Free Pick for the Week 3 NFL on Prime matchup between the Giants and Niners
It’s the third week of the NFL season set to begin Thursday evening, with the 1-1 New York Giants traveling to Levi’s Stadium to oppose the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers.
The Giants were blown out (and shut out) by the Dallas Cowboys at home in their opener, then were in a chasm at the Arizona Cardinals last week. New York spotted the Cards a 20-0 halftime lead (28-7 in the third quarter) before getting their act together in a 31-28 win.
The Niners, playing their home opener in this game, have been dominant. They eviscerated the Steelers in Pittsburgh, then were a touchdown better than the Rams in Inglewood.
San Francisco is a beefy, 10.5 point favorite (total at 44.5), according to NFL odds. The moneyline has the 49ers at more than 1-5 (-550), while New York at +415.
San Francisco has become the wagering favorite to win the NFC, priced at +275, as per NFL conference odds.
Once bitter rivals (return to the 1980s), the all-time series is tied, 21-21 (4-4 in postseason).
Giants Haven’t Defended
The New York Giants are going to have a tough time turning their season around if they don’t defend. New York has allowed 68 points through the first two games, while digging itself a composite 60-0 hole (40-0 loss to Dallas, 20-0 halftime deficit last week) to begin its season.
Obviously, 1-1 is much better than 0-2, but a franchise whose success was built on stopping the other guys, has surrendered more points than any team in the league, New York has allowed 136½ rushing yards per game in the two contests, a bad number against a team which runs the ball early and often.
Quarterback Daniel Jones had the half of his career in leading the comeback against the Cardinals, with two touchdowns passes (another rushing), more than 250 yards through the air and another 50-plus on the ground.
Of course, San Francisco is a completely different commodity than tanking Arizona, so whether Jones has another 30 minutes such as that is not probable.
Then, there’s the status of running back Saquon Barkley (29 rushes, nine receptions in two games), who sprained his ankle late in the game against the Cards and who was finally declared out for the TNF matchup yesterday. A bad week to have the Giants as the Thursday game.
Frisco is Grounded
Only two teams (Cleveland and Philadelphia) are averaging more rushing yards through the first two games than the San Francisco 49ers’ figure of 173.5.
It’s not surprising Christian McCaffrey leads the way (42 carries, 268 yards), with two touchdowns. This is his first full season with the Niners, adding another dynamic to an offense that’s quite productive.
Quarterback Brock Purdy seems no worse after the injured elbow which knocked him out of the NFC title game last season.
San Francisco has scored 30 points in each game to begin the season. A struggling secondary thus far, having surrendered 269.5 passing yards per game. That’s a bit concerning, since both early opponents had to abandon the run trying to climb out of holes.
Play the Bay
The lowly Cardinals are not the lethal 49ers, and the Giants are headed to San Francisco (Santa Clara) without Saquon Barkley.
Expect San Francisco to run early and often, daring the Giants to stop it. New York has been shredded on the ground to begin its season, so . . .
It’s not easy to cover a 10-plus point spread in any game, but the 49ers have a ton of things working in their favor. Bet the home side -10½ as it grabs a third win in a row.