Any NFL team would be hard-pressed facing the league’s toughest defense on its home field. The Giants injury report compounds that situation further for New York.
The Giants expect to be without their top two running backs, best wide receiver and best tight end on Thursday night when they face the New England Patriots in Massachusetts. New England’s defense would have been formidable even with those players, however.
Why the Patriots’ D is worse than the Giants injury report
With perhaps the exception of the San Francisco 49ers’ claim to be made, the Patriots’ defense this year has been the best in the league. A look at the numbers reveals a lot for Giants fans to worry about.
New England has allowed a total of two offensive touchdowns through five games and neither of those has come through the air. Only San Francisco has been stingier against the pass so far in the 2019-20 NFL season in terms of yardage.
The Patriots have accumulated 11 interceptions to this point in the season, tops in the NFL. New England has averaged three sacks per contest in its two home games.
Only 81 times through five games have the Patriots’ opponents gained a first down, an average of just 16 per game. Add that to the fact that the Giants trot out a rookie quarterback who has yet to face such a formidable defense, on the road much less, and those numbers become more frightening.
Another concern is the cast surrounding Daniel Jones on Thursday night. It’s far from the Giants’ A squad.
Details on the Giants injury report for Thursday night
Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Wayne Gallman and Sterling Shepard are all out for Thursday. Stepping in for them are less-accomplished alternatives.
Undrafted rookie running back Jonathan Hillman could get the bulk of the snaps at tailback on Thursday night, although fullback Eli Penny should figure in as well. At receiver, the options remaining look better.
Veteran Golden Tate along with Cody Latimer and Darius Slayton should be targeted more often. Rhett Ellison and Garrett Dickerson are next in line to get snaps at tight end.
While that’s daunting for the Giants’ offense, there is some good news on the injury front for the New York defense. Linebackers Tae Davis and Alec Ogletree are back in action.
Despite the reinforcements on the defensive side, New Jersey sportsbooks aren’t optimistic about the Giants moving to 3-1 since Jones took over at quarterback. The strong consensus is that New England will move to 6-0 on the season.
The long odds on a Giants upset of the Patriots this week
For New Jersey residents and visitors willing to take a risk on the Giants this week, the odds can be tempting. All the NJ sportsbooks favor the Patriots by a comfortable margin.
The spread on the game at most of the New Jersey sportsbooks is 17, though BetMGM and FanDuel currently sit at 16.5. Those are the only two books with positive odds on the spread, with FanDuel having the better at +105.
There isn’t much variety on the point total either. Books vary from 40.5 on the low end to 41.5 on the high end. The best action on the total currently sits at FanDuel, offering +100 on the over of 41.5.
Alternate lines and parlays could appear more attractive.
Even that might be a bit too ambitious, however. This game looks like a one-sided affair unless one of the Giants’ reserves makes a name for himself.