As the San Francisco 49ers look to clinch a 2nd straight road win they descend on the New York Giants and the bookies tip the Niners as the road chalk. Will the Giants defy the NFL odds?
San Francisco Upset Saints
Early NFL betting markets recorded a 60-40 split at early doors on the clash between the Saints and Niners, with the bulk of the money falling, naturally, in favour of the hosts. So dominant were the Saints at home since the start of the 2013 season, backing the Saints towards another home win was practically de rigueur. Tale told, Niners pulled off the improbable road upset to both win SU at +200 NFL odds and cover as the 5.5-point road pups, as we'd predicted in our Game-by-Game previews both SU and ATS.
While a good chunk of the public (40%) was confident the Niners could keep this game close and, thereby cover, few believed they'd actually win the game. The Niners got off to a flying start though to take the commanding 21-10 lead into half time. Offensive issues in the second half have been the story in many Niners games this season and so it proved against the Saints. Niners relinquished the advantage to the Saints, falling to 24-21. With just minutes left on the clock, a last gasp drive by Kaepernick and Company set up a field goal attempt, which they successful tucked between the posts to force overtime. Saints took over possession in overtime only for Drew Brees to be sacked and have the ball stripped. Niners ran away with the game then on the next possession with a field goal. Ever the mercurial quarterback, Kaepernick had an up-and-down performance, going 14-of-32 for 210 yards and 1 touchdown. While he had no interceptions, he was sacked four times.
San Francisco are 13-5 SU in their last 18 games, 5-4 SU this season. Just as it was last week, the clash against the Giants is a must-win game if they hope to reach the post season. They are third in the table behind Arizona (8-1 SU) and Seattle (6-3 SU). They can't afford costly missteps, certainly not in games they should win, such as this next date with the Giants.
New York Giants In Disarray
Another week, another Giants defeat in the books. Four straight since week 5 NFL betting when they briefly enjoyed greener pastures behind a 3-2 SU mark in the NFC East. As it stands, they are third in the division, well below .500 with a 3-6 SU record on the season, which includes a 2-2 SU mark at home and a 1-4 SU mark on the road. Overall, the Giants are struggling in every aspect of the game. Most concerning, Eli Manning's confidence seems to be declining with each loss -- the Giants have been outscored 195-to-247 through nine games, which includes last week's 38-17 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.
In fairness, Seattle is tough nut to crack at home with the 12th man out in full force. It was a big ask for the Giants to begin with, reflected in the NFL betting spread that was set to the tune of 9.5-points (or thereabouts depending on your preferred online sports betting shop). Truth be told, Giants did play well for at least two-and-a-half quarters. Indeed, they held Russell Wilson and his Hawks to a 17-17 tie in the first half as Eli Manning picked apart Seattle's secondary. Not until an ill-advised throw by Eli Manning, which resulted in an interception, did things spiral out of control for the Giants. The interception was the catalyst the Seahawks needed to runaway with the game, literally so. Lynch rushed for a season-high 140 yards and career best four touchdowns and Wilson put in another 100-plus rushing yard performance himself, all while going 10-of-17 for 172 yards passing with two interceptions.
NFL Betting Verdict
This is a tough game to call in more ways the one: Niners simply must continue winning if they hope to challenge for a playoff spot, while the Giants can't delay turning around their season, although it might be too late already. Two contrasting realities that make this a bit of a tossup.
It's week 11 in NFL betting, both teams must raise the level. Are the Niners as good as their record? Are the Giants as bad as their record would seem to suggest they are? There's arguments to be had on both sides of the coin.
If there were one aspect to tip the scale for us on our NFL picks, it's the Niners morale-boosting win over the Saints. It wasn't pretty, by any stretch of the imagination. However, it salvaged their season and sends them into this clash with measured optimism as the 4.5-point road chalk. It's enough to attract 67% of public money at early doors. Giants simply cut an unconvincing pose on the NFL betting floor as the 4.5-point home pups. Along with the injuries to hit them, they are struggling under the new offensive scheme and Eli Manning, once a Super Bowl champion, is a shadow of his championship winning self. The Niners defense is sure to have a field day with Eli Manning and his mistake-prone ways. Take the Niners as the 4.5-point road chalk.
Free NFL Picks: Niners -4.5 at The Greek