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2018 Handicapping Chat Week 4: NO at NYG (+3.5)
Records ATS through Week 3:
31-15-2 = Savage
25-21-2 = Katz
24-22-2 = Skol
23-23-2 = Rabbitt
22-24-2 = RC
*6-3 when the group is 5-0 agreement on a pick
11-3-1 = Katz
9-5-1 = Savage
9-6-0 = Colin Cowherd
7-7-1 = Skolman
7-7-1 = RC
4-9-2 = Rabbitt
*5-0 = When 3 or more of the group agrees on a B5 pick
Savage: This was already one of my favorite bets of the week, and then I found out that The Computer liked the Giants in this game too. The questions with this game - can the Saints defense stop anybody? And can Eli Manning beat anybody in a shootout? I say no, and yes, respectively. Talk me out of it.
RC: I think we have to change our thinking here to play the Giants. And I like the Giants a lot here. First, this entire season, so far, has been trying to tell us the Saints are back to random 8-8 team circa the few years prior to 2017...scary Drew Brees + a godawful defense. This is a BAD Saints team right now and pre-Mark Ingram to stabilize the run game (maybe).
We can learn to hate the Saints but can we love the Giants?
The Giants defense is #10 on 3rd downs, the Saints 25th.
Get this though: the Giants 7th in the NFL on 3rd down conversion (vs. JAC, DAL, HOU). Saints #14.
The Giants #13 in PPG allowed...the Saints #32.
The Saints have been outplayed by every opponent for the most part, including TB and bad CLE/pre-Mayfield. The Giants lost by 5 and 7 to decent teams (JAC and DAL) and then handled HOU at HOU.
I think the Giants score 30+ and win at home...Brees just a hair less effective outdoors (but weather looks perfect right now for that game) helps the story a bit.
Skol: I’m keep an eye on the line because at 3.5 this was my favorite pick of the week...at 3, I’m fine but at 2.5 I’m annoyed because the once too many people jump on the underdog boat it starts to take on water. I’m seeing Saints -3 (-120) so still good...if the Saints take money here in the next couple of days I’m in love. I heard that the Giants offense did some things differently last week that clearly worked and Shurmur faced the Saints twice last year - crushed them with Bradford in the opener and did well considering his QB in the playoff game. At least he is familiar and this seems like a lesser version of the Saints defense. Plus the last time these teams played there combined for almost 100 points so I think the Saints defense is in for it. Getting the better defense as a home dog is a good starting point and Brees on the road after a division road win has some bad numbers (that I can’t quote but they are bad per Marc Lawrence). Sorry I was driving when I heard it. Safety first.
Rabbitt: I feel like I'm going to get burned here, but I don't trust Eli. Eli vs Brees is my literal only defense of my pick. However it's the only one I feel like I need...
Katz: Just don't fight it. The Saints with a tough road win against Atlanta. The easy narrative is the Saints are back. I have no love for the Giants, but they're not terrible. Eli can still torch bad defenses and the Saints are a bad defense. This is such a classic trap line.
Savage: The Giants only issue this year is they haven't been able to protect Eli. The defense has been fine, the skill players are there. If they can get the pass protection sorted out, they're going to be a tough team. They came into the year with 3 new starters on their line, and right off the bat they had to play the best pass rush in the league. Then they face an underrated Dallas pass rush in the road in week 2, and another good pass rush in Houston in week 3 (where they still managed to put up 27 points and win). Now they get to come back home, the new line has the benefit of playing 3 games together, and the Saints pass rush and defense are the worst they've seen so far. This is the week to bet on them to figure things out. I think we'll see Sterling Shepard go off as "the guy Lattimore isn't covering" and a big game from Eli.
RC: 0-1 sacks in a game Eli last year was 10 TD/5 INT and 275+ yards passing per (6 games). 9 TDs/8 INTs the other 10 games of the season. I think Olivier Vernon and the lack of a running game by the Saints puts this over the top for NYG along with the less pressure, but Brees always dangerous to be against.
Skol: I love Drew Brees...but now that he’s put his spin move on tape the Giants defense will be ready to contain him. Rabbitt, come to the dark side.
Rabbitt: I feel like I'm going to fall further behind everyone here, but I don't see a ton to love with either team here, and in games like that I am going to take the QB 9 times out of 10.
Savage: I think Skol hit on the key to this bet - getting +3.5 or +3 +100. Plenty of Brees magic in weeks 1 and 3, yet those were both 1 score games because the Saints couldn't get stops on defense. I think there's a decent chance the Saints offense isn't quite as explosive in their first game outdoors, but even if they are I think the Giants can at least make this a game decided in the last few minutes.