New York’s Giants and Jets Underdogs Again Despite Wins Last Week

Oddsmakers set lines in the hopes that equal action comes in on both sides, and they profit by collecting the vig.

When an underdog hits, the books can take a beating. And when several underdogs hit, it can get brutal in the accounting office at the major US sportsbooks.

We tell you this because your beloved New York Giants and your beloved New York Jets (shame on you if you love both) are ‘dogs again this week. That’s despite starting each of their seasons with more early success than they have had in several years.

The Giants are _____ this season

— New York Giants (@Giants) October 11, 2022

Only one that matters is the one in front of us.

— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 12, 2022

What Should Be Expected Sunday From ‘Dog No. 1?

Let’s start with the Giants, who came back from a 20-10 halftime deficit in London and defeated Green Bay, 27-22, to run their record to 4-1. That makes them one of five NFL teams with an .800 winning percentage. The Giants have been having hugely successful second halves, a testament to the in-game adjustments being made by offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and head coach Brian Daboll. They have been lining up Saquon Barkley in the quarterback position behind center, getting timely runs from QB Daniel Jones, even when he is on a bum ankle, and coming up with clock-killing long drives that have kept opposing offenses off the field.

This week, they go against the one-man army known as Lamar Jackson, who not only leads the Ravens with 374 rushing yards but also has 1,067 passing yards, 18th in the NFL. The Ravens once had a history as a strong defensive team. But they have been surrendering 398.2 yards per game, the worst aside from the woeful Texans, Steelers, Lions, and Seahawks. So much for replacing Wink Martindale with Mike McDonald as defensive coordinator.

The Ravens are 3-2 overall and 2-0 on the road, where they have defeated the Jets and Patriots, and their losses were by 4 points against Miami and 3 points against Buffalo. They have scored 138 points, more than every team except Buffalo, Kansas City, and Detroit (whose 140 points have been offset by 170 from the Lions’ opponents).

So Jackson is leading a dangerous offense. That is easy to dismiss as a one-man band, which would be an insult to a bunch of their players, most notably kicker Justin Tucker. He has attempted 219 field goals over the past seven seasons and has missed only 14 of them.

Points scored this season:

Justin Tucker: 42
Last 2 TNF games combined: 24 (so far)

— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) October 14, 2022

The spread is Baltimore – 5 1/2, with an over/under of 45. New York is 4-1-0 against the spread, including 1-0-0 as a home underdog, while Baltimore is 2-2-1 ATS and 2-0-0 as a road favorite. Both teams have gone under in three of five games. And, yes, the Giants need to hope that this one does not come down to a last-second field goal attempt by Tucker, who is 4-for-4 from 50 yards and beyond this season after going 6-for-6 last season.

But let’s remember that the Giants were 8-point underdogs across the pond last week, and any New Yorker who tuned in was ecstatic by lunchtime.

If they can handle the likes of Aaron Rodgers (they did so in the second half by keeping him off the field), they can come up with a scheme for Jackson, too, even though he is a completely different commodity — a quarterback who beats opponents with his arm and his legs and by having the NFL’s best kicker put points on the board almost automatically. Also remember this: The Giants’ defense coordinator is Martindale, who had that same job with Baltimore last season. If anyone knows Jackson and how to scheme against him, it is Martindale.

Julian Love on Wink’s importance to the team

Full video:

— GiantsTV (@GiantsTV) October 12, 2022

New Yorkers Are In Disbelief

This is a week-to-week league, and every team is going to have its ups and downs. What is astonishing about these Giants (and the Jets) is that New Yorkers are so unaccustomed to seeing success, there is a palpable sense of disbelief that things could be going this well for both teams.

Barkley failed to go over 80 1/2 yards rushing last week and dropped to No. 2 in total rushing yards behind Nick Chubb of Cleveland, and his lines this week are 72 1/2 rushing yards and 27 1/2 receiving yards.

Last week’s hero among the wideouts was wide receiver Darius Slayton, with six catches for 79 yards after he had caught only one pass all season, that for 11 yards the previous week against Chicago. Tight end Daniel Bellinger has an over/under of 21 1/2 yards, and he may be the safest “over” play, because the rookie from San Diego State has surpassed that number in each of the past three games. He is +425 to score a touchdown, and he is overdue after going three games without one.

“I just know he has been on me to keep pushing and keep getting better.” Brian Daboll gets on the Giants’ rookie tight end, a lot. So far, so good.

— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) October 13, 2022

And What About The Jets In The Land Of Cheese?

The Jets have strung together two straight wins for the first time since the end of the 2020 season, and now look to make it three in a row. That would be for the first time since the 2019 season, when they opened 1-7 and then beat the Giants Redskins and Raiders as part of a 6-2 finish.

But they have to deal with Rodgers coming off of a loss, and Green Bay has gone 10-1-0 ATS after a loss since 2019 while also going over in three of four non-conference games since 2019. They are on the board as 7 1/2-point favorites against the Jets, who were 3-point ‘dogs against Miami last week (when they won by 23) and 3-point ‘dogs the previous week against Pittsburgh (when they won by 4), going over in both games.

The over/under for Jets-Packers is 45 at Lambeau Field, where the weather forecast calls for game-time temperatures in the 40s with a 14 MPH wind, which is nothing out of the ordinary for that part of Wisconsin in mid-October.

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson grew up idolizing Rodgers.

“We didn’t have an NFL team in Utah, so I wouldn’t say I was a Packers fan, I was just an Aaron Rodgers fan,” Wilson told reporters earlier this week. “He was the quarterback I tried to replicate and steal things from. I like the way he plays the game.”

The Jets and Packers participated in joint practices last summer, and Wilson has tried to emulate Rodgers’ accuracy (the Packers quarterback has just three interceptions in 168 passing attempts.) Wilson says this Sunday’s game will be akin to what he experienced playing against Tom Brady and the Bucs last season, when the Jets lost 28-24 as Brady and the Bucs scored a touchdown and a 2-point conversion with 15 seconds left.


The Goat does it to the Jets again

(via @Buccaneers)

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 2, 2022

If that game is used as a baseline, the Jets could stay in this on right until the very end, which means the 7-point line (down from, 7 1/2 early Friday) would be too high. The over/under moved from 45 to 45 1/2 Friday at Draft Kings, a sign that their gamblers were hammering the over. But at BetMGM, it moved the opposite way, from 45 1/2 to 45, as they were taking 65% of their wagers on the under and 71% of spread wagers on the Jets.

And What About the Bills?

We told you about this one when looking at the MVP race earlier this week. It is a QB special, with Buffalo’s Josh Allen facing Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, and the Bills are favored by 2 1/2 on the road at Draft Kings but just 1 1/2 at BetMGM. Spokesman John Ewing said 63% of the handle was coming in on the Chiefs, and an astounding 87% of the handle was coming in on the highest over/under line of the week: 54 1/2. (It was 54 at DraftKings).

Look, that game is going to be an instant classic, and is worth setting aside time for on your Sunday afternoon after the Jets and Giants (and perhaps the Yankees, whose first pitch time for Game 4 is a TBD) have all finished playing. Games like Bills-Chiefs are worth watching whether you are a Jets fan, a Giants fan, a Knicks fan, or a Nets fan. It’s like tuning in to the Masters even though you do not follow golf all that closely.

Your best bet of the weekend is clearing a 3 1/2 hour window at 4:25 EST. Just do that, and you cannot lose.

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