New York Giants at Carolina Panthers Point Spread Pick
Opening Line: Giants -1.5
New York fell to 0-2 after a 41-23 loss to Denver last week. Carolina led for almost the entire game last Sunday against Buffalo before surrendering the go-ahead TD with :02 remaining in a 24-23 defeat.
QB Eli Manning is second in the NFL with 812 passing yards but he has also thrown seven interceptions (to go along with five TDs). He catches a break this week as he faces a secondary that lost FS Charles Godfrey for the year and is also dealing with injuries to two other players in the secondary. WR Victor Cruz is off to a fast start (13-236-3) and he should be targeted frequently in this matchup. TE Brandon Myers (13-140-1) is the best pass-catching TE the Giants have had since Jeremy Shockey. WRs Hakeem Nicks and Reuben Randle have also been productive. Manning has made some really bad throws this season but he is facing a defense that has allowed an average of 308 passing yards per game in 2013. New York's running game has been simply terrible so far and RB David Wilson doesn't look like a No.1 RB at all (14-36 two lost fumbles). RB Brandon Jacobs has returned but he's a short-yardage back at best right now.
Carolina's offense has had trouble with consistency so far this year and is averaging only 280 yards per game. RB DeAngelo Williams is off to a good start (38-171) and the Giants can expect to see a lot of him this week. QB Cam Newton is also a threat on the ground but he stays in the pocket longer now rather than just taking off. TE Greg Olsen and WR Steve Smith are the only Panthers with more than four catches and a suspect New York secondary should do well concentrating on just those two players. WR Ted Ginn caught a TD last week but he is basically used only for fly patterns. Newton was sacked six times last week as DE Mario Williams tallied 4.5 on his own. DE Jason Pierre-Paul has NY's only sack this season but look for the Giants front four to get good pressure on Newton. The Giants need to contain Williams on first and second down and force the Panthers to beat them through the air.
ATS Game Pick
Carolina is 2-14 SU in games decided by seven points or less in the past 34 games while New York is 8-8 SU over that same time span. This should be a close game and we'll take the experience of the visitor and Manning's arm to get the Giants a badly-needed win.
Crew's Pick: Take the NY Giants -1.5