Sunday Night Football Week 5 – New York Giants at Green Bay Packers – Free Preview and Prediction
Tonight’s primetime game isn’t a divisional rivalry, but it a game that is critical for both teams when it comes to divisional and conference seeding. The Packers need a victory to keep pace with the still undefeated Vikings as they head into Sunday and the Giants are currently tied for last in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins.
Currently, the odds at BetOnline.ag have New York at +7 (-115) and Green Bay at -7 (-105). Just over 60 percent of wagers have been placed on the Packers. The spread opened at -7 and is at -7 or -7.5 across the betting industry.
The total opened up at 48 points. At BetOnline.ag, the current total is 48.5 with -110 vigorish on both sides. 85 percent of all wagers have come in on the over since the odds opened. The number is at 48.5 at nearly every sportsbook online.
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The Giants – Inconsistency and Injuries
New York saw their record fall to 2-2 after losing at Minnesota on Monday Night Football in Week 4. The Giants got little going all game against a tough Vikings’ defense. They managed just a field goal in the first half and scored their only touchdown in the fourth quarter, ultimately losing 24-10.
Inconsistency and injury have been a theme on both sides of the ball. Running back Rashad Jennings is out again with a hand injury. They lost Shane Vereen for the year two weeks ago. Orleans Darkwa will handle early-down work with Bobby Rainey getting the passing work.
Defensively, both starting cornerbacks are battling injuries but are expected to suit up. Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are battling hamstring and groin injuries, respectively. However, they will still be without two starting safeties in Darian Thompson and Nate Bearle.
Aside from injuries to their running backs, the Giants are mostly healthy on offense aside from tight end Larry Donnell and right tackle Marshall Newhouse. Donnell will sit with a concussion and Newhouse with a calf injury. Will Tye will step in at tight end for Donnell.
The Packers – Rounding into Form
Green Bay is looking more and more like a contender in the NFC after many top teams have faltered to start the year. Their offense appears to be bordering on elite once again with Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson once again connecting downfield.
The Packers are coming off a Week 4 bye. Their most recent win was in Week 3 against visiting Detroit. Rodgers threw for four touchdowns in the 34-27 victory which improved their record to 2-1. However, since the Lions didn’t put up much of a fight until later in the game, he threw for just 205 yards.
The passing game has looked great for the Packers, but that can’t be said for the running game. Eddie Lacy did rush for over 100 yards last week, but both Lacy and backup James Starks have been inconsistent to start the year. That probably won’t get much easier against a tough Giants run defense.
Like New York, the Packers are also battling injuries in their secondary. Their top cornerback, Sam Shields will be out with a concussion and defensive back Damarious Russell is questionable with a groin injury.
The over is probably my favorite play in this game, but it has already gone up a half-point since opening and is one of the highest of the week, so I’m not sure there is much value there. However, the Giants +7 look excellent, particularly if the public drives the odds to +7.5 before kickoff.
The Packers will score in this game. The matchup is excellent, and they are well rested after their bye week. With that said, the Giants should match or exceed their point total. Green Bay’s front seven is fantastic, particularly against the run, but their secondary continues to be a sieve without Sam Shields.
I see this a potential eruption spot for Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, who haven’t yet combined for a massive game this season. New York would find themselves in a huge hole in the NFC East if they lose this game and the Eagles and Cowboys both win.
This is close to a “must-win” game, despite it being so early in the season for the G-Men. This one may come down to the final drive, and for that reason, I’ll take the points.
Pick: Giants +7