With the holiday season upon us, perhaps the oddsmakers felt a bit generous this week when it came to the Giants.
How else to explain the fact that the Giants are a 4.5-point underdog this weekend against a Cleveland Browns team that has won four out of its last five and who just barely lost on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens?
The three-points are actually pretty generous, if you ask me, considering the Giants played one of their worst games on offense last week against the Arizona Cardinals, who found a way to shut down the running game and who teed off on the Giants quarterbacks to the tune of eight sacks.
And speaking of Giants quarterback, Daniel Jones, who this week has an ankle injury to go along with his hamstring strain (each injury in different legs), isn’t even assured of playing Sunday night.
So yes, the three-point spread favoring a Browns team that has scored a league-best 83 points over its last two games is very generous indeed. Let’s take a closer look though.
ATS: +3 Giants / -3 Cleveland
Over/Under: U 44.5 (-115) Giants / O 44.5 (-106) Cleveland
Moneyline: +170 Giants /-200 Cleveland
The Browns lead the regular-season series 26-21-2 between these two clubs, but the Giants have won the last six out of seven meetings, including the last two in a row. But as Giants head coach Joe Judge likes to say, what happened in the past doesn’t necessarily reflect or indicate what might happen in the future.
I've already mentioned the Browns offense and the scoring tear it's been on (an average of 41.5 points per game, by the way, which makes taking the over this week very, very tempting.
But despite last week's debacle, the Giants still have a top-10 defense in terms of average points allowed (22.4) and average rushing yards allowed (101.5). This is a unit that has stood toe-to-toe with some of the NFL's better offenses, which gives one reason to be optimistic.
However, this defense, like other defenses, has shown that if it's out on the field for the majority of the game, it will tire out. With the Giants' offense in a potential state of flux in terms of the quarterback situation and the news of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett testing positive for COVID-19, the literal odds are indeed stacked against this Giants team.