Our Heads of Betting, Chris Farley and Ryan Reynolds, are both Giants fans. We’re going to take advantage of this common ground to discuss an important topic: removing emotion from your betting process. We did this by having a conversation about the Giants and their current win total.
Opening Win Total: 7.5
Current Win Total: 7
Schedule Difficulty: Easy
Let me just cut right to the chase, Chris. The foundation of an over bet on the Giants is built on their very manageable schedule. When you look through their list of opponents, you’ll see these teams with sub .500 win totals: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, Seattle, Houston, and Detroit. For the Eagles or Cowboys, that’s a considerable advantage. For the Giants, I don’t think anyone is an easy out. I have the Giants in the same tier as some of those teams, while being outright worse than at least one.
They get the Panthers, Bears, and Lions at home. I can’t sit here and say the Giants are outright better than any of those teams. With Carolina and Chicago, it’s close, but Detroit has equal to greater talent at every position group on offense. I view the Lions as a superior team to the Giants.
New York visits the Jaguars and Seahawks in back-to-back weeks in the middle of the season. The Jaguars have a pretty comparable roster, but they have a much brighter future at quarterback. With the Seahawks, who have Geno Smith starting at quarterback against Russell Wilson on Monday Night Football to start the season, they could end up being a slight favorite in that one at home. Looking at the Texans, who the Giants get at home, New York has a few talent advantages over Houston roster-wise. But if we’re being honest, it’s still kind of close.
You seeing this the same way? Are your power ratings for the Giants in a relative cluster with these sub .500 teams they face this year?
Unfortunately my dear Ryan, fellow New York Giants fan who’s suffered with me through the last decade, I see it in very similar fashion. Their schedule gives me some hope, however. If the Giants can survive and reach Week 7 with a 3-3 or 2-4 record (that’s a big if), there’s a chance New York could own a winning record for the first time in five years in the following weeks. Like you mentioned, Weeks 7 through 11 provide New York with four winnable matchups; at Jacksonville, at Seattle, at home against Houston, and at home against Detroit. I have the Giants as slightly better than the Jaguars and Seahawks and slightly worse than the Texans and Lions. Of course, those first six weeks will teach us plenty about these teams that we don’t know. However, I can’t imagine any of those four teams becoming suddenly “elite” by mid-season.
If nothing else, I think there’s a great chance that we could see a more competitive version of the Giants this season. Few teams fared worse than New York from an ATS (against the spread) perspective last season. The Giants were a pitiful 6-10 against the closing line, and they didn’t cover a spread for the final six weeks of their 2021 slate. When they lost last year, they lost by an average of 19.9 points per game – a truly absurd margin.
This year there’s a regime change in New York that just feels different. Brian Daboll is a proven offensive and quarterback mastermind, accelerating the Bills’ offense to new heights in previous seasons as Buffalo’s play caller. Daboll brought on Mike Kafka from the Chiefs, a duo that’s creating buzz in the New York media. Don “Wink” Martindale joins as their new defensive coordinator after a long tenure in Baltimore. He brings an aggressive, we-will-sack-you style to a Giants franchise whose legacy was built on exceptional pass rushers.
And perhaps most importantly, the Giants are healthy. No team was more injured than the New York Giants last season. Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepherd, and other key players on their offensive line and defense are all healthy. The question is – can this group get it done? Is the new regime enough of a change to bring success back to East Rutherford, NJ?
Obviously neither of us are “high” on the Giants, but is there anything you like about this team, Ryan? Give me some more hope!
Some really good stuff in there Chris, especially that wild 19.9 PPG average margin of defeat. That’s an unbelievable figure.
To answer your question, I’m a Jersey guy, so I certainly like their location on the map. But in all seriousness, yes, there are a few things that I like about this team. First, I think you made a lot of fair points in your assessing new coaches article. For me, Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen are the first coach and GM hires that have made sense since they fired Coughlin. They both come from an organization that went through a successful rebuild, which involved ushering in a new, bright future at quarterback. That’s what the Giants need to do themselves, as this team is in a Day 1 rebuild again. Whether this new regime ends up being successful or not, I understand what Giants’ brass was thinking when bringing these guys in.
The Giants’ young, blue-chip offensive tackle duo could be the foundation for this franchise for the next ten years. I thought the last regime reached for Kadarius Toney, but he’s a difference-making player. Unfortunately, it’s a matter of whether he can stay healthy or not. Similarly, I thought they reached a little on Wan’Dale Robinson, but I also liked him as a player heading into the draft. I wouldn’t be shocked if Saquon Barkley has a very good year and then leaves this offseason.
Their front four on defense is suddenly a strength. I have no complaints with them drafting Kayvon Thibodeaux. He’s a big-ceiling player at a value position. I was a bit beside myself when they kept passing on Nakobe Dean, but otherwise, I was good with their draft. They were put in a very difficult situation roster wise by the previous regime this season.
Let me ask you this one. What’s your stance on Daniel Jones?
This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Of course, that’s the case with every team – the quarterback is the single most important position in football, period – but Daniel Jones is more of a mystery than most. In my QB Phenotypes article, I categorized Jones as a rhythm guy, and I stand by that. Jones is capable of making any NFL throw. I’ve seen him drop the ball in ridiculously precise spots for his wide receivers, a quality that usually marks a true NFL franchise quarterback. Then again, I’ve seen Jones make horrendous in-game decisions, especially in tense moments. I’ve also seen him make errant, head-scratching throws under little pressure.
Ironically, that’s precisely why this regime could work for Daniel Jones. Josh Allen is inarguably a generational talent, but Brian Daboll schemed and set up Allen for success. The Giants had infamously predictable play calling for too long under the likes of Jason Garrett and Mike Shula in seasons past. It’s akin to what Mitch Trubisky experienced in Chicago, and it’s why the jury is still out on quarterbacks like Trubisky. We’ve never seen Trubisky with an innovative play caller, and we haven’t seen Daniel Jones with one, either.
At a certain point, exceptional play calling or not, Daniel Jones will need to face the fire and make the right throws in big-game situations. I’m confident that he’ll do better. Saquon Barkley is fired up start this season; that’s not a bad thing for Jones. Their wide receiver crew is very formidable and they have a ton of speed between Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepherd.
My only other question is their offensive line. New York recently added depth by acquiring left guard Tyre Phillips from the Ravens and right guard Jack Anderson from the Eagles. Right tackle Evan Neal, their first-round draft pick, comes in with a ton of hype after starting 40 games in three seasons with Alabama. And veterans Jon Feliciano and Mark Glowinski were brought over to solidify previously missing pieces in their protection. There are reasons to believe this line will be significantly better this season; it’s just hard to trust after what we’ve seen in New York for the last five seasons.
Bring us home, Ryan! I can’t take a side on our team – both choices are just too painful – but I’m confident that the New York Giants will be better. What are your final thoughts?
I like the Mitch Trubisky – Daniel Jones parallels. I always look to see if a coaching staff builds their macro gameplans around what their players do well. I’m confident in this coaching staff doing much more of that than the previous regime. So I also expect Jones and the Giants to be better, even if I don’t think he’s “the guy” long-term.
The Giants still have a roster that’s at least near the bottom five in the league. Their front four and running backs are the only position groups that will likely be better than league average this season. The Giants could realistically be in the bottom five in the league at linebacker, cornerback, tight end, and most importantly quarterback this season. We’re asking Brian Daboll and this brand new coaching staff to turn around a lot in their first season.
Ultimately, I also think the Giants will be a better, more competitive team this season. But this is still a limited roster in many key areas. I have the Giants as a 6-11 team, which has me on their under at 7 games.