The NFL’s schedule-makers didn’t do the New York Giants any favors this week. They’re coming off a Monday night loss to a very good Minnesota team and now, on a short week, they travel to Green Bay, another NFC contender, for the Sunday night matchup with the Packers coming off of their bye. That’s about as lopsided a schedule advantage for the Packers that you’ll see, which is why they are solid favourites on Sports Interaction NFL odds.
New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers
Point spread: Packers -7
Date: Sunday, Oct. 9, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay
New York Giants
The Giants (2-2) dropped their second straight Monday, 24-10 at Minnesota — which is not totally shameful, as the Vikings are unbeaten and have one of the NFL’s best defenses. But that New York offense struggled, converting just 2-for-12 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down while holding the ball for only 24:28 and turning it over twice. New York is now minus-8 in turnover differential (nine giveaways, one takeaway) this season. Only Tampa Bay and the Jets are worse in that category.
Quarterback Eli Manning didn’t throw a touchdown pass for the second time in three games. He finished 25 of 45 passing for 261 yards with an interception. Odell Beckham Jr. was very quiet with three catches for a career-low 23 yards as he was smothered by Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes all night. Bad news if you have Beckham on your fantasy team, as he has yet to find the end zone in 2016 — he had 25 in his first 27 career games entering this year — and has topped 86 yards once. Beckham lost his cool at least once in Monday’s loss and that’s becoming a concerning trend. No Giants receiver had a catch longer than 14 yards vs. the Vikes and yet this is supposed to be one of the most explosive groups in the NFL?
New York played a second straight game without top running back Rashad Jennings, who is out due to a thumb injury and is questionable this week. Defensive backs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, the team’s first-round pick this year, and Darian Thompson also sat due to injury. Tight end Larry Donnell left with a concussion.
The Giants are 1-5 ATS in their past six vs. the NFC.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers (2-1) entered the bye week, which no NFL team wants this early in the season, off of a 34-27 win over the Lions in Green Bay’s home opener. They won’t play another road game until October 30th. Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns against Detroit, all in the first half. He hadn’t been all that sharp in the first two weeks. In fact, his streak of 14 straight games without a 100 passer rating finally ended as he posted a number of 129.3. Jordy Nelson caught six balls for 101 yards and two scores. He’s starting to resemble the pre-ACL tear, 2014 Jordy Nelson, with at least one TD catch in all three games and on pace for 90 catches, 1,098 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Green Bay appear to be improving after a shaky start, however they nearly blew a 31-10 halftime lead to the Lions in Week 3. While the team was able to heal up during the bye, tight end Jared Cook won’t be playing this week or in the near future, as he’s out with a severe ankle sprain. Cornerback Sam Shields is still battling the effects of a concussion and is questionable.
The Giants will have to throw to have a shot here, since the Packers lead the NFL by far in rush defense, allowing 42.7 yards per game, just 1.8 ypc. The 128 yards are the fewest rushing yards the franchise allowed in a three-game stretch at the start of a season since 1933.
The Packers have covered 10 of their past 13 after a bye week.
Giants vs. Packers Prediction
Green Bay has lost three straight in the series, but the teams haven’t played since 2013. That streak will end. The Packers are healthier, better-rested and more talented overall. New York has failed to cover its past seven road games against teams with a winning home record. I would give the alternate line of 6.5 points, however. Go over the total. It’s 5-2 in the past seven meetings.