New York Giants (0-3) at Los Angeles Rams (2-1)
The Giants season has not gotten off to a good start, as they are winless at 0-3 and have lost probably their best player Saquon Barkley for the season. Their offense had a pathetic performance in their first full game without Barkley, managing just a 26.53% first down rate (13 first downs and no touchdowns on 49 plays) at home against a banged up 49ers defense in a 36-9 loss, pushing the Giants’ offense down to a 33.14% first down rate on the season that ranks 30th in the league, only ahead of the Broncos and the Jets. Those offensive issues should continue going forward without Barkley, which will overshadow a defense that has been surprisingly solid so far this season, ranking 11th with a 37.31% first down rate allowed.
The Giants have a tougher test this week, on the road against a solid Rams team that doesn’t have any significant injury absences. The Giants are also in a tough spot, as they have another tough game on deck in Dallas against the Cowboys, while the Rams have only an easy matchup in Washington on deck. Favorites of 7+ are 102-59 ATS since 2012 before being favorites of 7+ again, while underdogs of 7+ are 55-90 ATS since 2012 before being underdogs of 7+ again. Combining the two, favorites of 7+ are 27-5 ATS since 2012 before being favorites of 7+ again when their opponent will be underdogs of 7+ again the following week.
Good teams tend to take care of business against bad teams without upcoming distractions on their schedule, while bad teams tend to struggle to keep it close against good teams when they have another tough game on deck. All of those conditions should be true this week. This line is steep at 13.5 (my calculated line is actually only 10, because the Giants have a solid defense), but the Rams should still be the pick for pick ‘em purposes because they’re in a great spot and they are much better coached.
Los Angeles Rams 26 New York Giants 10
Pick against the spread: LA Rams -13.5