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The New York Giants (7-2) are getting no respect from the betting market when they host the Detroit Lions (3-6) at MetLife Stadium in Week 11.
NY is only a 3-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook despite winning five of the last six games — 5-1 against the spread (ATS) — including victories vs. the Ravens and the Packers.
Detroit also beat Green Bay, 15-9, in Week 9. But, the Giants outplayed the Packers, getting two more first downs and possessing the ball longer.
Whereas the Lions were aided by a rare 3-INT performance by Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay went 0-for-4 in the red zone. A similar point can be made about another common opponent of the Giants and Lions: the Chicago Bears.
Detroit beat Chicago last week 31-30 thanks to a miracle fourth-quarter double-digit comeback. It was an epic choke job by the Bears who had a 96.7% chance to win while up 24-10 in the fourth quarter, per Yahoo Sports.
NY on the other hand easily handled Chicago 20-12, gaining five more first downs and outrushing the Bears 262-149. So the question remains: Why are the Giants only 3-point favorites in NY?
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline (ML): Lions (+145), Giants (-170)
- ATS: Lions +3 (-110), GIANTS -3 (-110)
- Total (O/U) — 45 — O: -110, U: -110
My guess is the market has recency bias for Detroit’s current two-game win streak and NY was unimpressive in a 24-16 Week 10 win over the Houston Texans.
The Giants got some Lions luck and needed multiple Texan errors to win. NY had no business covering as 4.5-point favorites last weekend.
However, the Texans were an obvious “flat spot” for the Giants. NY had a bye in Week 9 and Giants players were probably getting standing ovations from home crowds when attending New York Rangers or Knicks games.
The G-Men beating the Texans despite an off-game should be taken positively and not negatively. Fraudulent teams find ways to lose last week to Houston. The Giants pulled out a tough victory because of their rookie head coach.
NY Giants’ Brian Daboll has lifted the curse
The New York Football Giants have been the laughing-stock of the NFL for years now. Since 2017, only the NY Jets and Jaguars have worse win-loss records. Ever since the Giants took the pic on Justin Bieber’s boat prior to their last playoff game, they’ve been cursed.
But, Daboll has brought his Bills-magic to the Giants. He’s getting the most out of fourth-year QB Daniel Jones, figured out how to maximize Saquon Barkley and the Giants dominate high-leverage situations.
Jones has a career-high on-target throw rate and leads the NFL in game-winning drives (five). Barkley leads the NFL in rushing yards per game (103.4) and the G-Men’s defense ranks second in both third-down conversion rate and red zone scoring rate allowed.
Detroit is especially bad at stopping the run and that’s something Daboll can exploit. Actually, the Giants allow more yards per rush than the Lions (5.5-5.3).
Yet NY’s defense is 14th in rushing success rate allowed and Detroit’s is 28th; i.e. the Giants can stop the run if they know it’s coming and the Lions cannot. And these teams will have a limited playbooks because …
Lions-Giants will be a bad weather game
The weather forecast for Sunday at MetLife will keep both teams from airing it out. Wind gusts are projected to be upwards of 35 mph during game time (1-4 p.m. ET) with temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s.
Lions QB Jared Goff notoriously struggles in tough weather conditions and the strength of the Lions is their offensive line. However, the Giants offset that with two top-10 graded defensive linemen by Pro Football Focus: Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams.
If both teams have their offensive playbooks cut in half and are forced to run the ball, I trust Daboll over Lions coach Dan Campbell to get the most out of their offense. Jones is fourth among QBs in rushing yards and brings something to NY’s rushing attack while Goff doesn’t.
Also, Detroit’s defense is last in third down conversion rate and 26th in red zone scoring rate allowed. The Lions have the worst defense in the NFL by expected points added per play (EPA/play). They are consistently caught out of position and giving up big plays.
The weather combined with New York’s coaching edge means …
The Giants’ number is too low
Look at the spreads for Detroit’s recent matchups with Green Bay and Chicago and compare them to Lions-Giants. Detroit was a 4-point home ‘dog to a now 4-7 Packers team and 3-point road ‘dogs in Chicago.
NY is 13th in net EPA/play while Green Bay is 19th in net EPA/play (as of Week 10), Chicago is 25th and, most importantly, Detroit is 31st in net EPA/play.
The Giants should be at least 4.5-point favorites over the Lions at home. While nothing in the NFL is a “lock,” I’m okay losing this bet if NY doesn’t cover.
BET: Giants -3 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -4
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