Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
N.Y. Giants +140 over Washington
1:00 PM EST. Discounting 2021, a season where the Giants fell flat under the leadership of arguably one of the worst head coaching hires in recent history (Joe Judge), the Giants have dominated this series the last five seasons. According to reports, it’s unlikely that Daniel Jones will play in this game. We’re not sure it matters. Tyrod Taylor and a resurgent New York defense gave the Bills all they could handle in Orchard Park last Sunday night, proving wrong the echo-chamber of critics that said we’d see another primetime debacle.
Unlike their offense, the Giants’ defense has shown steady growth every week. Last week they held the Bills to under 300 total yards at home. Although Miami gained plenty the week prior, they forced Tua Tagovailoa into two uncharacteristic interceptions in Week 5. Their defense also wasn’t the issue in Week 4, when they held the Seahawks to less than 300 yards in a game where their offense was particularly anemic. They’ll need their defense to continue surging, and this week they match up well.
Amazingly, the Giants have only 5 sacks to their name through six games. A franchise built on a formidable pass-rush in every one of their four Super Bowl wins, the Commanders present the best opportunity to change that. Sam Howell has been sacked more times than any other QB not named Daniel Jones, taken down on a staggering 13.71% of drop-backs. Despite the lack of production, the Giants’ defensive line is still their most talented unit. Even though they never sacked a hyper-elusive Josh Allen in Week 6, they created pressure and forced Allen into errant passes or throwaways all night. Expect the G-Men to get to Howell often in this affair; they’re trending in that direction.
Washington is an up and down program who we just simply can’t count on every week. Not that their opponent on Sunday is any better, but if the disparity was so wide (it’s not) between these two programs, wouldn’t the Commanders present a more assertive spread? Think about – the Giants barely have a functional offensive line, they might have a backup QB playing in Week 7, and at 1-5 their season is all but over. And yet, oddsmakers had Big Blue as low as an oh-so-slight +105 underdog this week.
Even in a win last week, the Commanders were vastly outgained in the contest (402-193). Three Atlanta turnovers made the difference. Washington’s other two wins? Versus Arizona and Denver, arguably two of the worst current teams in the NFL. We’re not impressed.
The Giants also have a distinct coaching advantage. Whether it was the Commanders’ debacle against the Bears on TNF or the complete ass-whooping they received against the Bills in Week 3, it’s evident that Washington is still a franchise in flux. They’re young, talented, and highly mistake-prone, and we’re not sure Ron Rivera has any positive impact on their potential. They struggle mightily on third downs, converting on only 34.29% (26th) of their attempts, they’re 1.7 giveaways per game is one of the worst in the league, and along with their opponent Sunday, they struggle getting anything productive done in the first half.
These are two bad teams, but one has a coaching staff that’s shown it can maximize its roster’s talent, even if that doesn’t offer much to get excited about. New York is also at home, in front of a home crowd they have yet to win a game for, and likely dying for their second win of the season. We also doubt they have even a modicum of intimidation heading into this division battle, a rivalry where they only lost twice in the last four seasons. We can’t explain all the nuances of why the Texans thrive against the Jaguars or why the Chargers match up so well against the Chiefs, but this is a very similar situation and we’re not shying away.
N.Y. Giants +140 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)