Carolina Panthers (0-1) at New York Giants (1-0)
The Giants pulled the upset in Tennessee last week, winning by 1 point on a late 2-point conversion as 5.5-point road underdogs, but I wasn’t terribly surprised by that and I think it had a lot more to do with the Titans being overrated than the Giants being underrated. The Titans finished last season at 12-5, but they ranked just 19th in team efficiency, benefiting from a 6-2 record in one-score games and a +4 return touchdown margin, two things that would be tough to maintain long-term. They especially struggled without AJ Brown last season, which is a problem because they traded him this off-season and, while they have Robert Woods and Treylon Burks to replace him, they still figure to miss Brown significantly. On top of that, they lost a pair of starting offensive linemen and top edge defender Harold Landry, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.
The Giants, meanwhile, are likely to be below average on both sides of the ball this season and, while they’re not quite one of the worst teams in the league, they’re also not healthy right now, missing wide receivers Wan’Dale Robinson and KaDarius Toney, left guard Shane LeMieux, edge defenders Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux, and cornerback Aaron Robinson. The Panthers aren’t a great team or anything, but they’re healthier and I have them about three points better than the banged up Giants in my roster rankings, so we’re getting value with them as underdogs in New York, even if they’re only underdogs by 2-points. There isn’t quite enough here for the Panthers to be worth a bet against the spread, but the money line is a good value at +110 because the Panthers should be at least considered 50/50 to win this game, if not slight favorites.
Carolina Panthers 20 New York Giants 19 Upset Pick +110
Pick against the spread: Carolina +2