Tennessee Titans (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. New York Giants (1-1 SU, 1-1
ATS), Week 3 NFL, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, September 26, 2010, New
Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., TV: CBS
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Ten +3/NYG -3
Over/Under Total: 42.5
pTwo teams both coming off of exceptionally embarrassing games last
weekend will get together to try and save their reputations as
contenders when the Tennessee Titans travel to New Meadowlands
Stadium to play the New York Giants in an AFC-NFC tilt Sunday on CBS.
The Titans were handed their backsides in a, 19-11, loss at home to
Pittsburgh, or more appropriately the Steelers defense. Tennessees
defense played well allowing just 127 total yards, seven first downs
and four Jeff Reed field goals, but a kickoff return for a score and
three interceptions and seven fumbles literally killed any chance the
Titans had at winning the game.
New York was given a similar whooping in front of a national
television audience in Manning Bowl 2 Sunday night, 38-14, as Eli
Manning was turned into a human piata by the Colts Robert Mathis and
Dwight Freeney. The Giants did manage to amass 257 yards of offense,
but most of that yardage and all of the G-mens 14 points came in mop
up time well after the Colts had called off the dogs.
This week both teams will try and duplicate their success from their
week one games, as both came out of the gates strong as big winners
even though it came against the Raiders and Panthers, two of the
leagues doormats so far in 2010.
Bookies are expecting a close game between these two as they opened the point spread with New York as the standard 3-point
favorite at home. The early action at the betting window must be
coming in on both sides too, since most sportsbooks both offshore and
in Las Vegas have yet to move the number in either direction.
The over/under total for the game opened at 43 and has dropped to
42.5 at a handful of offshore sportsbooks on the Web, although there
are plenty of books with 43 still listed on their boards.
Offensively both teams still have multiple questions to answer, so
this week will be an important gauge for each of them in determining
if those steps are going forward or continuing in reverse.
First and foremost, the Titans have to decide who is going to play
quarterback. Starter Vince Young was benched last week against the
Steelers after his poor decision making in the passing game (7-of-10,
66 yards, 2 INT) put the Titans in a hole. Kerry Collins once again
proved to be a better passer in relief, but his 17-of-25 day (149
yards, TD, INT) may not have been strong enough to give coach Jeff
Fischer reason to pull Young for good (Fischer is already calling
Young his starter this week).
Whom ever gets the nod must start playing better to loosen up defenses, as Chris Johnson had very little room to run versus the
Steelers who continually brought eight and nine men up in the box to
The Giants have to decide what their identity is going to be on
offense, a run-first team that sets up the play-action pass, or a
passing team that relies on the arm and decision making of Manning at
New York already has one disgruntled running back, Brandon Jacobs,
who feels hes not getting enough carries in the Giants running game.
But when the Giants dont dedicate enough emphasis to the ground game
their offensive line looks a year older and a step slower and
incapable of keeping Manning off of his back for more than a few
seconds. Finding a happy medium is what the Giants will have to
strive to achieve this week and the rest of the season if they hope
to get back to the postseason.
Getting the run game going against the Titans defense will be
especially important this week because the Titans boast the leagues
top pass defense after two weeks (85.5 ypg). They knocked Steelers QB
Dennis Dixon from the game last week, and you know they were watching
Mathis and Freeney play meet me at the quarterback on Sunday night
with a poop-eating grin on their face thinking about doing the same
thing to Eli this week.
Historically these two last met on the gridiron back in November
2006, in what turned into a 24-21 victory for the Titans at home in
Nashville. The Titans were 3-point underdogs at home in the game,
allowing them to cover the number and have the over wager cash in by
the slimmest of margins since the total closed at 44.
In fact, the Titans are a perfect 4-0 both straight up (SU) and
against the spread (ATS) in their last four get-togethers with the
Giants (dating back to 1997). Prior to 97 the Giants had owned the
head-to-head series, winning three straight SU and three ATS as well
(from 1985 to 1994). But only two of those seven games were played in
New York (okay, New Jersey technically) where the G-men are 1-1 SU
and 1-1 ATS.
The over is 5-2 in those same seven games dating back to 85, with it cashing for three straight and both times in the two games played in
the Big Apple.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im not sure I can wrap my mind around wagering on
either of these teams right now. New York was handed their win by
Carolina (three picks in the end zone), and Tennessee beat the
Raiders so what does that mean really? Since both teams play good
defense Im going to take the easy way out and hope its tough
sledding on Sunday. Take the under!