The opening line for Sunday’s Giants-Seahawks game was 7.5 and has skyrocketed due to the injury absence of Daniel Jones. It currently sits at an uncomfortable 10, large enough to make you want to back a Giants team that is tied for the best spread record in the NFC but not so big that you feel safe with your money on Colt McCoy.
In a tough call, count me in the first part of that conversation. The Giants are 7-4 ATS this season, including 5-1 on the road and 5-0 as road underdogs. That success has continued one good trend from the Pat Shurmur regime, as the Giants are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 road games since 2018.
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Seattle is 8-3 but just 6-5 ATS, and has failed to cover in five of its past seven games after a 4-0 ATS start when Russell Wilson was other-worldly. The Seahawks still can dominate but seem to fall asleep for chunks of games. They haven’t posted a victory of more than 10 points since Week 2.
McCoy is 7-21 as a starting quarterback, his last win coming in 2014. Veteran clipboard holders like him have been known to have success in spot starts. He’ll be going up against a Seattle defense that is ranked last in the NFL in total yards and passing yards. That group has improved since Jamal Adams returned from injury and the arrival of pass-rusher Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap is dealing with a foot injury in a short week for Seattle, which played Monday night in Philadelphia.
Looking for a big game from Golden Tate, the former Seahawk, as the Giants do enough to stay under the number in their vaunted road-’dog role.
The pick: Giants, +10.
Home teams in CAPS.
Las Vegas Raiders (-8.5) over NEW YORK JETS
Raiders are coming off their “What the heck was that?” 43-6 loss at Atlanta. Teams that lost by 20-plus points are 15-10 ATS (60 percent) in their next game in 2020. Jon Gruden wasn’t likely to take the Jets lightly anyway after last year’s 34-3 drubbing here. Sam Darnold is going to have to do way better than three points with his top three receivers available.
Detroit Lions (+3) over CHICAGO BEARS
The Texans and Falcons won and covered in their first games with interim coaches, and that dynamic is in play for the Lions as Darrell Bevell replaces the onerous Matt Patricia. Sharp bettors appear to see it that way as the line has dipped from a high of Bears -5.
DOLPHINS (-11.5) over Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals got a backdoor cover vs. the Giants last week, but now the misery of Joe Burrow’s injury will start to set in. While this seems like a lot to lay with the Dolphins, they do have wins by 18, 26, 24 and 17 points this season.
Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) over HOUSTON TEXANS
There are a couple of things in the Texans’ corner (home divisional ’dogs are 14-6 ATS this season, and they have extra rest off a Thanksgiving win in Detroit). But WR Will Fuller is lost to a drug suspension, and the Colts will be in a foul mood after getting hammered by the Titans last week.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10.5) over MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Vikings have been terrible at home this season (2-4 SU and ATS). Jags have scored 20 points or more in four of the past five weeks, and with the double-digit head start, that’s a high bar for Minnesota to clear.
ATLANTA FALCONS (+2.5) over New Orleans Saints
This time we’ll roll with that home divisional ’dog trend (14-6 ATS) in conjunction with sharp bettors knocking the spread down through the key number of three. Also a rapid revenge spot for the Falcons, who lost 24-9 in New Orleans just two weeks ago.
TENNESSEE TITANS (-6) over Cleveland Browns
Pro bettors have bumped this line up quite a distance from the opener of Titans -4. Seems like a lot to give, but the Titans appear to be getting back into the form that took them to the AFC title game last year, scoring a total of 75 points in road wins vs. the Ravens and Colts.
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) over ARIZONA CARDINALS
Another home divisional ’dog situation, but this time it’s going in the opposite direction of the sharp money, which elevated the Rams from -1.5. Kyler Murray still appears affected by his shoulder injury, and the team has given up an average of 28 points a game over the last five.
Philadelphia Eagles (+8) over GREEN BAY PACKERS
Eagles won 34-27 last season at Lambeau. It was Sept. 26 of last season. Philly has scored 17 points each of the past three weeks. Maybe Zach Ertz helps a little and Carson Wentz gets a little better. The defense was excellent vs. Seattle, though this is now a short week.
New England Patriots (-1) over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
This line opened Chargers -2.5 and has traveled through pick ’em all the way to Patriots -1 because of action from respected pro bettors, per VSiN. The Chargers are the more talented team but have proven they don’t know how to win.
Denver Broncos (+14) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
I know the NFL has tried to explain it, but I still have no idea why the Ravens got four COVID-19 postponements, and the Broncos had to play with a practice-squad receiver playing quarterback. Drew Lock returns, and prime-time ’dogs are 23-13 ATS this season.
Monday Night Football
Washington Football Team (+8.5) over PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Sandwich game for the Steelers between their win over the Ravens and a big one next week at the Bills. Both will be on short weeks, while the WFT has extra rest off a Turkey Day win. Bud Dupree injury impacts Steelers a lot.
San Francisco 49ers (+1.5) over Buffalo Bills
VSiN reports reverse-line movement in this one as line has shrunk from Buffalo -3 despite heavy public money on the Bills. Game is in Glendale, Ariz., due to local COVID restrictions in Santa Clara, Calif. Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert have added life to the 49ers offense.
Dallas Cowboys (+8.5) over BALTIMORE RAVENS
Dallas has been a Disaster with a Big D, but the Cowboys do have that recent outright win at Minnesota on their résumé and are off extra rest vs. a Ravens team on a short week. Went with all four prime-time ’dogs.
Best Bets: 49ers, Washington, Cowboys.
Lock of the week: 49ers (Locks 3-8-1 in 2020).
Last week: 7-9 overall, 0-3 Best Bets.