Monday Night Football Picks: St. Louis Rams visit New York Giants

St. Louis Rams at New York Giants
Monday, 9/19/11, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  NY Giants -6
Current Betting Line:  NY Giants -7
Opening Total:  43
Current Total:  44
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Giants Rams NFL Preview
Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw looks to get more carries against the Rams on Monday Night Football.

The New York Giants will face former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for the first time since he became a head coach when they host the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football.  Spagnuolo helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLII before taking the top job in St. Louis two years later and will try to help the Rams end a four-game series losing streak vs. New York.

The Giants (-7, O/U 44) have won the last four meetings straight-up, and they have covered the past five dating back to 2001.  They won the last one with Spagnuolo on the sideline 41-13 at St. Louis in 2008, which may have actually helped him eventually get the head coaching job.

New York (0-1) is coming off a disappointing performance in a 28-14 loss at Washington in the season opener last week.  Quarterback Eli Manning completed 18 of 32 passes for 268 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, and he scored one of the team’s two touchdowns on the ground.  Running back Ahmad Bradshaw got the other and finished with 44 yards on 13 carries while Brandon Jacobs had 29 on six attempts.

The Giants did not play well defensively either the Redskins due in part to several injuries, but they are expected to get defensive end Justin Tuck (neck) back after he sat out last week.  They will still be without defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee) and rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot) and hope leading receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee) can play.

The Rams (0-1) are also dealing with injuries, as running back Steven Jackson (quad) may miss the game after getting hurt in last week’s 31-13 home loss to Philadelphia.  Jackson busted loose on a 47-yard touchdown run for the first score of the game but carried the ball only once more before sitting in favor of Cadillac Williams, who ended up with 91 yards on 19 carries.

St. Louis lost wide receiver Danny Amendola to a dislocated elbow against the Eagles as well and saw quarterback Sam Bradford bruise the index finger on his throwing hand, although he is expected to play.  Bradford completed 17 of 30 passes for 188 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.  He was replaced at one point by veteran A.J. Feely (1 of 5 passing for 21 yards).

Philly outscored the Rams 14-3 in the second half, as they were simply not the same team following the injuries to Bradford, Jackson and Amendola.  If Jackson does not play against New York, Williams will need to do his best to stay on the field since he has been very injury-prone throughout his career.  Bradford will also need to find a new top receiver without Amendola on the field.  New acquisition Mike Sims-Walker made just one catch for five yards last week.

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