The Giants said they would enjoy playing the role of spoiler as their season continues to define disappointment. They might have written a check too big to cash as the Titans come to town with playoff hopes on the line.
New York won its second straight game – 40-16 – blowing out the Redskins last weekend. This after edging the Bears the week before. Tennessee is also riding a two-game win streak, needing to win out in order to keep wild-card hopes alive.
If New York is going to continue the momentum of spoiler, they might need to be as full strength as it gets. Not having Odell Beckham Jr. last week clearly didn’t matter but will be way more of an issue if he can’t go Sunday with the quad injury. Beckham went for a second opinion on Thursday and is down to a game time decision.
The Titans are coming off a 10-day rest and tuning up of the Jaguars. They lit up Jacksonville 30-9 fueled by Derrick Henry’s 238-yard 4 TD performance on the ground. They’ve won five of their last six against the Giants head-to-head.
The Titans have a distinct advantage in this game that could be a key difference maker this weekend against the Giants. They really don’t give up many points, especially off big plays, something New York has thrived on the past two weeks.
Tennessee gives up just 19.5 ppg, fourth for scoring defenses around the league. They have also given up just 27 TD this season, which is tied for the best in the NFL.
The Giants could be without Beckham Jr. once again due to his quad injury, making them rely even more on Saquon Barkley. Eli Manning will have his work cut out for him trying to move the ball against this stingy Titans defense. Barkley will be relied upon even more this weekend.
The Giants rookie back is a big reason why this team has won four of its last five games. He’s third in the NFL in rushing (1124 yards) and became the first rookie in team history to go over a thousand yards. It simply won’t be enough to overcome the Titans this weekend. Take Tennessee -2.5 with 888Sport.
This game boasts one of the NFL’s best scoring defenses against one of the league’s best big-play offenses, and <NFL bookmakers, including Karamba have the over/under set at 43.5.
The problem for the Giants is that they are missing their top WR this Sunday could prove to be too much to overcome against Tennessee’s suffocating red zone defense.
Don’t count out the Giants’ role in keeping this low scoring, they’ve done that through turnovers. LB Alec Ogletree is healthy and has accounted for a pick in each of his last four games.
The limitations in the air game will come on both sides, and not just for Manning. Marcus Mariota will have to work around not having his top two TE and might have to rely more on WR Corey Davis despite his matchup against DB Janoris Jenkins.
Both teams will want to run the football. That recipe usually adds up for a lower scoring game, especially when one of those defenses keeps teams out of the end zone. Bet the under with Karamba.
The biggest hurdle the Giants will have to navigate will be not having their all-pro WR out there against one of the best defenses. Barkley has been huge in the passing game for Manning, leading the team with 78 catches and 13 total TD on the year.
I have little doubt Barkley will cross into the end zone in some capacity on Sunday, it’s just not happening more than once … (ok, maybe twice).
The Titans get to the quarterback, led by DT Jurrell Casey’s team high seven sacks on the season. They also play a clean game with a league-low 67 penalties this season. Not easy when you are as aggressive as they are on defense.
Don’t let last weekend fool you about this Giants team and their capabilities on offense. Manning threw all over Washington’s secondary with very little pressure in his face. This week will prove to be the opposite. Bet under 2.5 TDs for the Giants with Betfair
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