The Giants' 31-point comeback win was stunning, but the Giants face a much stiffer test this week in the 49ers. While the Arizona Cardinals were punching above their weight class in the first half of Sunday's game, the 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFL.
The Giants have their work cut out for them in San Francisco. But more importantly for our purposes here, can they provide us with some smart bets?
First Giants drive results: Offensive score (+185)
The Giants will face a much more talented defense in San Francisco than they did in Arizona. However, I’m unsure how quickly the 49ers will be to adapt to the changes the Giants showed in the second half against the Cardinals.
The Giants’ offense is roughly tied with the Tennessee Titans for the seventh-most middle field closed looks they’ve seen. In other words, opposing defenses have used mostly Cover 1 or Cover 3 against them, as opposed to Cover 2 or Cover 4. While that’s been effective in making the Giants’ Quick Game attack sputter, it left the Cardinals vulnerable to the aggressive play-action passing the Giants switched to in the second half Sunday evening.
I’m expecting the Giants to come out throwing, attacking deep early and often. I’m not going to hazard a guess as to whether or not the Giants will open the game with a touchdown or field goal, but there’s a real chance they take San Francisco by surprise to start the game.
Daniel Jones rushing yards: Over 50+ (+205)
Jones only narrowly trails Saquon Barkley in the Giants’ rushing stats through two weeks. He has 22 rushing attempts and 102 total yards (and a rushing touchdown). He had 13 carries for 43 yards in Week 1, and 9 for 59 yards against the Cardinals. While the 49ers have a potent defensive front and the Giants’ offensive line is definitely suspect, we should probably expect Jones to help shoulder even more of the rushing load with Saquon Barkley sidelined with a sprained ankle.
As I said above, I’m fully expecting the Giants to come out aggressively on offense, and that will likely mean a lot of play-action. At least some of those mesh points will result in quarterback runs to slow down the 49ers offense — on top of the inevitable scrambling yards. The 49ers’ defense is well-coached as well as athletic, so they might be able to limit individual runs. However, volume could make up the difference and all it takes is one defender biting on run-action at the right time to spring a big quarterback run.
Darius Slayton receiving yards: Over 50 (+210)
This ties in with the assumption that the Giants will be aggressive through the air to start the game.
Slayton remains one of Daniel Jones’ favorite targets and one of the Giants’ most potent deep threats. Darren Waller is the Giants’ most-targeted player with 13 targets through three games, but Slayton is tied with Barkley for second-most at 11. I’d go with Waller here in almost any other game because his hands are more dependable, but not with the presence of Fred Warner on the 49ers’ defense.
The 49ers’ defense has seen the most passing attempts in the NFL (101), but have allowed the fifth-fewest yards per attempt (5.4). Slayton will see plenty of looks in this game, and the Giants will attack deep any time he gets a one-on-one match-up. This is another case where the volume will be there, and it only takes a couple long receptions to top 50 yards.
Christian McCaffrey 100+ rushing yards, 1+ TD (+170)
The Giants’ defense struggled for the first seven quarters of the season. Not only have they failed to get a sack or a turnover so far (though they are fifth in pass rush win rate), but they’re also fielding one of the NFL’s worst rushing defenses.
On the flip side, Christian McCaffrey might be the best running back in the NFL right now. He’s averaging 6.4 yards per carry and has been much more of a runner than receiver. The Giants, meanwhile, are allowing the eighth-most yards per carry, the seventh-most total rushing yards, and the second-most rushing touchdowns.
Hopefully the Giants will get their run defense together soon, and they’ll need it for this game. However if we’re putting money on the line, it’s more likely that McCaffrey is going to go off than go silent.
Same Game Parlay: San Francisco 49ers moneyline + Over (+115)
We’re going conservative with the same gamer parlay this week. I still believe that the Giants are a team that can play with, and at least challenge, any team in the NFL. But potentially missing Andrew Thomas, Saquon Barkley, Ben Bredeson, and Azeez Ojulari on a short week against one of the very best teams in the NFL? That’s a tough ask.
The over/under is 44.5 as of this writing, and I think this game could pass that easily. Not only do the 49ers boast the 3rd best scoring offense in the NFL, the Giants’ defense has allowed the most points in the NFL.
As I’ve said throughout, I do think the Giants will be aggressive, and that could catch San Francisco off-guard early. They’re fielding the 3rd best scoring defense, but the Giants’ speed at receiver could make them pay if they allow too many one-on-one match-ups or their pass rush isn’t quite able to get home.
San Francisco is going to put up enough points to get the total score close to 45, and the Giants should contribute enough to push it over the top.