ATS NFL Picks for Monday Night Football's Giants vs. Lions

Jason Lake

Thursday, September 4, 2014 3:38 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 4, 2014 3:38 PM UTC

The football betting world expects the New York Giants to implode this year. But did you know the Giants have won seven games in a row at 6-1 ATS going into their Monday night matchup with the Detroit Lions?

We’ve been waiting every year since 2004 for the New York Giants to implode. That was the year the Giants hired Tom Coughlin as their head coach, and traded for No. 1 overall pick Eli Manning to be their new starting quarterback. There have definitely been some headaches along the way. There have also been two Super Bowl upset wins over the New England Patriots, so there you go. 

Implosion Time has arrived. That second Super Bowl win at the end of 2011 was the only time in the past five seasons that New York made it into the playoffs. The G-Men couldn’t even do it last year in the ultra-soft NFC East, losing their first six games in a row to finish 7-9 SU and ATS. Manning famously ended up throwing a career-worst and NFL-worst 27 interceptions. No wonder the Giants have moved from +4 to +6 on the NFL odds for Monday night’s 2014 season debut (7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Ford Field versus the Detroit Lions.


Blue Cross
Let’s not plan the funeral route just yet. Manning and the Giants offense were unusually bad last year, falling from No. 7 to No. 27 on the football efficiency charts. Injuries were a big problem; the Giants starters lost a combined 91 man-games, more than any other team in the league, and 13 players were on injured reserve at the end of the season. The losses on offense included running backs Andre Brown and David Wilson, who missed a combined 20 games while the Big Blue ground attack wound up No. 30 overall in efficiency.

The Giants will almost certainly claw back some of those losses in 2014. New offensive co-cordinator Ben McAdoo is putting in a new West Coast scheme that should take better advantage of Manning’s gifts in today’s no-touching NFL. Rashad Jennings (4.5 yards per carry last year with the Oakland Raiders) comes in as the new No. 1 tailback, and the offensive line in front of him should be better, although new LG Geoff Schwartz (toe) is already on injured reserve until at least Week 9. Adam Snyder has been signed to take his place Monday night.


Meanwhile, let’s not lose sight of what went right for the Giants last year. They had the No. 6-ranked defense in the league, even with all those injuries. Coughlin’s old-school approach (he’s 68 years old now) works much better on this side of the ball. It worked especially well after LB Jon Beason arrived from the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. The Giants went 7-4 SU and ATS after Beason was acquired for a seventh-round pick. Nice return.

In fact, you could say the Giants are the hottest team in the league right now: They went 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS during the 2014 preseason. That was without Beason, by the way, who injured his foot in June and just started practicing again this week. Exhibition games don’t count in the standings, of course, but New York’s success is a promising indicator that the new schemes and new players are taking hold.

Now take a look at the Detroit Lions. They’re also trying to come back from a disappointing 7-9 season (6-10 ATS), with a new coaching staff headed by Jim Caldwell. The players, however, are mostly the same ones that finished No. 19 on offense and No. 14 on defense last year. Detroit has a pretty easy schedule, so making the playoffs is within reach, but there isn’t much upside here for our NFL picks from a betting standpoint.


The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel: DET

Defense/Special Teams: NYG

Coaching: NYG

Market Bias: DET

Betting Line Value: NYG

NFL Pick: Put one unit on the Giants +6 at BetDSI

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