NFL Picks: Betting Trends Favor Giants to Cover -1 vs. Dolphins

Doug Upstone

Saturday, December 12, 2015 11:24 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 11:24 PM UTC

It has not been a good season for ESPN for Monday Night football with a number of poor games. However, the sportsbooks propping these games up with NFL odds at least draws bettors' attention.

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NFL Pick: Giants -1 (-120)
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


It is nobody's fault this happened, the teams the NFL had chosen have largely underperformed like the New York Giants and Miami have. New York unbelievably is in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East at 5-7. It would not be a stretch for any football handicapper to say the Giants should be 9-5 or at the very least 8-6, be it for some curious coaching decisions by Tom Coughlin and a couple players decisions at crunch time of a couple games.

With the supposed upgrades the Dolphins made in the off-season, at worst they were expected to be wild card team and possibly give New England a run in the AFC East. Instead, dull head coach Joe Philbin was fired and others coaches were shown the door and more than anything the 5-7 Fish look like they have an overrated roster and not many character guys.

New York knows if they win out they will likely win their division and Miami would at least give themselves a chance to reach postseason if they close 5-0 after their win over Baltimore last week. Who's the right choice for NFL picks, let's find out.


Reasons Giants Win and Cover
Though it appeared Eli Manning had a bevy of receivers to throw to back when the season started, Odell Beckham Jr. has come forward as the only reliable target. That is why if New York is going to win this game and make the playoffs, slumping receiver Rueben Randle has to work harder to get open and hang on to the ball, for the NFL's No.7 passing offense at 266.6 yards per game.

Defensively, Giants cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are coming off one of their worst games of the season against the Jets and they are members of the worst secondary in the league which permits 315.2 yards a game. While both corners did not play well, it has been the safeties which really hurt defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's defense all season. Their lack of speed and ability is magnified by G-Men having no pass rush, ranked 31st with only 15 sacks on the season.

For the Giants to win on the road in Miami, they have to protect Manning, be able to keep Ndamukong Suh from personally destroying their 29th rated running game (88.1 YPG) and have a pass rush to protect their secondary.


Reasons Why the Dolphins Win as Underdogs
For better or worse, those in the Miami organization are realizing Ryan Tannehill is not the next Dan Marino. If Tannehill is throwing 40 or more passes, the Dolphins are not going to win which is why they will employ similar attack to last week with new offensive coordinator, handing the pigskin to Lamar Miller frequently. As mentioned, the best way to beat New York is thru the air which is why Jarvis Landry and tight end Jordan Cameron will be valuable targets, particularly down the middle of the field.

On defense, the Fins will want to pressure Manning into check down throws or errant attempts. When Manning takes seven step drops, look for coach Dan Campbell to apply bracket coverage on Beckham with cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Reshad Jones and single up on Randle until he proves he deserves more attention.

Miami can win this contest by sticking with the run, picking their spots to throw down the field and harassing Manning.


Betting Odds and What to Look For
Heritage's NFL odds have New York at -1.5 with a total of 46.5. Because these teams rarely play being in different conferences and they went to London in 2007, this is the Giants first trip to Miami in 19 years.

For sports picks, my heart says the Miami is the choice, but I have to use my head instead. The Giants, despite their record, are still the better team and when off consecutive losses, Coughlin-coached teams are 14-5 ATS in the final quarter of the season. Add in the Dolphins have on a 0-6 ATS run in December and are 1-5 and 0-6 ATS in last six Monday night assignments. Too much favoring Blue Blue who wins by 4 to 6 points.

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