Thursday Night Football betting preview: Giants vs. Patriots
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The New England Patriots will look to stay undefeated when they host the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football in Week 6. Here's everything you need to know about the prime-time clash from a betting perspective.

Line movement

The Patriots will close as double-digit favorites for the fourth time in six games to start the season. New England opened at -16.5 before being bumped up to -17. But as of Wednesday afternoon, some Giants money had pushed the spread back down to -16.5.

Perhaps the more intriguing move has been the total, which opened as high as 46 and shifted down to as low as 41. The forecast is calling for steady rain with winds of up to 20 mph by kickoff.

Betting breakdown

New England could very well be 5-0 against the spread (ATS) despite taking a healthy amount of action on a weekly basis. The Patriots didn't cover in Week 3 despite the Jets failing to score an offensive touchdown. And in Week 4, they missed the cover by one point in a 16-10 win over the Bills. So far, New England's opponents are 4-1 to the team total under, thanks to a Patriots defense that's No. 1 in the league in both yards and points allowed per game.

Meanwhile, the Giants have been oddly great for bettors on the road, covering eight of their last nine games away from home. However, Thursday will be quite the test for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, who will be without wide receiver Sterling Shepard, tight end Evan Engram, and running backs Wayne Gallman and Saquon Barkley, who have all been ruled out due to injury.

Important trends

The baseline spread for home-field advantage in the NFL is three points. You can shade a point or two for the Patriots, but it still hasn't been enough lately, as New England's on a blistering 40-17-2 run ATS at home.

The Patriots have also had little trouble covering large spreads, as seen by their current 17-5 run ATS as double-digit favorites.

X-Factor

It's not Jones' fault that he was selected No. 6 overall by the Giants this year. Whether or not that pick was a reach, Jones quieted the naysayers with a 32-31 win over the Buccaneers in his first start back in Week 3, and he followed that up with another victory at home against the Redskins.

The Patriots, though, have feasted on rookie quarterbacks. Head coach Bill Belichick is 19-5 straight up against first-year signal-callers in his career, including a perfect 12-0 at Gillette Stadium. Though nabbing an outright win would be nothing short of a miracle, covering the 16.5 points would be a consolation prize for Jones and Co.

Pick

Longest touchdown under 38.5 yards

I don't think you'll see many explosive plays in this game due to both the matchup and the weather. The Giants rank No. 8 in the league in explosive runs, though they'll be thin in the backfield and up against arguably the best defense in the NFL. And while the Patriots' offense is playing well overall, it ranks just 20th in explosive plays.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

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Thursday Night Football betting preview: Giants vs. Patriots
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