That makes this week’s Giants-Washington Commanders game even harder to pick. The Commanders are all over the place this year, both in terms of points scored and allowed. Many of their players have been just as up-and-down with their yardage totals.
Meanwhile, we don’t even know who the Giants’ starting quarterback is going to be on Sunday. Good news, though: we do know that Saquon Barkley will play. What does that mean for the Giants’ point totals? Who knows; maybe stay away from that pick.
I went 1-for-6 on my picks last week, nailing only that James Cook would go over 59.5 rushing yards. Let’s see if I can do better this week.
Giants’ first drive: Field goal attempt (+380)
Why not? Sure, the Giants punted on their first drive against the Bills, but they scored a field goal on their second drive. Saquon Barkley is playing, and the Giants have some sort of blueprint for Tyrod Taylor. Kick the field goal, man.
Curtis Samuel: Over 35.5 receiving yards (-115)
Samuel has outpaced Jahan Dotson in targets and yards in five of six games this season. He’s clearly the Commanders’ second receiver right now. He’s also eclipsed 35.5 receiving yards in every game but one, even with Sam Howell’s uneven pass attempt and yardage totals. Cor’Dale Flott has had his moments covering the slot for the Giants over the last few weeks, but 35.5 just isn’t a very high number.
Dexter Lawrence: Over 0.25 sacks (+140)
The sacks have not been there for Lawrence this year after he recorded 7.5 a year ago. Still, his 13.7% pressure rate is higher than it was last year. The Commanders’ center, Nick Gates, has been charged with four sacks, and his 4.5% pressure rate is considerably worse than the 3.4% average for centers.
If that’s not enough, Sam Howell’s 2.92-second average time to throw is the ninth-slowest among quarterbacks, and his 33.7% pressure-to-sack ratio, 101 pressures, and 34 sacks are the worst.
I say Lawrence gets over the hump with his first sack or half-sack of the season.
Saquon Barkley + Terry McLaurin: Combine for 175 rushing + receiving yards (+210)
Here are the yardage totals from Saquon Barkley and Terry McLaurin when they faced each other in their careers.
- 2019 Week 16: Barkley 279 + McLaurin 86 = 365
- 2021 Week 2: Barkley 69 + McLaurin 107 = 176
- 2021 Week 18: Barkley 49 + McLaurin 93 = 152
- 2022 Week 13: Barkley 81 + McLaurin 105 = 186
- 2022 Week 15: Barkley 120 + McLaurin 70 = 190
Now, McLaurin has cleared 70 yards only twice this year and has not gone over 100 yards. Meanwhile, Barkley is still managing his high ankle sprain and has 63, 92, and 99 total yards in his three games this season. Still, between the Giants’ generally shaky defense, the Commanders’ lesser defense compared to the Bills’, and Barkley being another week removed from spraining his ankle, I’m going to go bold and say that they manage it. +210 isn’t necessarily a great play, but I’m sticking with it.
Same game parlay: Saquon Barkley over 63.5 rushing yards + Saquon Barkley anytime TD + Darren Waller over 36.5 receiving yards (+485)
The biggest question of the three is whether Barkley will score a touchdown, seeing as the Giants didn’t manage to score any last week. Still, if there’s anyone to score for the Giants, Barkley is the most likely player to do it.
Barkley had 93 rushing yards last week, and the Commanders rank 23rd in the NFL in allowing 129 rushing yards per game. Waller has gone over 36.5 receiving yards in his last two games. If you’re going to go with a parlay, this one is as good as any.