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York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers Pick.
New York Giants (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: Thursday, September 20th, 2012/8:20 p.m. EST
Where: Bank of America Field, Charlotte, N.C.
TV: NFL Network
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYG -1/Car. +1
Over/Under Total: 52
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The new season hasnt exactly been kind to the defending Super Bowl Champion
New York Giants so far, and this week it will get a notch
harder when they travel on their first road trip of the year down to Charlotte
and Bank of America Field to take on Cam Newton and the Carolina
Panthers in a primetime Thursday Night affair on the NFL Network.
The Giants almost entered the Thursday Nighter at 0-2, but quarterback Eli Manning led a furious second-half comeback by the G-men to stun the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week two, 41-34. Manning threw three picks (one was a pick-six) in a terrible first half display and allowed the Bucs to run out to a, 27-13, lead, but finished with 510 yards passing and three scores in the other half to help the Giants put the dagger in the Bucs upset bid with just 31 seconds left on the clock.
Carolina will ride a wave into the Thursday Night spotlight following their first victory of the young season last Sunday in the form of a, 35-27, upset of the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers steamrolled the Saints with 463 yards of offense (219 rushing!) and the defense added two picks of Drew Brees to key the upset victory at home.
The Panthers will look to keep the momentum going when the NFL puts its Manning-vs.-Newton battle of franchise QBs on display on its own network in what they hope everyone will start calling TNF.
With last weeks up-and-down struggle on the minds of the betting public and the oddsmakers out in Las Vegas, the Giants certainly gave back a few points when New York opened as 1-point road favorites late on Sunday. The Panthers played well as home underdogs last week against the Saints (closed as +3 dogs), so it should be interesting to see if this betting line moves anywhere before kickoff.
The over/under opened at 52 and with it being live for only half a day so far, it has yet to move in either direction.
Offensively the biggest question mark going into this game is how the Giants will adjust with running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck questionable). Andre Brown seemed to be the next in line (71 yards, TD vs. TB), but with Manning throwing to try and catch up on the scoreboard Brown was running against a lot of Tampa Two pass sets. Either way, it could be argued that the jury is still out on whether the G-men running game will suffer like it did last season when Bradshaw went down.
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New York and Manning will face a Carolina defense that jump-started their upset last week with a quick pick-six, but it also gave up 163 yards rushing and over 300 passing to Brees and the Saints. With a bend-but-dont-break approach the Panthers seem content to let teams have to drive it 10 or 12 plays to score on them this season.
That approach works good when Newton and the Panthers offense play like they did last week, pounding the ball downhill on the ground (41 rush attempts vs. NO) to control the line of scrimmage the entire game. The biggest difference is that the Giants defense isnt going to be confused for the Saints defense, as the G-men unit was still solid (79 rush, 228 pass, 2 sacks, 2 int) last week, they just had to deal with three turnovers and short fields.
The last time these two teams met was back in 2010, a 31-18 victory by the Giants at home in the Meadowlands where the G-men covered as 5.5-point favorites. But I wouldnt put too much stock into that history because Newton has proven hes no Matt Moore, so Carolina will be much more dynamic than the last time the met.
Surprisingly, there are little to no relevant betting trends for this game. They both stink on short weeks (NYG 12-13 ATS less than 6 days rest; CAR 13-14 ATS). The Giants have been okay on the road (10-7 ATS in last 3 years), and Carolina is sketchy at home (8-9 ATS), but if those numbers give you an angle then be my guest.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Carolina wont look as good as they did last week versus the Saints, but theyll still give the Giants everything they can handle. Carolina has less injuries to wait for on the short week, plus this is a national showcase game for Charlotte and the Panthers, and those havent come around much down there in the past few years. Ill take the home dog, Im taking Carolina plus the point.
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