
Nick Gates is on the injured reserve list after suffering a horrible leg injury in Week 2, while tight end Evan Engram (calf) has yet to play this season. Engram is questionable for Sunday along with cornerback Josh Jackson (calf) and linebackers Justin Hilliard (foot) and Cam Brown (hamstring).
Betting on the Game
It’s hard to buy what the Giants are selling. Granted, Atlanta has the most porous defense in the league, but nothing about the G-men is shocking anymore. Heck, it won’t be surprising if the Falcons were made to look like world-beaters all of a sudden. Much of the same can be said of Atlanta against the spread, too.
Can bettors trust either the Giants or the Falcons to come through with the outright win? It’s a toss-up for NFL picks. The Giants are the -150 favorites to win straight up, meaning bettors must bet 1½ times the potential winnings ($150 to win $100). On the flip side, the Falcons are the +130 road underdogs (bet $100 to win $130).
The Falcons defense can’t stop water from a running tap and both offenses are inconsistent. So, this game could go either way of the projected 48½-point total. Then there is the penchant for interceptions, turnovers, fumbles, penalties, sloppy play – all of which could lead to inflating the score, especially in garbage time.