The Giants opened the week as 3.5-point underdogs against the Raiders. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Giants are 1.5-point underdogs per DraftKings.
If your head is still spinning from all the news over the last three (or so) days, you’re not alone. So let’s take a moment to walk through all of the moving parts as we get ready for Sunday afternoon’s game.
- Tyrod Taylor was in the hospital when the the game against the Jets ended. At the time, the public reporting was that the Giants were targeting Week 10 for starting QB Daniel Jones’ return from injury. It appeared as though UDFA QB Tommy DeVito was sure to get the start against the Raiders.
- Monday morning, we got word that Jones had been cleared for contact prior to Sunday’s game against the Jets and is reportedly “ready to go” against the Raiders.
- Later Monday the Giants announced that they were trading DL Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2024 second round pick and a fifth round pick in 2025.
- Late Tuesday night (Pacific time, or early Wednesday morning on the east coast), the Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels and named former Giant Antonio Pierce as their interim head coach.
- Wednesday morning we also learned that the Raiders’ shake-up includes firing OC Mick Lombardi.
- It was reported around noon that the Raiders are benching veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell, who was drafted in the fourth round out of Purdue.
- Bringing us to the current moment, tight end Darren Waller is not practicing. Waller has been dealing with a hamstring injury and left the game against the Jets early in the second quarter.
In some ways it’s amazing that the line has only moved by a point and a half. The Giants are getting their starting quarterback back from injury, while the Raiders will have a first-time head coach and a rookie quarterback going against Wink Martindale’s chaotic scheme.
On the other hand, the Giants will be without important pieces on the defense in Leonard Williams and likely Waller as well. The Giants’ defensive front hasn’t looked quite as dominant without both Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams on the field. Likewise, the Giants only have one healthy tight end on the roster with Waller injured. The Giants have primarily used Daniel Bellinger as a blocker, so we don’t know how the absence of Waller would impact their offensive game plan. Likewise, the Giants will have to deal with one of the best pass rushers in the NFL in Maxx Crosby as well as running back Josh Jacobs.
Those factors are likely keeping the line in the Raiders’ favor, at least for now. But given the pace of developments this week, it’s entirely possible that we’ll see the line move more in the coming days as the new reality of the game settles in. Of course, given how the last few days have gone, who knows what will happen next in this frantic news week.