New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints
Time: NOON ET (FOX)
Spread: NO -3
M/L: NO -165; NYG +145
Betting odds c/o Bovada
The 4-3 New York Giants sit atop the NFC East and it has been getting it done by playing gritty, turnover-forcing defense. New York boasts the league’s best turnover margin and though the Giants have been a tougher team, the 3-4 New Orleans Saints are 3-point favorites as hosts. The Saints are 2-1 at home this year.
The game has a higher over/under at 50 and air on FOX at NOON (ET).
The Saints struggled badly with turnovers in Weeks 1 through 5, but since the team has turned that around in its back-to-back victories after that 1-4 start.
The Giants rank No. 27 in total offense with 349.3 yards per game. New York also ranks No. 29 in total defense, giving up 410.3 yards per game. If not for that great turnover differential, this would be a losing ball club. Is that an advantage that can be banked or is it mostly fluke? The Giants are plus-10 in turnover margin and had four takeaways in the 27-20 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
The thing is, it has to be wondered if this style of winning can be maintained at all, despite coach Tom Coughlin’s insistence that luck had “nothing to do with it.” He said it was “about us being in the right spot at the right time,” a thing by its very nature that has an element of luck to it. He does credit the lack of penalties as playing its role, and that is something that New York can consistently pride itself upon.
But without a real improvement in the offense, this 4-3 start is going to fade and turn into a losing season for the Giants.
New Orleans won 31-21 over the Falcons on Oct 15 and 27-21 over the Colts last Sunday. New Orleans recovered three fumbles against Atlanta and had a pair of interceptions against the Colts. The Saints got five sacks from Cameron Jordan in the past two games, and Jordan is proud of his fellow defensive linemen, adding that “we’re dealing with a lot of growing pains, but at the same time we’re overcoming a lot of different things.”
Overcoming Jordan will be a concern for Giants QB Eli Manning. Manning has lost both his visits to New Orleans by a combined total of 97-51. That alone should shade some bettors into favoring the Saints in this contest.
New Orleans QB Drew Brees is No. 5 in the NFL with 1,871 passing yards and 732 yards in his past two games against the Giants. The Giants have a great DC in Steve Spagnuolo who led New Orleans to a top defense in 2012. His knowledge of the Saints’ attack could spell trouble for Brees. Neither team has much of a rush attack, which is part of why the point total is curiously high for this one. It will not turn into a game of clock control.
It would seem one or both of the clubs would seek to exploit the rush defense of one another, but this is a game that will be won in the air, even if the Giants have given up 171.7 yards per game via the rush in the past three contests. Look for a high scoring affair, but look even closer to see if the Giants can continue to force turnovers the way it has. That is a developing story behind this team and its further prospects towards sustainable success.