Last week’s Thursday Night Football showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys was a game to remember. This week’s TNF contest between the New York Giants and Washington Football Team may be a bit lacking in the anticipation department, but we could have a fun divisional battle on our hands.
Both teams got off to disappointing 0-1 starts last week, but there is still more than enough time to turn things around. New York fell at home to the Denver Broncos, while Washington was beaten by the LA Chargers on their home turf. The Football Team was dealt an additional blow when Ryan Fitzpatrick went down in the second quarter with a hip injury that will keep him sidelined for several weeks.
So, Ron Rivera will turn to backup Taylor Heinicke to start in Week 2. The betting line for this game has hovered around Washington -3.5 since it opened, though the Giants did take both of the head-to-head meetings between the teams a season ago.
One way to make an otherwise lackluster matchup more intriguing is to get some skin in the game.
DraftKings already has a host of player props up and ready for your perusal ahead of Thursday’s kickoff at FedEx Field. Which bets are worth making?
Daniel Jones Total Passing Yards
Over 233.5 (-115)
Under 233.5 (-115)
The New York Giants put just 13 points on the board last week against Denver, which was a disappointing result for a team that came into the season with decent offensive expectations. Daniel Jones racked up 267 passing yards with the Giants trailing for most of the game, and the over/under for passing yards ahead of this week’s contest against Washington has been set at 233.5.
With the WFT favored in this one, New York may be playing from behind again this week. Washington has one of the most talented defenses in football, and this group yielded just 201.9 passing yards per game a season ago. That was the third-stingiest mark in football. Chase Young and Montez Sweat wreak havoc on opposing backfields, so Jones may have to make some plays on the run if the Giants are going to have a chance in this game.
While the Giants did sweep the season series against Washington last year, Jones wasn’t much of a factor. The former Duke standout recorded just 112 yards in the first meeting before totaling 212 yards in the second game. For the season, Jones only topped 233.5 passing yards five times in 14 games.
I do expect the Football Team to win this one, though. That’ll force Jones to take to the air more frequently than he otherwise might. I don’t have a ton of confidence in this one, but I slightly prefer the over on 233.5 passing yards at -115 for Jones.
Daniel Jones Total Passing Yards –Over 233.5 Yards (-115)
Taylor Heinicke Total Passing Yards
Over 249.5 (-115)
Under 249.5 (-115)
Washington fans came away impressed by Taylor Heinicke after a very solid showing in the Wild Card Game against Tampa Bay in last year’s playoffs, but that didn’t stop the team from going out and signing Fitzpatrick this offseason. Heinicke has been pressed into duty already, though, and he’ll make his first regular-season start as a member of the team on Thursday night.
Heinicke gave the Football Team a chance to win after entering Sunday’s game against the Chargers, which is really all they could’ve possibly asked of him. The 28-year-old journeyman completed 11 of his 15 throws for 122 yards with a touchdown as Washington came up just short of pulling off an upset of the Chargers. Heinicke’s mobility is arguably his finest asset, and he ran for another 17 yards on three attempts in Week 1.
The Giants were middle-of-the-pack last season in terms of stopping the pass (16th). They don’t seem to be much improved in that regard this year, as Teddy Bridgewater just diced them up for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 1.
Heinicke isn’t bad, but Washington should take a run-first approach into this one. The WFT ran the ball on better than 55 percent of their plays last week, which was the second-highest rate in the entire league. Last year, they were actually much more pass-happy, but I’d expect the gameplan to revolve heavily around Antonion Gibson in this one.
That line of 249.5 passing yards for Heinicke just looks a little too aggressive. Bet the under on that with confidence at -115.
Taylor Heinicke Total Passing Yards –Under 249.5 Yards (-115)
Daniel Jones Total Rushing Yards
Over 20.5 (-115)
Under 20.5 (-115)
Saquon Barkley is in the process of returning from last year’s torn ACL, so the Giants are clearly going to take it easy on him. Barkley carried the ball just 10 times for 26 yards in the season opener, and he was essentially a total non-factor. Backup Devontae Booker ran it four times for seven yards himself.
Jones was actually the team’s leading rusher (27 yards) on just six attempts, and he added a rushing TD for good measure. Barkley’s role should remain fairly limited this week, especially with just four days between games. So, DK doesn’t even have a rushing yardage prop for him in this one. You can instead bet on whether Jones tops 20.5 yards on the ground.
