After the New York Giants and Washington Football Team each dropped their Week 1 games at home, both teams enter a critical Week 2 Thursday Night Football matchup in desperate need of a win.
Let’s take a closer look at this pivotal early-season NFC East matchup and make a Giants vs. Washington prediction while also taking a look at the odds.
Giants vs. Washington Football Team Pick (Week 2)
Washington opened as three-point favorites at most legal online sportsbook, a line that since spiked to as high as -4 before settling in at the -3.5 or -3, depending on where you’re playing. The total opened around 43 points and has dropped a touch, as both teams played to 40 or less total points in Week 1 and Washington will play this game without its starting quarterback.
Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation in Washington’s Week 1 loss, sending him to the IR. In response, Washington will tab backup Taylor Heinicke for the starting role for this week.
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This is a blow to a Washington team that was hoping to break a 16-year streak of reigning NFC East champions failing to repeat as division title holders. Worse yet for WFT, they are already trying to buck an ugly trend from the last three seasons without former quarterback Alex Smith under center. Washington went 11-4 SU and 10-5 ATS in Smith starts, but just 6-29 SU and 13-21-1 ATS with any other quarterback under center.
The setup here doesn’t get any easier for Washington, which lost their opener at home to the Los Angeles Chargers. Notably, head coach Ron Rivera is just 12-14 SU and 6-20 ATS in the second or third of back-to-back home games in his coaching career. That’s a particularly poor track record considering consecutive playing consecutive home games is often considered an advantageous situation.
Furthermore, when the opponent is under .500 in that same role, Rivera’s record dips to 6-10 SU and a vomit-inducing 1-15 ATS. On top of it all, Rivera’s squads are just 3-6 ATS off a loss since he took over in Washington.
In the last 21 seasons, Washington is just 3-6 SU and 3-5-1 ATS in Thursday night games, going just 1-4 ATS against the NFC East in those encounters. During the first four games of a season, WFT is just 2-13 ATS in its last 15 games as home favorites in a revenge spot. Keep in mind, Washington has lost five straight to the Giants, accounting for its only two division losses last season.
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The Giants should be able to prey on those negative Washington tendencies, as offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has extensive familiarity with NFC East opponents from his time with the Cowboys. He went 5-1 both SU and ATS against Washington over his final three seasons in Dallas. On top of that, New York quarterback Daniel Jones has never lost to Washington, throwing eight touchdowns to just three interceptions across four games.
For what it’s worth, Jones is also 8-2 ATS as a road dog over his two seasons in the NFL, part of an overall 10-4 ATS record away from home.
The Giants have thrived as visitors in recent seasons, in fact. They are 20-7 ATS as road underdogs over the last four campaigns.
They have managed an 18-6 ATS record on the road overall in the last three seasons, which includes an 11-1 ATS run as dogs of less than seven points away from home. Head coach Joe Judge,is 6-1 ATS when getting points on the road thus far in his head coaching tenure. Interestingly, Judge has led New York to a perfect 5-0 ATS record as an underdog against a sub .500 opponents.
His teams are 9-5 ATS overall as dogs and 6-4 ATS off a SU loss, as well.
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Giants vs. Washington Prediction
The Giants were a great division bet last season, going 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS, despite a 6-10 SU (9-7 ATS) overall record. They have also rattled off nine covers in their last 10 chances against fellow NFC East teams after having scored 14 or less points prior (NYG scored 13 against Denver on Sunday).
The Giants won outright last season in this building as three-point dogs and have covered four of the last five head-to-head meetings. Look for them to keep it close or perhaps even steal another one here.
One last note. Divisional road dogs of 3.5-6.5 points are 15-8 ATS on Thursdays since 2005. When the visitors are given exactly 3.5 points, a number you can still find for this one, that record jumps to 6-2 ATS in that span.
Our Pick: New York Giants +3.5
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