I have to say that I’m so glad it’s no longer New York Giants (+1.5)-New York Jets week. It makes me cringe as a fan and analyst of both teams, and the previous two weeks were quite uncomfortable for me. Instead, we get to pick on the Las Vegas Raiders (-1.5), a team in disarray after an unceremonious house-cleaning from their top brass.
It’s probably all for the best in Vegas, as Josh McDaniels boosted the case that it was Tom Brady who drove the Patriots’ dynasty. The main unfortunate thing for the Giants is that Davante Adams is still in Silver and Black after the trade deadline.
But I digress. We’re here to talk moolah — your moolah, not mine. I went 3-for-6 in advising you last week, which isn’t bad compared to my previous track record. The one that will annoy Giants fans the most is my pick that the Giants would score first and lose, which would have made you some nice cash had you decided to bet it. (But there’s no way any fans here did that, at least based on the comments!)
Before I give you my prop bets, a caveat: we do not know what the Giants’ defense will look like without Leonard Williams. For what it’s worth, the Giants’ run defense yielded significantly more yards per carry with Williams off the field this season (5.90 vs. 4.18) but had a higher success rate (62.5% vs. 55.6%) and a lower EPA per attempt allowed (-0.111 vs. 0.0567) when he was off it. There were double the number of rush attempts with him on the field than off it, though. In the passing game, offenses were more successful with Williams off the field than on it, but there were three times as many attempts with him on the field.
Total points: Under 37 (-108)
Until the rejuvenated Giants' defense and anemic Giants' offense combine for more than 37 points allowed and scored, I’m going to bet the under. They’ve now gone under that total in three consecutive weeks and four out of the last five. In fact, their last three games have had combined point totals of 23, 21, and 23 points. While the Raiders’ defense isn’t the Jets’, and it’ll be Daniel Jones out there rather than Handoff Tommy, rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell pretty much seals the under in my book. I’m surprised the over is -112, frankly.
Daniel Jones: Under 193.5 passing yards (-115)
The Raiders’ defense allows barely more than 193.5 passing yards per game. Jones went over that in two of the five games he played (four that he completed). Even in 2022, Jones threw for fewer than 193.5 yards in half his games during the regular season. Tyrod Taylor did go over 193.5 in both games he started and finished, so perhaps Jones can get it going if the Giants go with a Taylor game plan. That being said, with Darren Waller out, Jones will need to lean on his receivers more to have any chance of going over. I’m picking the under.
Saquon Barkley: Over 22.5 receiving yards (-115)
With Waller out, I think the Giants will try to lean on Saquon Barkley in the passing game. The Raiders rank 22nd in passing DVOA against running backs. Before putting up zero total receiving yards against the Jets with Handoff Tommy under center, Barkley was averaging four catches and 22 receiving yards per game in his four contests. Without Waller, I expect Barkley to go over.
Josh Jacobs: Under 72.5 rushing yards (-115)
Jacobs has gone over 72.5 yards once the entire season. The Giants held the Jets to a total of 58 rushing yards last week, including just 17 to Breece Hall. Hall came into the game averaging 6.3 yards per carry, while Jacobs is at less than half that at 3.1. The Giants will likely crowd the box against Vegas with the rookie passer under center. This does not bode well for Jacobs.
Maybe I’m underestimating the effect that Williams had on the Giants’ run defense. That is certainly possible. I just don’t think Jacobs will get anywhere further than he did against any other team.
Las Vegas Raiders: Under 16.5 total points (+145)
I’m really jumping on the bandwagon over here, but that’s what I think of the Raiders’ offense. Aidan O’Connell took seven sacks in his one start this year. Vegas averages 15.8 points per game, the third-worst in the NFL (guess who’s the worst?). I could just go under 18.5, because the Raiders have scored over 18.5 points only once this whole season (McDaniels put together one last salvo against his old mentor), but I figured I’d spice it up a bit. Taking under 18.5 at +102 is definitely the safer pick.
NY Giants: First to score + moneyline (+220)
I have no evidence that the Giants will either score first or win. I simply believe that the rookie quarterback and anemic running game will hold back the Raiders’ offense and perhaps even give the Giants a short field. It’s a flimsy pick, I know.
Largest lead of the game: Under 12.5 (+100)
I see this as a close game all the way through because that’s what the Giants have played lately. Give me the under here.
Same-game parlay: Saquon Barkley anytime TD + Barkley over 75.5 rushing yards + Wan’Dale Robinson over 33.5 receiving yards (+525)
I’m not necessarily super confident in this pick, but having picked Daniel Jones for the under in receiving yards, I don’t have too many other options. With the Raiders’ shaky run defense, it’s definitely possible for Barkley to put up over 75.5 rushing yards and a touchdown. Wan’Dale Robinson tends to be Daniel Jones’ safety valve, so over 33.5 feels possible, especially with Waller out.