The Giants got upset by the Washington Redskins 28-14 opening week, as quarterback Eli Manning’s ineffective preseason unfortunately carried over to when the games really count.
Meanwhile the Rams got literally beat up by the Eagles 31-13, and will now be without the injured running back Steven Jackson and Wide receiver Danny Amendola for this game.
BETTING ODDS: OPEN: Giants -4 | CURRENT: Giants -6.5 | O/U: 44
1. Why New York will cover the spread: The good news for the Giants on the injury front is that defensive end Jason Tuck is scheduled to return after missing the opener in Washington, and that should allow the Giants to put a lot of pressure on Sam Bradford, especially with the threat of the run lessened somewhat by Cadillac Williams starting in place of Jackson. That is not necessarily a slight of Williams, as he did rush for 91 yards vs. the Eagles in Week 1, but he does lack Jackson’s explosiveness.
When the Giants have the ball, they will probably have to rely on their running game, with Hakeem Nicks doubtful, Manning inaccurate so far and the shaky Giants’ pass protection not matching up well with a great Rams’ defensive line. The good news there is that St. Louis allowed 237 rushing yards to the Eagles, so the Giants can win this game just on the running of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs alone.
2. Why St. Louis will cover the spread: The Rams really have no playmakers on offense this week, but at least quarterback Sam Bradford has been cleared to play after banging his fingers on an opponents’ helmet last week. Now, the Giants are not that strong in the secondary, so the Rams can win this game if wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker steps up in Amendola’s absence. Regardless, Bradford will have to take the Rams downfield via a lot of underneath passes, so he will have to elude the ferocious New York pass rush. Another effective game from Williams would help slow that rush.
The Rams can also win this game on the defensive end by taking advantage of a weak Giants’ offensive line, although they will need to do a much better job of defending the run. Then again, Rams Coach Steve Spagnuolo was on the Giants’ coaching staff a few years ago, so maybe his knowledge of their offensive schemes will help.
3. Total Talk: The ‘under’ may be the best play of all in this game. The Giants will have to rely on the run and the Rams do not have a game-breaker that can score at any time, meaning that both teams should have time-consuming drives. The fact that these are two of the better defensive lines in the NFL, especially with Tuck back for the Giants, only makes the ‘under’ look even better.
4. Betting Trends for the game: The Rams are just 28-43 ATS on grass since 2001, but they did go 7-4 ATS as underdogs in Bradford’s first year last season. The ‘under’ is 11-5 in the last 16 Rams’ road games. The Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five Monday Night games including 2-0 ATS last season. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these NFC counterparts.