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NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview: Giants vs. Patriots odds, picks, prediction

Action Network’s Michael Arinze Gives His Pick For Thursday’s Preseason Clash Between the Giants and Patriots

Quarterback Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants looks to pass during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on July 28, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Quarterback Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants looks to pass during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on July 28, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)Read moreRich Schultz / Getty Images

The NFL preseason officially gets underway as all 32 teams are in action this weekend. To get things started, the New England Patriots will host the New York Giants at 7 p.m. ET. Thursday night.

Both teams faced one another last preseason, and New England won 22-20 despite failing to cover the three-point spread after opening as a 4.5-point favorite.

This time around, New England opened as a two-point favorite, but the line’s gone in the opposite direction, with the Giants now laying 2.5 points.

If you read my piece on the Hall of Fame game, you’ll know I pointed out some essential strategies for wagering on preseason games.

Information often plays the most significant role in any preseason handicap. Thus, any line move as drastic as what we’re seeing in this Giants-Patriots game doesn’t occur without justification.

I’ll delve into what’s behind the move as we try to determine the right side in this matchup.

Giants vs. Patriots NFL odds

Odds provided by FanDuel

Moneyline: NYG (+110) vs. NE (-135)

Spread: NYG +2.5 (-110) vs. NE -2.5 (-110)

Total: Over 34.5 (-110) | Under 34.5 (-110)

Let’s begin by discussing the elephant in the room: the line movement, which saw the Patriots going from a two-point favorite to a 2.5-point underdog. We first began to see some sharp money show up on the underdog as early as last Friday.

It’s possible those bettors were looking to side with the visitors, considering that our Action Labs database shows that preseason underdogs are 545-400-32 for 24.01 units since 2004.

However, something else had to be responsible for such a line move, and on Thursday morning, ESPN’s Mike Reiss confirmed that QB1 Mac Jones and other Patriots starters are not expected to take the field against the Giants.

There’s been plenty of rumblings about the New England offense struggling in training camp. Reporters at a practice earlier this week described one of their sessions as disjointed and full of mistakes.

And while the Patriots are trying to install their version of a West Coast offense, one wonders if Matt Patricia and Joe Judge are the appropriate parties to get the job done. Both men have taken up coaching roles within the offense, with Patricia’s title being senior football advisor/offensive line coach, while Joe Judge is the offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach.

Despite recently being head coaches in the league, neither are precisely known for their offensive prowess. Patricia was defensive coordinator with the Patriots from 2012-2017, and Judge served as the special teams’ coordinator from 2015-2019.

Ironically, the Patriots’ disjointed offense thus far largely mirrors what we’re seeing within their coaching ranks.

As for the Giants, there aren’t any questions about who’s running the show after former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll took over as head coach. According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, the Giants are expected to play their starters on Thursday.

Motivation should be on the Giants’ side as they prepare for a new era under Daboll. And with Daniel Jones set to get some reps, I think you have to give New York the edge because of their quality at the quarterback position once Tyrod Taylor comes into the game.

Quarterbacks with escapability are often good picks in the preseason because of how often the play breaks down in front of them.

In contrast, the Patriots will feature a heavy dose of Brian Hoyer, who isn’t exactly fleet of foot. Western Kentucky rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe could also get some touches later in the game.

Lastly, backing favorites with a line move of 4.5 points has been profitable as teams in this spot are 21-17-3 for 3.56 units.

I’d look to play the Giants at -2.5 or better before this point spread creeps any higher.

Giants vs. Patriots pick

Giants -2.5

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