New York Giants(0-0SU,0-0ATS) vs.Detroit Lions(0-0SU,0-0ATS)
Date and Time:Monday Night Football, September 8th @ 7:10 PM EST
Where: Ford Field
TV:ESPN, Watch ESPN APP
byJeffHochman,Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread:NYG +4.5/DET -4.5
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The kick off matchup for Monday Night Football’s opening week Double Dip features two teams that did a lot of winning in August. The Giants went 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS while the Lions went 3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS this preseason. It wasn’t like the Giants dominated their competition. They faced three teams that didn’t want to be there. The Giants were just +47 in yard differential while the Lions finished at +75. The Giants won (Jets) its dress rehearsal 35-24 as 2-point road dogs. They were outgained by 66 and the offensive line looks to be much improved. The unit allowed just 7 QB sacks in five preseason games. Depth will be a concern. If the Giants suffer any injury up front than this unit will go from being a strength to a weakness. The Lions also won its dress rehearsal with a 13-12 victory at home against he Jaguars. They failed to cover the 3-point spread but did outgain Jacksonville by 38 yards. The Lions offensive line looks really in sync and should be a Top 10 unit this season. The starting group allowed only one sack in August.
The New York Giants are looking to bounce back from a dismal 7-9 record last season. They allowed a league-high 44 turnovers and suffered through numerous injuries on both sides of the ball. Eli Manning was largely responsible throwing 27 interceptions while the offensive line allowed Manning to go down 39 times. The Giants want to throw the ball more this season. You are going to see this team run some hurry-up sets. Rashad Jennings looks to benefit from being a starter after mostly backup duty in his first four years with the Raiders and Jaguars. He has good vision and will be a nice sleeper in your fantasy football draft. You can tell the Giants were on a mission this preseason by winning all their games in convincing fashion. But that doesn’t always translate to making the playoffs. In fact, 14 out of the past 20 teams that went 5-0 in the preseason failed to make the playoffs that year.
The Giants defense is getting older but still has some marque names. Jason Pierre-Paul will be looking to bounce back after a sub par performance last year. The Linebacker unit will need Jon Beason to return to his form when he was the Carolina Panthers. He accumulated 100+ tackles in three straight seasons from 2007 through 2009. The Giants secondary seems to be rolling with the likes of Antrel Rolle and new cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Lions will welcome Nick Fairley back to the starting lineup. He joins a very talented group up front with the likes Ndamukong Suh. The Lions secondary looks to be improved after last year’s 23rd ranked pass defense. A ferocious pass rush will also help. The Lions are loaded on offense and should be a Top 5 unit all season. Matthew Stafford has thrown for at least 4,500 yards in each of the last three seasons and All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson has been ranked in the Top 5 at his position in each of the last six seasons. He’s a beast in the red-zone and will catch everything that comes his way. There’s a reason why Johnson has been the first WR taken in Fantasy drafts since 2011. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are a perfect combination in this offense. The Lions also have a unique pass-catching tight end in Brandon Pettigrew. They even have depth with Golden Tate and Ryan Broyles as viable receiver options.
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The Lions are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 1. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings. The road team is 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings. The Giants are 5-0 ATS vs. the NFC North of late. The Giants are 1-7 ATS in September games over the last three seasons. The Lions are 6-14 SU and 5-14 ATS in dome games since 2011. The Lions are 5-10 ATS at home since 2011.
Jeff’sPick to Cover the Point Spread: Detroit Lions -4.5. The Detroit Lions fired head coach Jim Schwartz in the off-season after finishing 7-9. Jim Caldwell coaches his first game with the Lions and it happens to be on Monday Night Football. The odds-makers are begging you to take the points which seems like the right side. I will take the Lions behind a pumped up home crowd.