Monday Night Football Betting Picks: New York Giants at Detroit Lions

New York Giants at Detroit Lions
Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan

Monday, September 8, 2014, 7:10 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Detroit -3 1/2
Current Line: Detroit -6 1/2
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total: 47 1/2
Opening Money Line: Lions -185 / Giants +155
Current Money Line: Lions -300 / Giants +250

The Lions and Ginats try to rebound from disappointing seasons last year as they open the 2014 campaign Monday night in Detroit.
The Lions and Giants try to rebound from disappointing seasons last year as they open the 2014 campaign Monday night in Detroit.

Both the New York Giants and Detroit Lions finished 7-9 last season and missed the playoffs. They got to those records by different means though. The Giants started off last season 0-6 but went 7-3 down the stretch. However, it was too little too late, as New York missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. Coach Tom Coughlin kept his job, but offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride retired. The Giants brought in Ben McAdoo from the Green Bay Packers to be the new coordinator.

Detroit started off the season 6-3 and looked in good shape to make the playoffs. However, they lost 6 of their last 7 games including the last 4 games. The losing streak cost coach Jim Schartz his job and he was replaced by former Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell.

The Lions host the Giants Monday night in the season opener for both teams. Both teams have tons of talent and have a good shot to be playoff contenders. Both teams had successful pre-seasons . The Giants went 5-0 and the Lions went 3-1.

The Giants have won 3 of the last 4 meetings with the Lions dating back to 2004, and 3 straight. New York won at Detroit late last season 23-20, as part of the Lion’s collapse.

New York quarterback Eli Manning had arguably his worst season as a pro last year. He threw for 3,818 yards with 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. He struggled in the pre-season after undergoing off-season ankle surgery. He is also learning a new offense for the first time in his career as McAdoo prefers a hurry up no huddle offense.

His top receiving target will be Victor Cruz who had 73 catches for 998 yards and 4 touchdowns. Reuben Randle will line up on the other side, after making 41 catches for 611 yards and 6 touchdowns. Rookie receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., the Giants’ number one pick in the 2014 draft has played sparingly in the pre-season because of a hamstring injury. He is listed as questionable.

Running back Rashad Jennings signed as a free agent with the Giants from the Oakland Raiders. Andre Williams and Peyton Hillis will also get some carries.

The Giants’ offensive line struggled badly last year and enter 2014 banged up. Four players are listed on the injury report including 3 tackles.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown for over 4,500 yards for three straight seasons. That is great for fantasy owners but it hasn’t really translated into many wins for the Lions. Stafford threw for 4,650 yards with 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions last season. He also had 2 rushing touchdowns.

Receiver Calvin Johnson is arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Megatron had 84 catches for 1,492 yards with 12 touchdowns last season. Tight end Joseph Fauria had 18 catches last year but 7 went for touchdowns.

Running back Reggie Bush had 223 carries for 1,006 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 54 catches for 506 yards and 3 touchdowns. Joique Bell had 166 carries for 650 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 53 catches for 547 yards.

New York is 4-1 ATS in road games, 7-2 against NFC teams, 5-2 in Monday games, 1-3-1 in Week one, and 0-4-1 in September. The road team is 6-0 ATS in this series recently and the underdog is 5-1 in the last 6 games in the series.

Detroit is 8-3 ATS in week one games, 1-4 against NFC teams, 1-5 at home, 1-6 on field turf, and 0-4 overall.

It is hard to know what to make of either of these teams. You never know what they are going to do from week to week. I think the Giants have a good shot of pulling off the upset and certainly staying within 6.5 points even on the road.

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