Green Bay Packers (7-3) at New York Giants (6-4)
What’s wrong with the Giants? That’s what everyone is asking. Well, they do this every year. Since Tom Coughlin took over, the Giants are 53-19 in the first 8 games of a season and 27-39 in the last 8 games of the season, including these last 2 losses. Eli Manning has been the main problem of late and not just in the 2 losses. Dating back to their two close wins over Washington and Dallas, Manning is 80 of 139 for 869 yards, 1 touchdown, and 6 interceptions in his last 4 games.
Manning reportedly had a case of tired arm, which does explain why he’s struggled by his standards, but tired arm isn’t some rare thing. It’s something guys often have to deal with over the course of the season. The Giants have had a bye, but I can’t say for sure that Manning will completely turn things around and the same for the Giants as a whole, given the Giants’ history in the 2nd half in the Coughlin/Manning era.
I’ve mentioned the huge disparity in records, but Eli’s play generally drops off in the 2nd half. In the 1st half of the season, he completes 60.2% of his passes for an average of 7.4 YPA and 111 touchdowns to 61 interceptions. In the 2nd half, he completes 57.2% of his passes for an average of 6.7 YPA, 86 touchdowns, and 79 interceptions. I don’t think the bye is going to solve their problems. They especially struggle as home favorites after week 8, going 10-20 ATS since 2004.
The Packers, meanwhile, are incredibly banged up. They’re missing 3 of their starting linebackers, Nick Perry, Desmond Bishop, and Clay Matthews. Matthews is the most important injury because he’s their only consistent pass rusher. DJ Smith, who was filling in for Bishop in the middle, is also hurt. Stud starting safety Charles Woodson is also out, as is #1 receiver Greg Jennings and starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
In spite of all this, they are on a 5 game winning streak. I do think they’re a little overrated. They rank just 8th in rate of sustaining drives differential and 15th in yards per play differential, but the Giants are a little overrated too and the Packers thrive in this situation, as dogs. Aaron Rodgers is 11-5 ATS in his career getting points, which makes sense. Besides, they are dogs before being favorites as they host the Vikings next week. Teams are 96-53 ATS in this spot since 2011.
The line is exactly where it should be. The rate of sustaining drives differential method of computing line value says this line should be Giants -3.5, while the yards per play differential method says this line should be Giants -1.5, which averages out exactly where the line is, -2.5. However, the Packers have the momentum and the Giants don’t. They always struggle in the 2nd half of the season and I love getting Rodgers as a dog. It’s a significant play on the Packers. It would be 4 units if the public wasn’t pounding Green Bay as a public dog.
Public lean: Green Bay (70% range)
Sharps lean: GB 12 NYG 11
Final update: No change.
Green Bay Packers 31 New York Giants 24 Upset Pick +125
Pick against spread: Green Bay +2.5 (-110) 3 units