2017 New York Giants Home Schedule Odds with Expert Picks and Predictions
The New York Giants focused almost entirely on their defense last offseason, and it worked wonders on that unit, which largely carried Big Blue to an 11-5 record and its first playoff berth since upsetting New England in Super Bowl XLVI - the last real highlight of the Tom Coughlin Era.
This offseason, the Giants focused largely on improving an offense that averaged a scant 19.4 points per game. Only six teams -- all without a proven franchise quarterback like Eli Manning -- scored fewer than that. I believe the signing of Jets free-agent receiver Brandon Marshall was wise. Marshall is rather opinionated and has worn out his welcome at each of his previous four NFL stops. He also had a huge first season at the past three (not going to count his 2006 rookie season with Denver when Marshall wasn't used much):
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*-In 2010 with Miami, Marshall caught 86 passes for 1,014 yards and three TDs in 14 games.
*-In 2012 with Chicago, he had 118 catches for 1,508 yards and 11 TDs in 16 games.
*-In 2014 with the Jets, Marshall grabbed 109 balls for 1,502 yards and 14 TDs in 16 games.
Will Marshall get 80/1,000/10 or so this year? At least he doesn't have to adjust to a new home stadium. I doubt those benchmarks are reached with Odell Beckham Jr. and second-year Sterling Shepard around, but Marshall should be good for 60 catches, 800 yards and eight TDs or so. He could also lose some targets to the team's first-round pick, Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram.
This could be the final season for the 36-year-old Manning with the Giants, although he hopes to play four more seasons. Pro Football Focus graded Manning as the 27th-best quarterback in the league in 2016, behind guys like Colin Kaepernick, Cody Kessler and Matt Barkley. All of Manning's key numbers were much worse than 2015. True, the Giants' offensive line wasn't great and there was no running game to speak of, but still. The Giants also might have found his eventual replacement in Cal's Davis Webb, the team's 2017 third-round pick. Manning has a cap number of $19.7 million this season, but it jumps to $22.2 million in 2018.
I see two ways Manning's gone after this year: 1) His numbers trail off more despite an improved offense; 2) the Giants somehow win the Super Bowl and Eli retires with one more ring than brother Peyton.
The Giants were 7-1 at home last season, 5-3 against the spread and 3-5 "over/under." They host four playoff teams in 2017: Detroit, Seattle, Kansas City and Dallas. The home slate looks considerably tougher than the road. Just one set of back-to-back game weeks at home. Overall, New York has the eighth-toughest schedule overall with an opponents' combined 2016 winning percentage of .535. BetOnline gives the Giants a win total of 8.5, with the over a -145 favorite. I projected a 3-5 road record and look for 6-2 at home so go over that total. Odds listed for the home team .
Sept. 18 vs. Lions (-3): Monday night, with New York off a Sunday night Week 1 trip to Dallas. Steve Spagnuolo's defense allowed a season-low in points to Detroit in a 17-6 home win in Week 15 last year when Matthew Stafford was hampered by a finger injury. Manning threw for two scores and wasn't picked off. Key NFL betting trend: Giants 6-4 ATS in past 10 at home vs. NFC North.
Oct. 8 vs. Chargers (-7): New York is in Tampa the previous Sunday. Bolts won't like this 1 p.m. ET start. Probably the last time that Philip Rivers and Manning, traded for each other at the 2004 draft, face each other. L.A.'s Anthony Lynn is one of four first-year coaches the Giants will face in 2017. Key betting trend: Giants 4-5-1 ATS in past 10 at home vs. AFC West.
Oct. 22 vs. Seahawks (pick'em): The Giants are ahead of their bye week and off a trip to Denver on Sunday night in Week 7. Break for Seattle here with a 4:25 p.m. ET start. New York has lost last the past three in this series, most recently 38-17 in Seattle in 2014. Key betting trend: Giants 4-5-1 ATS in past 10 before bye week (any location).
Nov. 5 vs. Rams (-8.5): New York off its bye and another 1 p.m. ET kickoff vs. an L.A. team. Matchup of former No. 1 overall picks in Manning and Jared Goff. At this point, the Rams can only hope Goff is about 75 percent of Manning. New York beat the Rams 17-10 in London in Week 7 last year. Goff hadn't made his debut yet; Case Keenum was picked off four times. Key betting trend: Giants 4-6 ATS in past 10 after bye week (any location).
Nov. 19 vs. Chiefs (-2): The previous Sunday, the Giants are in San Francisco. This could be a minor trap game with a Thursday trip to Washington after this. The Giants will face old nemesis Andy Reid for the first time since a 31-7 Chiefs win in 2013, Reid's first season as Kansas City's head coach. Key betting trend: Giants 5-5 ATS in past 10 as home favorite of 2 points or fewer.
Dec. 10 vs. Cowboys (+1): New York likely off a Week 13 loss in Oakland. New York was 2-0 vs. Dallas last year, winning incredibly ugly 10-7 at home in Week 14. Both teams finished with 260 yards offense and three turnovers. Beckham had the go-ahead 61-yard TD catch-and-run late in the third quarter. Key betting trend: Giants 8-2 ATS in past 10 as home dog in series.
Dec. 17 vs. Eagles (-3.5): New York came out of its bye last year and beat the visiting Eagles 28-23. Manning had four touchdown passes, two to Beckham, but was picked off twice. New York's defense had two interceptions and three stops on fourth downs. Key trend: Giants 3-7 ATS in past 10 as home favorite of at least 3 points in series.
Dec. 31 vs. Redskins (TBA): Again, no early Week 17 lines. The Giants off a Week 16 trip to Arizona. Last game in a Washington uniform for Kirk Cousins? Quite possible. New York lost at home to the Redskins 29-27 in Week 3 last year to start a three-game skid. A late interception by Manning led to the winning field goal. He did throw for 350 yards and a score. Key betting trend: Giants 5-4-1 ATS in past 10 at home in series.
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