`New Jersey online sports bettors want to know if the New York Giants can literally take offense to their 2020 finish.
Big Blue hosts the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s season opener. This is a New York Giants team that finished dead last in the NFC for points last year. The Giants only scored 280 in a 6-10 campaign, a mere 17.50 per game, and they still nearly won the NFC East.
Their offense was so weak that nobody was within 50 points of them, not even the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished 4-11-1. The Eagles were second-lowest, 334 points.
That’s why the G-Men point at that particular area as the difference-maker in this campaign.
New York Giants need to cure offensive woes
The Giants are projected for seven wins via most NJ sports betting apps on this new 17 game season.
At DraftKings, over 7 costs bettors a little juice, at -130. The under is +110. This is a team that went 6-5 over its last 11 games and could win eight or nine games if that pattern continued.
They could also slide back to five games. On the alternate lines, the G-Men are +175 for over eight wins and +220 for under 6.
The Giants and New York Jets share a dubious honor they’d like to erase this year. Both teams were last in their league in points scored. And they share the same stadium.
That means MetLife Stadium housed the two worst offensive teams in all of the NFL last year. The Giants and Jets combined for 523 points, 14 more than the Green Bay Packers.
So how will the Giants try to change this?
Key NFL Week 1 issues for New York Giants
Saquon Barkley is back. If he can stay healthy all season, the Giants’ running back is a difference maker. He was lost for the season in Game 2 last year with a torn ACL.
He looks partially, not entirely, ready. Barkley came through his first set of contact drills in good shape and is expected to play in the opener. It might be in a limited capacity. He is explosive but brittle. Will he change his running style? Do the sharp cuts make him vulnerable to another injury?
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney is a mini-version of DeVonta Smith, whom the Eagles drafted in the first round. If nothing else, he can be used on some deep routes to keep opposing defenses honest. Toney joins off-season pickups Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph, the former all-pro fighting for his career.
All of them have battled some nagging injuries and are expected to play in the first game, but watch the injury reports just before kickoff.
Giants coach Joe Judge indicated that all had made good progress in the past week. If they carry it over to the weekend, they will suit up.
How many TDs will Daniel Jones throw?
Quarterback Daniel Jones can be excellent or awful. Thus far, he’s been a better running quarterback than a passer. This is his put-up-or-shut-up year. He has killed them with some pick-six turnovers. He needs to show maturity and composure.
The Giants surrounded him with some receiving talent, enough to project him at 4,000 yards at most books and 24 touchdowns, a significant improvement from his 11-touchdown total last year.
DraftKings entices bettors with a season-special prop for Jones to throw 24 touchdown passes and for the Giants to win the NFC East. If he throws 24, they will be in a position to do it. Payout is +700. Jones did throw 24 touchdowns two years ago.
But showcasing his potential won’t mean much without an improved offensive line.
It was nearly as bad as the Eagles’ last year. The Giants yielded the second-most sacks, three per game, (the Eagles had the most, four) and it was crippling to them because of their run-first approach. Third-and-15 for a team with no deep threats? Difficult, maybe impossible.
Weighing the ‘early’ and ‘late’ vibe
After hosting the Broncos, the Giants appear in a Thursday night, Week 2 matchup at the Washington Football Team. The tone of their season could be set within the first five days.
New York closes at home against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 19, at the Eagles on Dec. 26, and versus Washington on Jan. 9. If they are still contending for the division crown that late, there are no excuses.
BetMGM odds show improvement anticipated
Throughout the sportsbook circuit, the Giants have upgraded expectations compared to a year ago, especially at BetMGM.
Last season, the book paid out at +1000 to New Jersey bettors who wagered that Big Blue’s first victory would occur in Week 6. They did that in a nail-biter against the Washington Football Team, surviving a two-point conversion attempt in the waning moments.
When will the G-Men win their first game this year?
The Giants odds are listed at -110 to do it in the first week against the Broncos.
The ante becomes an attractive +275 to occur against the Washington Football Team in Week 2.
The payout is +350 to occur against Atlanta in Week 3.
It becomes +1200 if win No. 1 comes in Week 4, at New Orleans.
Can the oh-fers reach Week 5 and the Giants win against the host Dallas Cowboys? That’s +1600.
It would be +2000 to occur against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6, in a feat that would match 2020’s start.
But the book doesn’t expect to make the payout this year. The Giants to start 0-6 is +1400, well more than last year.
The Giants to start 0-4 is +700.
G-Men betting options at FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel Sportsbook has a string of prop considerations for Big Blue.
This is a band of wins instead of an exact win total. Here is the current breakdown:
- 0 to 5 is +160
- 6 to 8 is +155
- 9 to 11 is +320
This wager is not only fun but offers intriguing flexibility. Bettors love to find a comfort zone and a pocket of five or three victories is appealing.
And here’s an interesting stab.
Judge to be the Coach of the Year is +2500.
All in all, the Giants can be a serious division threat if a new spark matches their discipline.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger