New York Giants 2008 Season Preview – Betting Odds
by Badger of Predictem.com
2007 Record 10-6 (10-6 ATS)
Won Super Bowl 42 over New England, 17-14
Stadium: Giants Stadium
Head Coach: Tom Coughlin (12th Season 111-95)
Training Camp Site: University at Albany, Albany, N.Y.
Current 2008 Super Bowl Odds 16-to-1 at Sportsbetting.com
The New York Giants shocked the world and defeated the unbeatable New England Patriots in Super Bowl 42 last season, in case you dont
remember. Quarterback Eli Manning became clutch, the Giants won three
playoff games on the road to reach the Super Bowl and the defensive
pass rush showed everyone that the best way to stop Tom Brady and the
Pats is to knock him on his ass.
Now the Giants have the task of trying to repeat in 2008, and as
history shows they may be in for a long hangover this season.
Whos In/Whos Out
The Giants made national headlines when they traded disgruntled tight
end Jeremy Shockey to the New Orleans Saints just before training
camp. But they also lost Michael Strahan (141.5 career sacks) and
punter Sean Landeta, who both retired on top in the offseason.
The Giants made a nice a ripple in the free-agency pool. They resigned two of their own free agents, keeping running back Derrick
Ward and safety James Butler. Then they went out and filled some hole
by signing: a veteran for the secondary in safety Sammy Knight
(Jaguars), a backup quarterback in David Carr (Carolina), offensive
line help in tackle Shane Olivea (San Diego), and more pass-rush
depth with end Renaldo Wynn (Saints).
Like usual, the Super Bowl winners roster depth gets raided in free agency, and the Giants learned that hard reality. The Giants will
have to replace quality depth after losing LB Kawika Mitchell
(Buffalo), DT William Joseph (Oakland), DB Gibril Wilson (Oakland)
and DE Reggie Torbor (Miami) to free agency in the offseason as well.
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The Giants got a few potential immediate contributors in their 2008 draft class as well, namely defensive backs Kenny Phillips (1st –
Miami) and Terrell Thomas (2nd – USC) and receiver Mario Manningham
(3rd – Michigan). They also got the linebacker depth they needed to
get with Bryan Kehl (BYU) and Jonathan Goff (Vanderbilt) in rounds
four and five. They finished by taking quarterback Andre Woodson
(Kentucky) after he slipped all the way to round six (198th). At one
point Woodson was considered a cant miss, but after dropping that
far, it appears he may be more of a project for the Giants future
backup to Manning.
The biggest reason the Giants march to the title was so surprising for many was because of the way it happened with Eli Manning coming
up with clutch throws in crunch time. With Manning (6 TDs, 1 INT in
playoffs) now battle tested, the Giants have more than enough talent
stockpiled around him to get back.
The G-men have a gaggle of running backs to hand off to, as Brandon Jacobs (1,009 yds., 4 TD), Ward (602, 3) Reuben Droughns (275, 6) and
Ahmad Bradshaw (101, 1) all contribute to make up one of the best
units in the NFL.
The receiver core isnt shabby either, as Plaxaco Burress, Amani
Toomer, Steve Smith and Super-Bowl hero David Tyree form a solid four-
deep at receiver too. Tight end Kevin Boss (13.1 yds/rec., 2 TD)
takes over as the starter for Shockey, so the running game should
benefit with Boss blocking on the early downs now.
Speaking of the running game, the Giants offensive line returns intact with both tackle David Diehl and guard Chris Snee sporting
nice fat new contracts. With Shaun OHara at center and LG Rich
Seubert and RT Kareem McKenzie the Giants will be strong up front,
baring injury of course.
Perhaps the biggest offseason move made by the Giants was finding a way to keep second-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. His
defense literally provided every team in the NFL with a new roadmap
on how to beat the Patriots high-powered offense (or any offense for
that matter). Spagnuolo learned his scheme of blitz, blitz, blitz
again from the Eagles architect Jim Johnson.
Ends Osi Umenyiora (13 sacks) and Justin Tuck (10 sacks) will team up with Wynn to provide heat from the edge. Tackles Fred Robbins (6
sacks) and Barry Cofield to a good job of keeping blockers off of
middle linebacker Antonio Pierce (103 tackles).
The secondary will be vastly improved as well over last years unit that ended 11th in the league allowing 208.4 yards per game. First-
rounder Phillips will push Butler and pickup Knight for playing time
at safety, while second-rounder Thomas will join Sam Madison, Aaron
Ross, Corey Webster and R.W. McQuarters at corner to form a deep core
there as well.
The Giants kicking units are solid and return intact as well. Kicker Lawrence Tynes (23-of-27) is accurate from limited range (no makes
from over 50), but its okay because Jeff Feagles is excellent at the
short pooch punt (25 inside 20) despite his short 36.0 net average.
The lack of strong leg on either of them is not a problem though as
they both perform well in the late-season cold weather (i.e. playoffs
in Green Bay), and have proven to be clutch under pressure.
McQuarters is the main punt returner (7.6 yard ave.). Bradshaw is the most experience kickoff returner on the roster (38 returns, 24.2 yard
ave.), but the Giants are excited about Domenik Hixons potential as
Hixon thrilled in his limited exposure last year (8 returns, 27.6
ave., 1 TD) including a long of 74 yards.
Sept. 4 WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Sept 14 at St. Louis Rams
Sept. 21 CINCINNATI BEGALS
Sept. 28 Bye
Oct. 5 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Oct. 13 at Cleveland Browns
Oct. 19 San Francisco 49ers
Oct. 26 at Pittsburgh Steelers
Nov. 2 DALLAS COWBOYS
Nov. 9 at Philadelphia Eagles
Nov. 16 BALTIMORE RAVENS
Nov. 23 at Arizona Cardinals
Nov. 30 at Washington Redskins
Dec. 7 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Dec. 14 at Dallas Cowboys
Dec. 21 CAROLINA PANTHERS
Dec. 28 at Minnesota Vikings
Betting Odds and Projections
Despite the fact that New England, Denver, Dallas and San Francisco
have all won back-to-back Super Bowls since the 1990s, it does not
mean it is easy. But the New York Giants have done a great job of
positioning themselves for a run at a repeat. With their current
Super Bowl odds listed at 16-to-1, it appears the oddsmakers in Las
Vegas think so too.
The Giants were a good bet in 2007, not only going 10-6 versus the
spread, but a strong 6-2 on the road and a moneymaking 4-0 in the
playoffs. What will be interesting to see is how oddsmakers will
treat Manning and the G-men this season, as they might start to get
more respect in regards to point spreads.
The biggest obstacle for the Giants this year will come on the road, so they will need to continue to play solid away from home like they
did in last years playoffs. Games versus the improved Cleveland
Brown, as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road could determine
playoff position for the G-men.
They also have a key stretch at the end of November when they go to
Washington, then host Philly, then travel to hated Dallas in the span
of three weeks. This stretch could determine the NFC East title as well.
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