Pick New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions in NFL Week 1

Matthew Jordan

Friday, June 13, 2014 7:44 PM GMT

The Lions are under a new regime this season, while the Giants are trying to recover from one of their more disappointing seasons under Eli Manning. The NFL odds for this game heavily favor the home team, but could the underdog have more value?

Lions overvalued
I have already discussed the Lions’ over inflation this offseason in their future odds update, however even in these Week 1 NFL odds the Lions are still overvalued. I’m not sure where people are seeing the improvement within Detroit, but it’s not Jim Caldwell, I can say that. In these NFL odds, the Lions are -4 favorites, with a total of 45 ½. I do see a lot of improvements among the Giants this season, and if Manning can turn things around in 2014, they are getting overlooked right now.

The Giants’ defense should be better than it’s been in a very long time, and as we see a new aged Giants defense, they could, once again, be that team that comes out of nowhere in the NFC to win something this season. Are they Super Bowl contenders? Not yet, however I do think they can become that, if all the cards fall in the right place.

Assuming that their defense is better this season, the main point of emphasis when it comes to questions will be Manning, and his running game. Manning’s potential to bounce back after a bad 2013 are good this season, but the Giants’ run game is the true variable in their value this season. If the like of David Wilson, Rashad Jennings and others can handle the backfield assignments, this team is going to be a contender in the NFC East.

In this first game against the Lions on Monday Night Football, the Giants should give the Lions’ defense some trouble. Everyone focuses on the Lions’ pass rush, and even though it’s going to be good, their secondary could have some issues this season. Last season the Lions were 23rd in the NFL defending the pass, and I don’t think they’ll be much better than that (if at all) in 2014.


The Sharp Pick
As long as New York’s running game is enough to be respected by the Lions, the Giants not only should cover this game, but they could win it on the road, as well. Reuben Randle and Victor Cruz are still two very talented receivers, and if the Giants add to that with, say, a JerMichael Finely signing, they would be looking even more dangerous.

I haven’t heard anything in regards to Finley to New York talks, however if the former Packers’ TE is healthy, he would fill the last big hole the Giants have to fill this offseason. Imagine Finley being added to Cruz and Randle. It might become the most dynamic passing arsenal in the NFC East.

There is obviously a lot of time before September, however the Giants might be the value play of the summer in these Week 1 NFL odds. I am willing to take the points as my NFL pick.

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