The New York Giants are 3-point underdogs to the visiting Denver Broncos in Sunday’s season opener at MetLife Stadium, per Draft Kings Sportsbook.
The obvious question is, why?
Denver went 5-11 last season and is 12-20 in two seasons with Vic Fangio as head coach. The Giants were 6-10 last season and are 10-22 over that same time period. So, both teams have been down recently.
Still, have the Broncos improved on paper so much that they deserve to be favored coming into New Jersey to face the Giants? Home teams usually get a 3-point bump from sports books, so is this a vote of confidence in what the Broncos accomplished this offseason or a lack of faith in the Giants to have gotten things right?
Denver traded a sixth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and Bridgewater won a training camp competition with Drew Lock to become the starter.
The Broncos beefed up their secondary by signing free agents Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby, and by drafting Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II No. 9 overall. They join Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons.
Perhaps most importantly, eight-time Pro Bowl and three-time All-Pro edge defender Von MIller returns after missing last season with a dislocated peroneal tendon in his ankle. Miller and Bradley Chubb (20.5 sacks in 34 career games) provide an imposing duo of pass rushers.
The Giants are rife with question marks heading into the season. Will quarterback Daniel Jones show improvement? Will their decisions along the offensive line pay off or prove disastrous? Will Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Kyle Rudolph and Adoree’ Jackson be available to play? If so, how much and how well will they play?
The Giants will be trying to reverse a four-year trend of miserable starts to the season.
- 2020: The Giants started 0-5 en route to a 1-7 first half.
- 2019: An 0-2 start led to the benching of Eli Manning. Two quick victories with Daniel Jones at quarterback were followed by eight straight losses that brought the team’s record to 2-10.
- 2018: An 0-3 start led to a 1-7 first half.
- 2017: Five straight season-opening losses led to a 1-7 first half. The Giants finished a dismal 3-13 and both GM Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo were fired before the season ended.
Stay with Big Blue View all week as we preview Giants-Broncos, and perhaps answer some of the questions raised above along the way.