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The Patriots are undefeated while winning all but one game by multiple touchdowns. Fittingly, they are favored by 16.5 points against another inferior opponent in the Giants. New England ranks first in the league for several defensive categories, including points allowed (6.8 per game), total yards allowed (238 per game), and opponent third-down conversion rate (12.7%). They are also first in the league for turnover margin (+1.4), and all of these proficiencies certainly make it easier on Tom Brady and company to find the end-zone with excellent field position.
As if those aforementioned numbers weren’t challenging enough for the Giants, they’ll have to face New England’s solid defense without running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Evan Engram, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, and running back Wayne Gallman. That’s essentially every legitimate playmaker at the skill positions, and rookie quarterback Daniel Jones will need to somehow find a way to consistently move the ball. It doesn’t help that New York’s defense ranks in the bottom five for total yards and points allowed.
- Opening Lines: The spread opened at Patriots -15 while moving even higher since then. The over/under has fallen from it’s open at 46.5.
- Current Line: Patriots -16.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
- O/U: 41.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
- Location: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, MA
- Start Time: 8:20pm ET
- Television: NFL Network / FOX
- Last Meeting: November 15, 2015 – Patriots defeated the Giants 27-26 in New York
A spread of 16.5 points is somewhat rare in the NFL, but it’s certainly warranted here. The Patriots haven’t had a problem dominating lesser competition this season, as they covered an 18-point spread at Miami (43-0) and 15.5 points against Washington last week (33-7). It should be noted that New England failed to cover the 20.5-point spread against the Jets with a 30-14 victory in Week 3. The Giants have a chance to keep it within the number here, but a lack of healthy playmakers dulls their potential for a late touchdown or two, which seems necessary for them to cover.
- The Patriots are 14-7 ATS at home over the past two years.
- The Patriots are 8-3 ATS against NFC opponents over the past two years.
- The Giants are 11-5 ATS as a road underdog over the past two years.
- The Giants are 18-12 to the under as an underdog through the past two years.
Sony Michel OVER 80.5 Rushing Yards
Michel has topped 81 yards in two games this season, and they both came in runaway victories. We can expect a favorable game flow for Michel to see volume of 20 or so carries against a New York team that ranks in the bottom 10 for rushing defense. Fellow Patriots running back Rex Burkhead is highly questionable for this contest, and his absence would help secure a heightened role for Michel.
As far as the spread goes, I can’t recommend the Giants here. In other words, it’s New England or nothing from that perspective. However, the total is fairly intriguing when considering the injuries and short rest for this Thursday contest. It should be noted that the Patriots are 4-1 to the under this season, as they’ve mostly jumped out to an early lead while chewing the clock in the second half. I’m expecting that to happen on Thursday, and the Giants don’t have the playmakers to contribute much to this total. Take the under.
Pick: Under 41.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook