NFL Picks: Broncos at Giants Week 2 Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 9/12/2013
With all due respect to the Broncos at Giants, i.e. Manning Bowl III, the best game of Week 2 in the NFL is easily the 49ers at Seahawks, a matchup of the NFC's two Super Bowl favorites and perhaps the best rivalry in the NFL right now. However, those two will play again later this year, so I am going to jump on the Manning Bowl hype bandwagon as much as I hate to. After all, this could be the final time the brothers face off.
Peyton Manning will be 38 before next season, and as good as he looks, he probably only has maybe two seasons left after this one. The Broncos won't be paired with the NFC East again for four more years, so the only way the brothers would face off would be in the Super Bowl unless one changes teams again, which I don't see happening. Peyton is 2-0 against his brother, but both wins were with the Colts. Eli, however, holds two things over Peyton: a 2-1 Super Bowl ring lead and that fact he's clearly a better rapper (I'm sure you've seen the hilarious commercial I am talking about).
Broncos at Giants Betting Story Lines
It might seem silly to call any Week 2 game a must win, but it really is for New York. We all know how rare it is for teams that start 0-2 to make the playoffs. The G-Men had no trouble going up and down the field in Sunday night's loss in Dallas, but New York had a whopping six turnovers, including three picks from Eli. It was New York's most giveaways since 1987. Manning did throw for 450 yards and four touchdowns. The Giants had three players -- Victor Cruz Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle -- with more than 100 receiving yards in a game for the first time in franchise history. Cruz caught three of Manning's TD passes.
Talented but slippery-handed Giants running back David Wilson lost two fumbles against Dallas and immediately went to the bench and into Tom Coughlin's doghouse. The Giants were so peeved they brought back Brandon Jacobs this week after a tryout. Realistically, though, Wilson is all the Giants have, so he will start Sunday. I don't have a dog in this fight, but I'd love to see him fumble just to see Coughlin's head explode.
Meanwhile, Peyton was sublime in the Broncos' 49-27 destruction of the Ravens last Thursday. He tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes while throwing for 462 yards and no picks. ESPN is trying to supplant the NFL's QB rating with its own QBR. Want to know why that QBR has no credibility now whatsoever? Manning led the NFL in its rating system last week but was fifth in QBR. Jay Cutler was ahead of Manning! Just go away now, QBR.
This will be the first game in NFL history to feature opposing players who passed for at least 400 yards in the previous week. With three more passing touchdowns, Peyton would become the first player in NFL history with 10 TD passes through the first two weeks of a season. In addition, Manning will reach the 60,000-yard plateau in this game, joining Brett Favre and Warren Moon.
The key injury to watch here is of Broncos top cornerback Champ Bailey. He was held out of the opener with a foot injury but is expected to play Sunday. Of course, the Broncos remain without their best defensive player, suspended linebacker Von Miller. He keeps getting arrested, so his six-game suspension might be growing. Why would a guy who has a suspended license drive when his father was in the car?? Let dad drive!
The Giants may be without one of their starting cornerbacks in Prince Amukamara. He suffered a concussion in the second quarter against Dallas and didn't return. The Giants are already without one of their starting safeties as Stevie Brown tore his ACL in a preseason game and is out for the year. A depleted secondary is not a good thing against Peyton Manning.
Broncos at Giants Week 2 NFL Betting Odds and Trends
At WagerWeb, the Broncos are 4.5-point favorites with a total of 54.5. That's tied with Chargers-Eagles for the highest total of Week 2. Denver is 5-1 ATS in its past six road games. It is 4-1 ATS in its past five after a win. The Giants are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven when throwing for at least 250 yards in their previous game. New York is 1-3-1 ATS in its past five September games. The “over” is 5-0-1 in Denver's past six after a win of at least 14 points. The “under” is 8-1 in New York's past nine after scoring 30 or more points in its previous game.
Bovada has a few Manning vs. Manning props: Who throws first TD pass? Peyton -150, Eli +120. Eli is -200 to throw first pick with Peyton at +160. Peyton is -30.5 passing yards against Eli.
NFL Picks: Broncos at Giants Week 2 Betting Predictions
Obviously, having those few extra days to gameplan would seem to heavily favor the Broncos -- plus the Giants had to play the Sunday night game, so that's even fewer hours to be able to start preparing for Denver. But this is one of those games where the Giants usually step up. For example, last year the Giants went to San Francisco and punked the 49ers. They routed Green Bay and New Orleans. Coughlin's group usually plays to its competition.
Take New York and the over. On those Manning props, I would take Eli on the yards for sure. I think the Broncos may jump ahead and that Eli will be throwing all day, especially if Wilson fumbles again and New York has no running game. On the other two, I might just lean the underdog purely on value. It really depends probably on which side gets the ball first.
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