San Francisco 49ers (1-3) at New York Giants (2-2)
The Giants have rebounded from an 0-2 start, winning the last two games and putting themselves in good position to win the wide open NFC East. Some are even pointing out that the Giants could easily be 4-0, which is true, as their losses to Atlanta and Dallas were both close, but they certainly haven’t played like a 4-0 team, ranking 19th in rate of moving the chains differential. This team does a lot of good things, but they’re missing too many key contributors with injury (William Beatty, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz, Robert Ayers) to be a good team. They’ve been overly reliant on a +6 turnover margin, which is something that’s hard to count on in any given week.
The Giants are coming off the most impressive game of their season, a 24-10 win in Buffalo against a Bills team that was considered pretty good going into the game, but now they return home and they’ve never had much of a homefield advantage in the Eli Manning/Tom Coughlin era, dating back to 2004. They are 52-42 (45-49 ATS) at home since 2004 (the start of the Eli Manning/Tom Coughlin era), outscoring opponents by an average of 2.64 points per game, as opposed to 54-43 (59-38 ATS) on the road over that time period, outscoring opponents by an average of 0.04 points per game. The 49ers also have a huge advantage because they’re a West Coast team at night playing an East Coast team. Teams tend to cover the spread about 65% of the time in that situation because, while this is essentially a late afternoon game for the 49ers, it’s a late night game for the Giants.
All of that being said, I’m going with the Giants here. The 49ers are awful, one of the worst teams in the NFL, after all of their off-season losses. They’ve lost their last 3 games by a combined 79 points, after a random week 1 home win 20-3 over a solid Vikings team. Despite that fluky week 1 win, they’re still 31st in rate of moving the chains differential. The Giants aren’t great and don’t have a great homefield advantage, especially at night against a West Coast team, but this line is still more than reasonable. I’m not confident, but they should be the right side.
New York Giants 27 San Francisco 49ers 17
Pick against the spread: NY Giants -7