Action's been pretty quiet for Sunday night's matchup between the San Francisco 49ers & New York Giants. But the Giants look like the sharp Week 5 NFL Pick.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 7: 16-9 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 10-13 Total
The sports world just got a little busier. We're at that special time of year when the NFL gets at least some competition from the other three major pro sports in North America. The World Series chase is underway, the NHL regular season just started, and the NBA is playing exhibition games. So maybe we shouldn't be too surprised how quiet it is out there in the football betting world.
Then again, we've got one of the least-anticipated Sunday Night Football matchups you could possibly engineer. The New York Giants (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) are hosting the San Francisco 49ers (1-3 SU and ATS) in a game that NBC probably wishes it could “flex” away. It's already Thursday here at the ranch, and there still isn't enough data yet to produce an expanded consensus report on this or most of the other games on the Week 5 schedule. But there are at least a few sharps in the water, gobbling up the Giants for their NFL picks. Shall we jump in?
We're No. 32
Action may be light at this point, but our early consensus numbers had 63 percent of bettors on New York as a 7-point home fave. That's where the NFL odds sit as we go to press; we still have 63-percent consensus on Big Blue, as well. Not a lot of support for the Niners out there. But why should there be? Aside from their season-opening win over the Minnesota Vikings (–2.5 away), Jim Tomsula's crew has been absolutely brutal this year.
How brutal? As promised, Football Outsiders has its latest DVOA numbers ready for public consumption – including the first adjustments of the year for strength of schedule. Look down... waaaaaay down... and you'll find San Francisco at No. 32 overall (No. 31 offense, No. 29 defense, No. 26 special teams). New York looks like the '85 Bears in comparison at No. 11 overall (No. 15 offense, No. 9 defense, No. 10 special teams).
With a performance gap like that, it's going to take a lot to move us off the Giants this week. So let's scour the area for land mines. The weather report? Clear skies over East Rutherford. The injury report? Uh-oh... TE Daniel Fells has been ruled out for the rest of the year after coming down with MSRA. This is the same staph infection that knocked out three members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013.
Losing Fells isn't ideal for the Giants, who are still waiting for WR Victor Cruz (calf) to make his season debut, among others. But it's not a deal-breaker versus the Niners by any means. Let's stick with the G-Men for this week at least, and may the prolate spheroid deliver them a clean bill of health.
Free NFL Pick: Take the Giants –6.5 (–106) at Pinnacle