Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was Manning’s top target of 2015, hauling in 96 of 156 pass attempts for 1,450 yards and 13 majors
There’s a new head coach in New York and Ben McAdoo knows how high the hopes are that he can help guide the Giants back to the playoffs after three-straight losing seasons. Chemistry between McAdoo and Eli Manning is solid and the Giants had good offensive numbers in 2015, but the run game was inconsistent. After finishing third in the division, the team couldn’t ask for a better schedule. The question is whether 35-year-old Manning can match his 35-touchdown season of 2015.
LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES
Win-Loss: 6-10 SU and 8-7-1 ATS
Over/Under: 10-6 O/U
Noteworthy: Only two of New York’s 10 losses last season were by more than six points and five were by three points or less. Small road dogs off a season with so many close calls have shown decent value, going 48-28-3 ATS including a 21-9 ATS record the past 10 years.
New York opens their season in Dallas and then hosts the Saints and Redskins. They won’t face another NFC East rival until Week 9, when the Eagles visit, and that will be Philly’s second of back-to-back road games. New York also benefits in Week’s 11 (Bears) and 14 (Cowboys), with both teams travelling for a second-straight week. Manning’s career-offensive average in that spot is 28 points per game.
With OBJ and second round pick Sterling Shepard, it’s hard to imagine New York struggling to score points under any circumstance but the pressure will be on Steve Spagnuolo and his defense. The Giants allowed 27.6 PPG in 2015 and gave up more yards (420 per game) than anyone. DE Olivier Vernon and DT Damon Harrison help beef up a pass rush that was 30th in sack percentage but the linebacker corps is still suspect.
In the draft, New York settled on CB Eli Apple (10th overall) after LB Leonard Floyd went ninth to Chicago. Their third pick was also in the secondary with Darian Thompson, and Spagnuolo added Janoris Jenkins via free agency. Holdovers Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Landon Collins give this backfield a semblance of depth but they need to make more plays, rather than settling for tackles after the catch. A better pass rush up front could provide a nice boost.
GIANTS BOTTOM LINE: BUY LOW
The New York Giants open thier season against a familiar foe, playing Sunday afternoon in Dallas. These teams won’t meet again until Week 14, the first of three divisional games New York plays in the final four weeks, and after the season each of these teams had last year, a win here could go a long way.
The early line favors Dallas -3.5 with a total of 49 and the Cowboys are on a terrible 3-12 ATS run laying points at home during their first meeting against any divisional foe. Before you load up on New York, however, take this into account: In recent years, divisional home faves that won fewer games than their opponent the previous year are on a 17-8-1 ATS run.
There are obviously a lot of factors that led to Dallas’ letdown season last year but that aside, it seems like the value in this game may be on the “Over”. New York’s offense is well equipped to deal with the short-handed Cowboy D and neither of these QBs understands the meaning of the word “quit”.