New York Giants (3-9 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (2-10 SU, 3-8-1 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date and Time: Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 1:00PM EST
Where: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
by Scott, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYG pk/TEN pk
Over/Under Total: 46
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On Sunday, the New York Giants make the trip to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans. Its a game between a pair of teams whose poor performances on the field are only surpassed by how unproductive theyve been at the betting windows. While both teams postseason hopes have long been dashed, it is still an interesting pick-em game between two teams that should be giving a good effort.
The Giants looked poised to win on Sunday, before allowing a last-minute field goal, losing to the 1-10 Jaguars, 25-24. This season has reached new depths, as its hard to imagine a more inept version of this team in the Manning/Coughlin era. Theyve turned the ball over 25 times this season and are now in the throes of a 7-game losing streak where one struggles to find good things to say about them. If trying really hard to be optimistic, they were in the last 4 games with a good chance to win, with something invariably going wrong in the end.
For however bad things are for the Giants, the Titans are actually worse off, with 2 lone wins, one coming way back in week one and the other coming against the Jaguars. They cant run the ball and are even worse at stopping the run, ranked last in the NFL. They have allowed more points than any team in the league, while only 3 teams have scored less points offensively. Its a pretty dire situation in Tennessee.
The Tennessee offense is now in the hands of Zach Mettenberger, whose performance is hard to criticize under the circumstances. He was forced to leave the game on Sunday with a shoulder injury and is listed as day-to-day as of press time. He doesnt have much of a run-game to rely on, while his cast of aerial playmakers is a hodgepodge group of complimentary pieces. On Sunday, in a 45-21 loss to Houston, Kendall Wright was productive with 132 yards and a touchdown. And its a pretty deep cast with Delanie Walker, Justin Hunter, and Nate Washington, all of whom are over 400 yards receiving. Sure, it hasnt yielded many positive results this season, but its all relative and they are rightfully a pick-em at home against a similarly-troubled Giants team.
The Giants actually have some things to build on, even if the results theyve been getting have been awful from a bottom-line perspective. Its hard to take anything positive away from a 7-game losing streak. But RB Rashad Jennings has been rounding back into shape after coming back from injuries, though he apparently hurt his ankle on Sunday. Odell Beckham is one of the more exciting receivers to come around in a while in these parts. But sometimes things dont combine to create a winning situation and despite a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, almost nothing has gelled well for the Giants this season.
Its hard to thrive in the face of the injuries the Giants have faced this season across most areas of the team. And only the Titans have been worse against the run than the Giants. Both teams enter the last quarter of the season with unclear goals and very negative inertia. Tennessee is accustomed to this position, not that losing is a good feeling, but its more a part of the recent Titans tradition. On the Giants sideline, there are guys who are crushed to find themselves in this spot and the facial expressions seen in recent Giants games with the players and coaches tell the story. Can they summon some of that old championship spirit or are they struggling to find motivation at this point?
While the Giants are not peaking spiritually, recent efforts suggest a team that is still trying. On the right day, the offense can look quite good, with the defense playing at least adequately. They havent done it for four full quarters many times this season, but in recent weeks, they have given stiff opposition to the Cowboys and Seahawks, so its not as if Tennessee is outside of their realm.
Its also worth noting that the Giants have been up against it schedule-wise from the very beginning. The list of the teams they have lost to reads like a whos-who of the top teams in the league–Detroit, Arizona, Philadelphia, Dallas (twice), Indianapolis, Seattle, and San Francisco. Jacksonville was the first team not bound for the playoffs to beat the Giants this year. Losing 7 straight games is still a tough hurdle to get over mentally for those thinking of taking a position on the Giants, but that should be tempered with the fact that their schedule has been absolutely brutal.
Combined, these teams have dropped 13 straight games, so one team will at least be able to get a well-needed triumph. I look for the superior offensive firepower of New York to surface more in this spot, whereas it hasnt been a prevailing factor in recent weeks. Either team you pick will have a long list a drawbacks as to why you shouldnt pick them. But I say the Giants get a few more things to go their way en route to a win.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the New York Giants in a pick-em.