Giants 2020 Betting Record
Point Spread: 9-7
An all-new era of New York Giants football began in 2020, with coach Joe Judge replacing the previously dismissed Pat Schumur, along with the distinct absence of Eli Manning. For the first time in 17 years, another quarterback assumed the full-time starter role under center, Daniel Jones.
Expectations for the Giants weren’t overwhelming, as the sportsbook set their season win total at 6½, and gave them fleeting 100-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. They didn’t make the playoffs, let alone win the Super Bowl, and missed cashing the over on their win total, losing in Week 16 and dropping to a 5-10 record.
Thanks to the overall mediocrity of the NFC East, the Giants were never truly out of it with regard to winning the division title until the very last regular-season game.
There were positive takeaways from the Giants’ first four games of the season, despite all being losses. They looked impressive in their first opening half, taking a lead on the Steelers, but eventually falling behind by 16 points, unable to earn a backdoor cover.
They did claw back to at least cover the spread the following week against the Chicago Bears, but lost running back Saquon Barkley in the process to a torn ACL.
In Week 3, a shellacking at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, 36-9, devalued stock for the Giants in NFL betting markets. Daniel Jones was growing into a turnover machine, but they managed to again barely cover that next week catching almost two touchdowns against the Rams.
Partly a byproduct of their anemic offense, New York went 1-3 on totals, playing to the unders at a time in the season when unders were relatively rare. As far as their win-loss record was concerned, at that point in the NFC East, 0-4 was only 1½ games out of first place.
Point Spread: 2-2
The whole turnover problem didn’t improve much as the season progressed, but the Giants tried to overcome it with a greater offensive output. That didn’t really work either.
They took the Dallas Cowboys to the wire in a critical Week 5 matchup that had Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery on his ankle. Unable to keep up with Dallas’ backup quarterback Andy Dalton, they lost the nail-biter 37-34 and dropped to a 0-5 start.
The Giants might have started the season an ignominious 0-8 were it not for Ron Rivera getting cute the following week. Facing Rivera’s 1-4 Washington Football Team, the Giants managed twice to gain the lead in a low-scoring affair. Trailing by a touchdown with under four minutes, Washington scored on a 22-yard Kyle Allen pass to Cam Sims. But instead of kicking the extra point with only 36 seconds left, likely sending the game into overtime, Rivera called for the dagger — and the Football Team attempted (and failed) a two-point attempt, giving the Giants their first win.
They would handily cover the NFL point spread, but lose, their next two games. Hanging tough against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they lost the pair of games by a combined three points. Despite covering the number, these losses highlighted the Giants’ in back-to-back primetime games. Even at 1-7, they were still within reach of the division-leading Eagles, albeit by 2½ games.
Point Spread: 3-1
New York’s second win was partly overshadowed by it being the first game where Washington’s quarterback Alex Smith established the start of his comeback player of the year campaign. He survived the heavy workload of the game but narrowly lost to New York, 23-20.
That led to a winning tear, where they snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Philadelphia Eagles, winning 27-17. Then, coming out of their bye week, they beat the Bengals in Cincinnati, their first time doing so in seven attempts that dated back to the 1970s. (Though, to be fair, they were favored on the road by nearly a touchdown, and the Bengals covered the spread.)
That victory, at the expense of Daniel Jones’ hamstring, led to a cross-country trip to Seattle as double-digit underdogs with backup Colt McCoy under center. Having stymied the Seahawks offense, and trailing by 5-0 at the half, the Giants put together three consecutive scores and held on to win 17-12, cashing at +500 on the moneyline in one of the season’s biggest upsets.
After quietly going under the total in four straight, the Giants also managed to float to the top of the NFC East. At 5-7, they even held the tie-breaker over the Washington Football Team, having swept them in the division series.
Point Spread: 3-1
That’s roughly the point when the Giants’ season hit a patch of black ice known as the Arizona Cardinals and started veering off the road. They fell 20-0 by the third quarter, lost Jones again to a leg injury, and snapped their four-game winning streak with a 26-7 loss.
Still well within reach of the division title, the league flexed their next game to Sunday night against the then surging Browns. With their starting quarterback still lost to the NFL injury report, the Giants’ offensive coordinator and star cornerback also contracted COVID-19 and missed the game. The result, a 20-6 beating, dropping the Giants to 5-9.
Nonetheless, the competition in their division still continued to suffer, and even after the Giants expectedly lost the following week to the Ravens 27-13, they were still in the mix for the division title.
Needing a win and help to make the playoffs, the league took advantage of the scenario and flexed the other two teams, Washington and Philadelphia, to play in the final Sunday night slot. That meant the winner of the Giants’ season finale against the Cowboys could earn the division title if the Eagles won later in the day. While the Giants did win, the Eagles did nothing to help them out, handing the win to Washington and ending the Giants’ season.
The Giants’ final four games, like the four before those, all scored to under the total, ending the season heavily slanted to the under 3-13.
Point Spread: 1-3
Divisional Record: 4-2
Conference Record: 5-7
Full Season Grade: C+
Looking Ahead to Next Season
If — and a huge if it is — Daniel Jones can dramatically improve coming into next year, the Giants could mostly focus on a needed bolstering of their defense. The other area in need of addressing would be the offensive line.
The Giants fortunately are not cash strapped, though they’re currently just about $1-million above. They come into April’s draft selecting 11th overall, with a pick in each of the seven rounds.
While the defense needs work, they’ll return some talent up front at defensive tackle, and star cornerback James Bradberry will return in his shut-down role. On offense, there are still some promising players, headlined by tight end Evan Engram, who will also be returning.
Given a second year of tenure for coach Joe Judge, it’s reasonable to expect the Giants to improve next season.
Predicted Record for 2021 Season: 8-8
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