Here’s a preview of Thursday night’s matchup between the New York Giants and Washington Football Team, courtesy of STAT Stack:
NY GIANTS @ WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (-3.5) 8:20PM (ET)
TWO THINGS THAT EVERY FAN NEEDS TO KNOW
- Lack of Stability
In 2012, Washington used a first-round pick on Robert Griffin III and a fourth-round selection on Kirk Cousins. The latter became the full-time starter in 2015 and didn’t miss a game for 3 seasons before leaving for Minnesota in 2018. Since then, the Football Team has utilized nine different starting quarterbacks, which includes Taylor Heinicke, who started against Tampa Bay in the playoffs last year and entered last week’s game vs. the Chargers after Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with a hip injury. Including playoffs, Washington was 24-24-1 with Cousins from 2015-17 and has gone a combined 17-33 since his departure.
- Danny “Please Don’t Turn the Ball Over” Jones
Including last week’s 27-13 loss to Denver, Big Blue owns a combined 18-47 win-loss record since 2017 … but one-third of those victories (6) have come against the Washington Football Team. The Giants have won the last 5 meetings in the series, including 3 straight at FedExField. The last 4 victories have come with Daniel Jones under center. In those contests, the 2019 first-round pick has thrown for 901 yards and 8 scores with 3 INTs and 0 lost fumbles. Jones has lost 18 fumbles since he entered the league (most in the NFL) and has thrown 22 interceptions in 28 career games. The Giants have a 3-12 record in games when he throws a pick.
TOP TRENDS THAT EVERY SPORTS BETTOR NEEDS TO KNOW
- Judging a Low-Scoring Affair
Joe Judge took over as the Giants’ head coach in 2020 and owns a 6-11 overall record in his first stint as an NFL sideline leader. But the more interesting information for bettors is this: Judge’s Giants have seen the UNDER hit in 13 of 17 games that he’s coached (with three overs and one push), and that includes the last 8 straight games. It seems bettors are either unaware of or indifferent about this trend because 60% of the bets and 83% of the money are on the OVER in this game. However, the line has moved from 43 down to as low as 40.5 at some books, and there is sharp action (pro bettors) on the under, according to Action Network.
- A Giant in this Matchup
As mentioned above, the Giants have won 5 straight against their division rivals from DC, and that includes a 4-1 mark ATS. Since 2013, the Giants are 11-5 ATS vs. Washington, their only winning record ATS against an NFC East opponent in that time frame. Despite those numbers, the public is backing the FT; according to Action, Washington is getting 58% of the tickets and 67% of the money bet so far. This line opened at Giants +3 and has moved to +3.5 due to the money coming in on Washington. This is despite the fact that FT starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will not play after injuring his hip in Week 1.
ANALYTICAL ANALYSIS THAT EVERY SPORTS NERD NEEDS TO KNOW
- Danny “Deep Dimes”?
In Week 1, Daniel Jones was Pro Football Focus’ 21st-ranked quarterback after completing less than 60% of his throws in a 27-13 loss to Denver. Plus, the 13 points that the Giants scored were boosted by a garbage-time rushing score by Jones. In 2020, Jones was NFL’s Next Gen Stats top-ranked deep passer, completing nearly half of his throws of 20+ yards downfield; he was 19 of 39, with a 5:0 TD-to-INT ratio, and a 134.3 passer rating on such throws. His completion percentage on those throws was fourth-best in the NFL and his passer rating was tops in the league. In Week 1, Jones only took one deep shot: a 42-yard pass to Darius Slayton on the first drive of the game that was hauled in and moved the G-Men into Broncos territory. However, the Giants would follow that with back-to-back plays for a loss, and an incomplete pass that would lead to a 4th-and-18 punt.
Jones has shown an ability to be very effective when he throws the ball down the field, but he doesn’t take many shots — as evidenced by having only 39 attempts last season and only 1 last week. But in order for the Giants to be successful, Jones has to be more willing to air it out, and when he does, the team needs to take advantage. Coming out of their first possession with no points after moving the ball to the opposing 30 on a big, momentum-gaining deep pass is not a recipe for success in the NFL.
This preview was originally published by STAT Stack, a division of STAT Factor. STAT Stack is an email newsletter that provides the most important information on the biggest games in sports. To subscribe to STAT Stack, click here.