New Orleans Saints vs. New York Giants Pick
New Orleans Saints (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. New York Giants (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday September 30, 4:25 PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
By: Keith Allen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Spread: NO -3½ / NYG +3½
Drew Brees and the Saints march into the Meadowlands for a week 4 contest with the Giants and will be more than Big Blue can handle. The Saints high powered offense shifted into gear last week against the division rival Falcons the Giants will not be able to slow the train down. New York was able to get into the win column in Houston last week for the first time this year but the Giants still have to many deficiencies to compete with the high-powered Saints. Look for the Saints to win the game and cover the spread as short road favorites. Here are three reasons.
Brees lit up the Falcons last week to the tune of 396 yards and 3 touchdowns on 39 completions and now has thrown for 1078 yards and 8 touchdowns in the first 3 games of the season. Brees has shown no signs of slowing down, and is spreading the ball to all of his weapons. But he has also developed a historic combination with star wide out Michael Thomas, who has caught 38 of 40 targets through 3 weeks. The Giants will not be able to handle this combo.
Manning finally looked like a professional quarterback last week in Houston. Manning has looked like a scared puppy in weeks 1 and 2, but completed 25 of 29 passes against the Texans for just under 300 yards. If Manning is washed up or if he has some something left in the tank is one of the most popular football debates this year. I think if Manning can get a reasonable amount of time in the pocket, he can still make plays. I think Eli against the Saints will look more like week 3 Eli than week 1 and 2 Eli.
This game has a high total of 50 meaning points will be scored and quarterbacks will have to make plays. Both Brees and Manning have great resumes, but Brees is currently the better quarterback of the 2. These guys will have to make plays in the 4th quarter and Brees is much more reliable than Manning. Brees is the guy we want to hitch our wagon to in this one.
The Giants offensive line has been battered all year. Right Tackle Ereck Flowers was replaced by Chad Wheeler for the Texan Game. The changes had some positive effect in both the running and passing game but J.J. Watt did sack Eli 3 times on the day. Manning has now been sacked 12 times on the year, and is constantly being hurried by opposing pass rushers. The Saints got to Matt Ryan 3 times Sunday including twice by Cameron Jordan, who will line up opposite of whoever Big Blue decides to drop into right tackle this week. Manning has grown accustomed to reaching the top of his drop and having defensive linemen waiting for him and there will be times that happens again this week. Saquon Barkley averaged nearly 5 yards per carry against the Texans but he should not have it as easy as opposing running backs are only managing 3 yards per carry against New Orleans.
The biggest advantage in the trenches for the Saints is when their offense is on the field. Brees has only been brought down 5 times while attempting to throw and the Giants had only 1 sack coming into their contest with the Texans and only recorded 3 sacks in that game against possibly the worst offensive line in the league. New Orleans averaged over 5 yards per carry against Atlanta as they got their ground game back on track. The Giants were giving up over 5 yards per carry before going to Houston. Their numbers were much better against the Texans, but the Saints running game and run-blocking unit will look more like the Giants opponents in the first 2 weeks – the Jaguars and Cowboys – than the Texans squad.
We can safely expect the Saints will control the line of scrimmage during this contest. Manning will rarely have a clean pocket. Brees will have time to throw, the Saints rushing attack will have room to run and this will translate into Saints points. Manning and the Giants offense will have to keep pace, allowing the Saints defense to pin their ears back and rush Manning. This will put more pressure on the Giants O-line, which will create mistakes and bad results for Big Blue.
The NFL has the greatest athletes in the world, and this game will include some of those athletes Odell Beckham Jr and Saquon Barkley to name a couple, but Alvin Kamara week in and week out is the best player on the field. He has compiled 430 yards from scrimmage and on 37 rushes and 30 receptions. When there is a key 3rd and 4 or a 4th quarter play that the Saints need to make, Kamara will be there. There are few line linebackers in the league that can stay with Kamara, and none on the Giants that can. Barkley may get to this level in the next few years, but this week Kamara is the guy that will convert the key plays for the Saints.
Both of these teams are coming off of big wins, and this is the second consecutive road game for the Saints which is not a favorable spot. However, the Giants win came against possibly the worst team in the AFC in the Texans, and they were over-matched by a bad Cowboy team the week before. The Saints are starting to fire on all cylinders and the Giants don’t have the talent to shut them down. Look for the New Orleans to run over the Giants, win the game and cover the 3-point line.