Week 3 of the NFL season kicks things off tonight with a NFC East battle between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants. MyBookie has listed the Giants as 3.5-point home favorites, with the total set at 44. It has also released a number of game props to add even more action to this matchup, and the following are my top three picks for the betting odds on these props.
First Score "Over/Under" 6.5 Minutes
The betting odds that there will be a score in the first 6.5 minutes of the game are set at -120, and the odds the game will remain scoreless until then are set at -110.
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The Redskins did get off to a fast start last week against St. Louis with 10 points in the first quarter after scoring three points in the first quarter in their season opener against Miami. The Giants managed only a field goal in the first quarter in their Week 1 game against Dallas, and they were shut out in the first quarter in last Sunday's game against Atlanta. Given the overall scoring trends for both of these teams through the first two weeks, I see the value in this prop leaning towards the "under" 6.5.
The main reason that I am going with the under in this prop is the simple fact that this is a head-to-head division matchup. Both of these teams know each other extremely well, and much like a heavyweight fight they will both try and use the first quarter to feel one another out. You know that Washington is going with a heavy dose of its running game, and New York quarterback Eli Manning traditionally needs a few series to calm down and get his offense rolling downfield.
First Score: Touchdown or Field Goal/Safety
The betting odds that the first score in this game will be a touchdown are set at -180, and the betting odds it is either a field goal or safety are set at +150.
For many of the same reasons mentioned above, I love the favorable betting odds on the first score being a field goal and not a touchdown. Once again, the Redskins did get a quick touchdown against the Rams on a 39-yard touchdown run by Matt Jones, but with this team that has to be considered an exception and not the rule. Washington's first score in Week 1 was a field goal, and the first score by the Giants against Dallas was also a field goal.
I see this game turning into a low-scoring grinder, with each team bogging down in the Red Zone, so there should be more field goals scored than touchdowns. Going back over the past five meetings in New York, the total has stayed under in all five games. The last time they met, Washington took the early lead with a field goal at the 6:47 mark of the first quarter.
First Offensive Play: Run or Pass
The betting odds that the first offensive play in this game is a run are set at -150, and the odds that the first play is a pass are +120.
If you could guarantee that Washington wins the coin toss and gets the ball first, taking the risk/reward on the odds for a running play would be well worth the gamble. Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, the Redskins lead the NFL in rushing with an average of 171.5 yards a game. Alfred Morris already has 43 carries in two games, and Jones has added another 25 rushing attempts verses a total of 58 passing attempts by quarterback Kirk Cousins.
If the Giants win the toss and get the ball first, there is a much better chance that their quarterback, Eli Manning, puts the ball in the air on the first play given that he already has 76 passing attempts in two games verses a total of 34 rushing attempts for New York's top two running backs.
Since there is always a chance that Manning does hand the ball off to either Rashad Jennings or Andre Williams on that first play, combined with the strong possibility that Washington's first offensive play will be a run, I am going with a running play as my pick for this prop.
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