NFL Odds: Analyzing New York Giants' 2016 Road Schedule
by Alan Matthews - 6/9/2016
If the New York Giants could have simply won a few close games last year, they might have won the really mediocre NFC East Division and former head coach Tom Coughlin might still have his job. But close games killed this team all year and it finished 6-10.
The G-Men started 0-2 thanks to a one-point loss in Dallas and a four-point loss to Atlanta. But the team rallied to a 5-4 mark following a Week 9 victory in Tampa Bay. The Giants were definitely in position to win the division. Then the close losses kept popping up again: 27-26 at home to unbeaten New England (a game the Giants really deserved to win) on a 54-yard field goal with one second left; followed by a six-point loss in Washington; in Week 13, a three-point overtime loss at home to the Jets, with the Giants blowing a late 10-point deficit; and finally, the backbreaker, a 38-35 home loss to the unbeaten Panthers in Week 15 after New York had rallied from a 35-7 third-quarter hole to tie it late.
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So that was it for Coughlin, who wasn't technically fired but stepped down. It wasn't voluntary. He was allowed to likely stay a year too long because of those two Super Bowl rings. Coughlin, who was the NFL's oldest coach, actually posted the exact same winning percentage (.531) in Jacksonville for eight years and in New York for 12 years.
Here's what I don't get: the Giants wanted to move on from Coughlin, yet they hired offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to replace him and thus basically kept almost the entire staff in place. I understand loyalty, but wouldn't you want a different vibe around the team after missing the playoffs four straight years? I suppose it made QB Eli Manning happy that McAdoo was kept. The Eagles also were looking at him.
New York was 3-5 on the road last season, 4-3-1 against the spread and 5-3 "over/under." The Giants play four road games this year against 2015 playoff clubs. Their home schedule looks much easier on paper outside the division. I project the Giants to go 3-5 away on the road again. They have a wins total of 8 for the coming season, with the over a -140 favorite.
Sept. 11 at Cowboys (-4, 49.5): The Giants open in Dallas for the third time in the past four years. They lost there in the 2013 and 2015 openers. Last year it was 27-26 on a final-minute Tony Romo touchdown pass. Manning threw for only 193 yards and the Giants had 289 yards of total offense. They did force three turnovers, including one for a defensive score. Key trend: Giants 3-7 ATS in past 10 in Dallas as at least a 4-point dog.
Oct. 3 at Vikings (-4.5): Monday night game. New York is off a Week 3 home game vs. Washington. Minnesota is in Carolina the previous Sunday. Advantage Giants. New York lost outdoors at Minnesota on very cold day in Week 16 last year, 49-17. Star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was suspended for that one. Manning missed Beckham, completing 15-for-29 for 234 yards with three picks, one returned for a touchdown. Manning was sacked four times. Key trend: Giants 6-4 ATS in past 10 at NFC North teams.
Oct. 9 at Packers (-8): Lambeau is never easy to visit on a short week as the Giants will be, but at least this is a Sunday night game, I suppose. And at least the Giants aren't going there when the weather will be really wintry. Green Bay is off its bye week. McAdoo spent eight years as a Packers assistant from 2006-13, and Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy is his mentor. The Giants have won three straight in the series (including playoffs), last in 2013. Key trend: Giants 4-6 ATS in past 10 as a road dog of at least 8 points anywhere.
Oct. 23 at Rams (+2.5): This game is in London with a 9:30 a.m. start. It's the first-ever NFL game played at Twickenham Stadium. The Giants are off a Week 6 home game vs. Baltimore and ahead of their bye week. New York kicked off the NFL's International Series in 2007, the year they went on to win Super Bowl XLII, with a 13-10 win over Miami at Wembley Stadium. Los Angeles is off a Week 6 trip to Detroit. Giants have won six in a row in series, last in 2014. Key trend: Giants 3-6-1 ATS in past 10 before bye week (any location).
Nov. 27 at Browns (+3.5): Long break between road games thanks to a bye and three straight at home for the Giants, culminating in a Week 11 matchup vs. the Bears. Cleveland hosts Pittsburgh the previous Sunday. New York has won five of the past six meetings, last in 2012. Key trend: Giants 6-4 ATS in past 10 as a road favorite anywhere of at least 3.5 points.
Dec. 4 at Steelers (-7.5): Pittsburgh is off a Thursday night game in Week 12 at Indianapolis. Of course this is a matchup of 2004 first-round picks (and two-time Super Bowl winners) in Manning and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Assuming both are healthy by this point. The Steelers won last meeting 24-20 at the Giants in 2012. Key trend: Giants 2-4 ATS all-time at AFC North foes.
Dec. 22 at Eagles (-2.5): Thursday night game. New York is home to Detroit the previous Sunday. Philadelphia is in Baltimore. The Giants have been outscored 54-7 the past two years in Philadelphia. Last year it was 27-7 on a Monday in Week 6. Manning was terrible, throwing for only 189 yards and two picks. He was sacked three times and had two intentional grounding penalties. New York had 247 yards of offense and 12 penalties. Key trend: Giants 5-5 ATS in past 10 as road dog in series.
Jan. 1 at Redskins (TBA): Once again, no Week 17 lines with too much or possibly nothing up for grabs on the final Sunday. Washington is off a Week 16 trip to Chicago on Christmas Eve. The Giants were coming out of their bye in Week 12 last year and lost 20-14 at the Redskins. New York made it interesting with two fourth-quarter touchdowns but couldn't come all the way back from a 20-0 deficit. Manning had 321 yards passing but three picks. Beckham caught nine for 142 and a TD. New York's first 10 drives culminated in three turnovers and seven punts. Key trend: Giants have covered only two of past six at Washington.
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