Week 2 begins with a division rivalry as the New York Giants take on the Washington Football Team. This is a big one in the NFC East thanks to a couple of 0-1 starts, but the Washington side will be missing starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. It will be Taylor Heinicke in his place against a solid Giants defense that underperformed last week.
We've got a market report on the game from South Point director Chris Andrews and best bets from Adam Burke and Will Hill as Week 2 kicks off.
New York Giants at Washington Football Team (-3, 41)
Market report from Chris Andrews: I opened Washington -4. Early money took the Giants +4, and the Giants at +3.5. I dropped to three, and money came back on the hosts at -3. I’m at Washington -3.5 right now. More money on New York, but I don’t feel like going back to three just yet. I think 3.5’s the better number. I’ll drop it on game day if we become too one-sided.
Taylor Heinicke will be the Washington quarterback. I didn’t make much of an adjustment from Ryan Fitzpatrick. I probably would have opened Washington -5 with Fitzpatrick (who suffered a hip injury early last week vs. the Chargers). I don’t think there’s a big drop-off to Heinicke. He’s played pretty well as a pro and I liked him at Old Dominion. Fitzpatrick is inconsistent. It’s not like Heinicke is replacing an elite quarterback. Fitzpatrick is literally a journeyman QB.
On the total, I opened 41. They bet me under. I dropped to 40.5 and they bet me over. I haven’t gone back to 41 yet. I think it will probably close there because the public likes rooting for points in standalone TV games. I’ll wait for more bets to come in on the over before adjusting.
Burke: Antonio Gibson was on the field for 65% of the offensive snaps last week for the Washington Football Team. Of those 36 snaps, Gibson had 20 carries and five targets. He was an enormous part of the offense in the absence of Fitzpatrick, who will miss this week’s game with a hip injury.
That is a very high usage rate and it looks as though he is a focal point of this Scott Turner offense when he is on the field. Gibson only played 37% of the snaps last season, but had 206 touches in his 405 snaps. He has the opportunity for a lot of touches and a really big role with what should be a toned-down, vanilla game plan for Heinicke.
His rushing yards prop line sits at 67.5 and his receiving yards prop is at 18.5 yards. But, his rushing & receiving prop line is 90.5. You’re paying a premium for packaging the two together, but can bet them individually.
Gibson may be used as a safety valve in the passing game against what profiles as a very strong Giants defense. Four of his five targets came after Fitzpatrick left the game. He led all WFT players with a 24% target share in Week 1.
At worst, we should get one of these two prop bets, but we can play them individually and get a better number than the combined price. Gibson should get a lot of looks and should feature prominently as the Washington Football Team adjusts to life without Fitzmagic.
Picks: Antonio Gibson Over 67.5 Rushing Yards (-110), Over 18.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Hill: Thursday Night Football has a reputation for ugly matchups and sloppy play, with the better games typically saved for Sunday and Monday night, and only three days for teams to prepare. Well, this edition of TNF is unlikely to break that perception.
The NFC East didn’t produce a winning team last year, and these teams failed to combine for 30 points last week. Washington lost 20-16 and the Giants lost 27-13, with Daniel Jones running the ball into the end zone on the final play of the game against an indifferent Broncos defense.
Optimism surrounding the return of Giants star running back Saquon Barkley has been tempered after a 26-yard season debut, followed by an appearance as “questionable” on this week’s injury report. Evan Engram is also out for the Giants. Fitzpatrick is sidelined for Washington.
I anticipate a low scoring game, and apparently so, too, does the market, as the low opening total of 42.5 has already been bet down even further to 41. I expect each team to be conservative early, and it will be interesting to track the performance of Heinicke as team start to gather more film on him. It won’t be a thing of beauty Thursday night, unless you have an under ticket.
Pick: 1H Under 20.5