Who to watch, odds, best bets
The Giants face the Falcons 0-2 in Week 3. They must achieve a victory; Big Blue can’t spoil Eli Manning’s jersey removal ceremony.
It’s a big game for a number of reasons.
For one thing, the Giants absolutely need a win after starting the season 0-2. If they can’t score one against a struggling Falcons team, then they have real problems in and around the organization.
But also, the team will finally retire Eli Manning’s No.10 jersey. The ceremony will take place at halftime at MetLife Stadium – Manning will also be inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor.
The Giants can’t spoil this momentous day with a loss to one of the worst teams in the league. Big Blue must come and play on either side of the ball.
Atlanta Falcons (0-2) @ New York Giants (0-2)
Sunday, September 26, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. EDT
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Notable gaming accessories
(Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Total points of the giants: Over-25.5 (-110), Under-25.5. (-120)
- Falcon total points: Over 22.5 (-115), Under 22.5 (-115)
- First team to score: Giants (-125), Falcons (-105)
- Last team to score: Giants (-125), Falcons (-105)
- Giants Total TDs: Over 2.5 (-175), Under 2.5 (+135)
- Falcons Total TDs: Over 2.5 (-120), Under 2.5 (-120)
Player’s Choice of Accessories (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Daniel Jones over 255.5 passing yards (-115)
Daniel Jones put in one of the best performances of his career last week, throwing 249 yards on 68.8% of passes against what is supposed to be a solid Washington defense.
Now think about what he could potentially do against a Falcons defense that allows 40.0 points and 260.0 passing yards per game.
If the Giants’ offensive line, which has played better than usual against the football team, can give Jones time to function, the third-year quarterback should be able to dial him against one of the Worst current defenses in the league.
A roster of talented targets including Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and potentially Evan Engram should help Jones overcome this problem as well.
Sterling Shepard over 5.5 receptions (+105)
Are bettors serious with this one?
Sterling Shepard to rack up at least six receptions is at +105?
The sixth-year gap is having a terrific season so far and is the Giants’ main receiver. Opposing defenses can focus too much attention on guys like Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley to the point of neglecting Shepard, who averages eight receptions per game for two weeks.
Against a below par Falcons defense, Shepard should find some space and at least get closer to the end at half-time.
Sterling Shepard over 61.5 receiving yards (-115)
Again with the disrespect?
Shepard is averaging 103.5 yards per game so far, so whether the DraftKings Sportsbook total is over or under 61.5 is beyond me.
It’s foolproof, as is its receiving total.
Odds and incidental bets courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Get a bonus of up to $ 1,050 by clicking here.
Players to watch
Could this finally be the game in which the Giants seek to maximize Kadarius Toney’s skills?
The wide first-round catcher sports the tools to be that dynamic target the Giants drafted him for. However, in two games he was only on the field for 24 offensive shots and was only targeted twice (two catches, minus two yards).
The Giants face weak defense from the Falcons who allowed up 80 combined points in their first pair of games. So, there’s a chance that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will finally find the opportunity to use Toney in a number of ways.
Take him out into space, perform swipes or touch pass-type games with him, and overall just put the ball in his hands. His combination of speed, elusiveness and athleticism is legitimate – the Giants must use it.
One of the reasons the Giants’ defense struggled against Denver and Washington was the lack of a real pass rush. New York failed to consistently secure quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Taylor Heinicke, costing the Giants multiple times.
On Sunday, expect defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to bring the heat to this area of ââthe game – if the Giants don’t put pressure on Matt Ryan, the veteran flagman might have his way with them.
The team will likely look to right the wrongs by entering the backfield, and rookie rusher Azeez Ojulari should be a big part of that.
The second-round draft pick scored a sack in each of his first two games and should still impress on the stats sheet if the Giants let go of the dogs on Sunday.
Inner offensive line
For the second week in a row, we are making the offensive line a âplayer to watchâ despite being a group of individuals.
At least this time it’s inside the offensive line, not the whole unit.
The Giants lost left guard Shane Lemieux to a knee injury and center Nick Gates to a broken lower leg. The former may be absent all season while the latter is definitely absent.
So, we’ll likely see Ben Bredeson and Billy Price fill the left and center guard positions while reserve inside lineman Matt Skura eventually rotates.
The performance of these individuals will be crucial to the performance of Daniel Jones and the offense as a whole. The offensive line has been a weak spot for this Giants team and those injuries don’t help – Bredeson, Price and potentially Skura could really help this team in Week 3.
Podcast preview on the right large
In Episode 83 of ESNY’s Wide Right podcast, we get a preview of the Giants-Falcons match. You can locate the episode below, on Apple here, or on Spotify here.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY