Giants-Washington best bets: No love for Heinicke in NFC East showdown
We started slow last Thursday with a 1-2 collective record but bounced back strong with a 5-1 showing in the week's final two prime-time games.
Here's how we're betting Giants-Washington:
If Washington was at full strength, I'd happily lay the points against a Giants team that can't seem to do anything right offensively. With Taylor Heinicke making his third career start, I'd expect Washington to simplify its offense and rely on his mobility - which should mean fewer shots downfield and a whole lot of running clock.
This game has gone under in six of the last nine meetings between these two; individually, New York is riding an eight-game under run, while Washington has hit six straight unders in the regular season. I'm skeptical of Heinicke's ability to engineer a win, but my confidence in these two defenses hasn't wavered. This total has no business being above 40, so grab the under before this number moves even further.
- C Jackson Cowart
I'm a big fan of Heinicke - the only QB to cover against the Buccaneers in the 2020 playoffs - but this line is out of hand. The Giants' issues run deep: Jones' turnover habits are of legitimate concern, Saquon Barkley looks a long way from himself, and what positives are there really to say about Joe Judge, other than I'm sure he's a nice guy?
Still, this is a fairly strong Giants roster and a better football team than they showed in Week 1. Barkley is only going to get stronger, the Sterling Shepard breakout was long overdue, and let's maybe wait on declaring 27-year-old Kenny Golladay washed up - Week 1 was his first game with this offense. The Giants are stronger at the skill positions and, despite how you may feel about Jones, are also better at quarterback.
But Heinicke's playoff heroics live on in our memory, leading to an inflated line against a divisional foe - one Washington's lost five straight against. Washington certainly has the better defense, though New York's remains vastly underrated. I'm confident in the Giants' offense to make a few more plays through the air to keep this within the number, and possibly even pull out the outright win.
- Alex Moretto
Giants +3.5, ML (+150)
Why does Daniel Jones own Washington?
Jones is 4-0 against them despite being 3-18 against teams with actual names since his debut dramatics against the Buccaneers in 2019. Those three victories have come over the Joe Burrow-less Bengals, the Dak Prescott-less Cowboys, and whatever the Eagles were doing last season.
Admittedly, it might be less about Jones, and more about what the Giants have been able to do against a cadre of replaceable Washington quarterbacks. Another replacement is on the menu for this game. Heinicke gets his second NFL start on Thursday, with his first coming in last year's playoffs.
It was a fun story, but now Heinicke is laying -3.5 points against the Giants, which to me is setting the bar higher than I’d like if I was looking to back Washington. I’ll look the other way with the 'dog, as I think the Giants' offense will do just enough, on a night when both defenses should have their way.
Finally, Ron Rivera comes in with a 1-4 record straight up and is 0-5 ATS in Thursday night home games, which tells me we should be concerned about his short-week preparation. I’m locked and loaded, taking the points with the Giants, with a dabble on the moneyline as well.
- Matt Russell