Arizona Cardinals (6-6) at New York Giants (5-7)
Coming out of their bye week a couple weeks ago, the Giants looked like they would be a good bet going forward. They were just 3-7, but they had faced a tough schedule to start their season, including 9 out of 10 games against teams that rank in the top-10 in first down rate allowed over expected, the Steelers (2nd), the Rams (1st), Washington twice (3rd), the Eagles twice (9th), the 49ers (10th), the Bears (7th), and the Buccaneers (5th). The Giants were also healthier coming out of the bye than they’ve been most of the season.
That lasted about a half unfortunately, as the Giants were up 13-10 with the ball in Cincinnati’s red zone early in the 3rd quarter (with the Bengals’ only touchdown coming on a return touchdown), but then quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a hamstring injury and, while they held on to win that game, backup Colt McCoy struggled mightily and nearly blew the game, as the lowly Bengals were a field goal away from winning the game on a late drive in which they ended up fumbling at midfield.
Based off McCoy’s struggles in that game, I stayed away from the Giants when they went to Seattle last week, but they shocked everyone, winning straight up as 11-point underdogs by final score of 17-12, in a game in which their defense shockingly had a dominant performance to cover for an underwhelming McCoy. Even with that game included, the Giants rank just 18th in first down rate over expected at +0.92% and defensive play is very inconsistent on a week-to-week basis anyway, but with Daniel Jones back under center this week, the Giants are a decent team, ranking 17th in my roster rankings, as Jones has performed significantly better than his production this season, when you take into account the caliber of defenses he has faced.
Unfortunately, we’re not getting as much line value with the Giants as we would have, if they had not pulled the huge upset last week. My calculated line is even, as the Cardinals are only marginally better than the Giants, given that their defense is one of the worst in the league and that Kyler Murray has not played as well in recent weeks, likely in part due to a shoulder injury, but there isn’t enough for the Giants to be worth taking at +2.5. I may reconsider if this line moves up to a full field goal before gametime though and the money line is a good value as well at +125, as this game is close to a toss up.
Update: Some +3s briefly popped up on Sunday morning. If you were lucky enough to get one, it’s worth a play, even paying extra vig.
New York Giants 31 Arizona Cardinals 30 Upset Pick +125
Pick against the spread: NY Giants +3