Sunday’s game between the wounded San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants should be low-scoring, but the Over still belongs in your NFL picks.
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants
Sunday 27th September 2020 (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford
So much for the old “West Coast team playing an East Coast game at 10 a.m. Pacific Time” angle. It didn’t work for us last week when the L.A. Rams beat the Philadelphia Eagles (–2) 37-19, and it didn’t work for us when the San Francisco 49ers beat the New York Jets (+7) 31-13. That was despite all the injuries San Fran suffered on the new and apparently awful turf at MetLife Stadium.
Well, here we are again. The Niners are back in East Rutherford to face the Giants in another matinee affair; maybe we should keep plucking that chicken and take Big Blue as 4-point home dogs at Bovada Sportsbook. But they’ve already been bet down from +7.5 at the open, and Giants RB Saquon Barkley is out for the year with a torn ACL. San Francisco should also be used to the time zone change by now. We might have to look elsewhere for our Week 3 NFL picks.
That’s Torn It
We definitely would have been tempted to take New York at +7.5. FiveThirtyEight project the G-Men as 4.5-point home dogs, and Jeff Sagarin has it Giants +5.59 with his Rating numbers, then Giants +3.95 with his eigenvector analysis.
Throw in the loss of Niners DL Nick Bosa and DL Solomon Thomas to torn ACLs, DL Dee Ford to a sore back, and maybe QB Jimmy Garoppolo to a high-ankle sprain, and yes, New York look pretty good at a half-point above the magic number seven. That’s true even with Barkley (4.6 yards per carry in 2019) going on the shelf.
But we’re not all that keen to jump on the bandwagon at +4, especially with the Giants (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) being coached by Joe Judge. He might not make it through Year One in his first gig at this level, treating his players like they’re at reform school.
So let’s move straight to the total, which sits at 41.5 points on the NFL odds board at Bookmaker. That’s already down a point from the open. Maybe the Over has some value with all those defensive injuries on San Fran’s side.
Surf and Turf
It’s possible. Sagarin’s Week 3 total projections have these two teams combining for 46.64 points, although we’re a bit leery here at the ranch – are last week’s injuries factored in? And what about that sticky turf in East Rutherford? It’s bad enough that the Niners (1-1 SU and ATS) might keep TE George Kittle and his bruised knee off the field for one more week. Scary stuff.
The good news, for us at least, is that Sunday’s weather forecast doesn’t have any nastiness in it. And as talented as Barkley may be, there shouldn’t be as much difference between him and whomever replaces him (Dion Lewis, or perhaps newly-signed RB Devonta Freeman) as the betting market would believe.
Same goes for Niners QB Nick Mullens if he does indeed replace Garoppolo as expected. Let’s fire a small bet at the Over, just for funsies, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.