Jones’ Ability to Run the Ball Is Actually One of His More Underrated Attributes
He ran for a career-high 423 yards on 65 attempts a season ago, which is an average better than six yards per tote. He won’t be mistaken for Lamar Jackson any time soon, but Jones does have enough speed to impact the game with his legs.
The WFT wasn’t quite as tough against the run as they were against the pass last year. Jones totaled 74 yards on seven attempts in their first meeting before he was held to just four yards on six tries in their second clash.
Frankly, this prop could legitimately go either way. Jones topped 20 rushing yards in exactly half of his starts a season ago, with another game of exactly 20. I think exactly 20 rushing yards sounds about right in this one. I’ll give the slight edge to the under, but it’s a true toss-up.
Daniel Jones Total Rushing Yards –Under 20.5 Yards (-115)
Antonio Gibson Total Rushing Yards
Over 68.5 (-115)
Under 68.5 (-115)
Antonio Gibson didn’t have a monster Week 1, but he did fare well against the Chargers. The second-year back racked up 90 yards on 20 attempts (4.5 average) without finding the end zone. He also grabbed another three passes on five targets for 18 more yards.
As mentioned, I’m expecting Washington to lean heavily on their star back in this one with Heinicke under center. You can run on the Giants, who yielded an average of 111.4 rushing yards per game a season ago. Last week, they let Denver run for 165 yards as a team, which was the fourth-most in the league.
Only RBs with 20+ runs and 0⃣ for loss or no gain:
Gibson is also one of the few running backs in this day and age that has a clear-cut role as the RB1 in this backfield. JD McKissic played a big role on passing downs last year, but Rivera seems inclined to let Gibson stay in on those downs in 2021.
The Washington Football Team ran just 49 offensive plays last week against Los Angeles, and Gibson touched the ball on 25 of them. He’s going to have a massive role for this team this season, so the over/under of 68.5 rushing yards in this one just looks surprisingly low. Hammer the over on that for Gibson in Week 2.
Antonio Gibson Total Rushing Yards –Over 68.5 Yards (-115)
Sterling Shepard Total Receiving Yards
Over 55.5 (-115)
Under 55.5 (-115)
The Giants have worked hard to give Daniel Jones plenty of weaponry in the passing game. Evan Engram is out for Week 2 due to injury, but he does have plenty of decent pass-catchers left.
Sterling Shepard was the big winner last week, totaling 113 yards with a touchdown on seven catches and nine targets. Shepard vastly outproduced every other receiver in that one. Darius Slayton (three catches on seven targets) and Kenny Golladay (four catches on six targets) were secondary options for Jones against the Broncos.
That said, I think we can expect Jones to spread the wealth more evenly as the season progresses. Shepard and Jones clearly have good chemistry, but Golladay and Slayton are also proven commodities at this level.
We also know Washington is incredibly tough to pass on. Shepard caught six passes on eight targets in his lone meeting with the Football Team last year, but he was limited to just 39 yards and failed to find the end zone.
As is the case with the Jones rushing prop, I think the betting line on Shepard’s receiving prop is incredibly sharp. 55 yards is about right, though he has easily surpassed that total in each of his last three games. I’ll give the slight edge to the “under” at the same -115 odds, but it’s not a strong conviction.
Sterling Shepard Total Receiving Yards –Under 55.5 Yards (-115)
Terry McLaurin Total Receiving Yards
Over 71.5 (-115)
Under 71.5 (-115)
Terry McLaurin had a monster season in 2020 despite Washington’s rotating cast of characters at quarterback. The addition of Fitzpatrick was supposed to bring some stability to the position, but those plans have already gone out the window thanks to Fitz’s unfortunate injury. So, McLaurin will have to rely on Heinicke to feed him the ball.
McLaurin is undoubtedly one of the best receivers in all of football, but I do think Washington will look to establish the ground game in this one. Last week, McLaurin hauled in all four of his targets for 62 yards without a touchdown against the Chargers. In Heinicke’s first start against the Bucs in last year’s playoffs, McLaurin racked up six catches on seven targets for 75 yards.
We know Scary Terry will be the focal point whenever the WFT does opt to take to the air. He hit the “over” on 71.5 receiving yards in both of his games against the Giants a season ago, as well, including a 115-yard performance last November. The third-year receiver topped 72 yards in 11 of 15 games last year, including the playoffs.
Again, though, I don’t have a ton of faith in Heinicke doing much damage with his arm in this one. Washington should be able to control the tempo of the game with Gibson doing most of the damage, which will leave McLaurin just shy of the over/under here.
Terry McLaurin Total Receiving Yards –Under 71.5 Yards (-115)
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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