Giants (1-1) at 49ers (2-0)
Spread: 49ers -10
Weather: No concerns
The Line Report
The spread for this contest opened at 49ers -10.5 at most national sportsbooks. By Tuesday afternoon, the line moved down slightly to San Francisco 49ers -10.
Similarly, the total opened at 45.5 points before settling in at 45 as of Tuesday afternoon.
49ers Offense vs. Giants Defense
The New York Giants’ defense has been very disappointing through the first two games. We knew their secondary would be volatile, but their pass rush has been nearly non-existent. It’s still early, but Kayvon Thibodeaux and Leonard Williams have been relative non-factors. Dexter Lawrence is still a menace on the interior, but he’s gotten little to no help through the first two games. If that continues, that’s a real problem for the Giants against San Francisco’s loaded roster.
Even if WR Brandon Aiyuk sits out this contest, the 49ers still have three matchup nightmares in RB Christian McCaffrey, TE George Kittle and WR Deebo Samuel. McCaffrey has 42 carries and eight targets through the first two games. It would be no surprise if Kyle Shannahan reduces McCaffrey’s workload some on the short week. That could lead to Elijah Mitchell seeing a usage boost, especially if the 49ers play with a lead.
Aiyuk leads the 49ers’ pass catchers with 172 receiving yards on 14 targets, but Samuel leads the team in targets with 16. Kittle is one of the most talented tight ends in history, but he’s off to a slow start with just 49 receiving yards on six receptions. Every 49ers skill player is in a plus matchup against the Giants.
Giants Offense vs. 49ers Defense
The Giants didn’t score a single point through the first six quarters of the season. They then scored 31 points in the second half against Arizona last week. Daniel Jones led that charge with 321 passing yards and another 59 on the ground against Arizona. Unfortunately for Giants enthusiasts, the 49ers’ defense is a much different obstacle.
Even if LT Andrew Thomas plays, the 49ers’ defensive front has a game-derailing advantage in this contest. On opening night, the Cowboys’ pass rush dominated the Giants to the point New York didn’t score a single point. Shutouts are rare in the NFL, but that outcome is on the table in this matchup.
Saquon Barkley is out, which means that some combination of Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell and rookie Eric Gray will fill in at running back. Barkley has 114 rushing yards with just 3.9 yards per carry this season. Barkley only had 51 rushing yards against the Cardinals last week. Over the 2021 and 2022 seasons, the 49ers allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to running backs. It would be a genuine surprise if Giants’ running backs had meaningful success on the ground this week.
Darren Waller played well last week with six catches on eight targets for 76 receiving yards. Veteran wide receivers Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins and Parris Campbell have seen the most playing team this season. However, rookie Jalin Hyatt leads all Giants’ receivers with 89 yards. Hyatt already looks like the Giants’ biggest difference-maker at wide receiver; it would be no surprise if his role continues to increase.
This Is What You’re Betting On in Giants at 49ers
If you’re betting on the 49ers, you just need them to be themselves on Thursday night. San Francisco has talent advantages at multiple position groups. Their defensive line could genuinely dominate this contest. Their high-end skill position group will be a lot for the Giants to handle. Brock Purdy’s offense has scored 30 or more points in six of his seven regular season starts. There is a realistic path to the 49ers winning this game with distance on the short week.
The Giants have an uphill battle in this matchup, just like they did on opening night against Dallas. The first difference between those two contests is that the Giants will be on the road, across the country and on a short week. The second is that they will be without Barkley, their most dynamic skill position player. New York’s best shot to keep this game close is if its dormant pass rush wakes up for this matchup. The Giants’ defensive interior is one of the keys to this contest. Otherwise, this game is mainly on Jones, who has been ineffective under consistent duress.
Score Prediction: 49ers 30, Giants 13
Ryan’s Recent Betting Record
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 48-32
ATS 2023: 4-6
Props 2022: 60-40
Props 2023: 4-2