Giants vs. Bengals Odds & Picks: Value Is On New York To Cover As Road Favorite
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
Giants vs. Bengals Odds
After a slow start, the Giants have been able to get back into the NFC East division race. Improving the offense has been the key to the Giants’ success, as they have gone from 12 points per game in Weeks 1-4 up to 25 from Weeks 5-10.
With a defense that is terrible against the run, the Bengals will look to put up points and make this a shootout to avoid the Giants grinding out a win on the ground. Unfortunately, a knee injury has taken rookie quarterback Joe Burrow out for the rest of the season. Practice squad quarterback Brandon Allen will take over after Ryan Finley replaced Burrow and played terribly in Week 11 ending with a quarterback rating of 0.
The Giants have covered in seven of their 10 games and also hit the under in seven of 10. Let’s take a deeper look at why this week will turn those numbers into eight of eleven.
New York Giants
A revitalized rushing attack and limiting turnovers are the changes that saved the Giants’ offense. This peaked in the G-Men’s most recent two games, during which they averaged 158.5 rushing yards and had zero turnovers. The Giants should be able to pick up where they left off since the Bengals rank last in yards allowed per carry and 25th in turnovers forced.
The Giants’ passing attack has not witnessed the same success as they rank 29th in passing yards per game. The struggles have come from New York’s inability to protect Daniel Jones, with the offensive line allowing a pressure rate of 29.6%, which is the highest in the NFL. Fortunately, pressuring the quarterback has been Cincinnati’s biggest defensive weakness — the Bengals rank 30th in pressure rate at 18.0%, according to Pro Football Reference.
The bright spot for the New York passing attack has been wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Since his return from injury, Shepard has received at least six targets a game and a catch rate of 81%. He’ll be in a winnable matchup against defensive back LeShaun Sims, who is ranked 109th of 125 according to Pro Football Focus at the position.
Defensively, the Giants will have a much easier time slowing down the Bengals without Burrow. At 24.4%, the Giants have the NFL’s 10th-best pressure rate, so this should be a mismatch for a Bengals offensive line that’s allowed the second-most sacks this season.
The Bengals elected to turn to Allen after backup Finley’s disastrous cameo last week. Allen started three games for the Broncos last season and even won in his first start. However, he was able to produce only three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 68.3 in those games.
With an untrustworthy quarterback leading the way, the Bengals may be forced to turn to their running game. With Joe Mixon on injured reserve, Giovani Bernard practiced in full Friday but is questionable with a concussion. If Bernard is ruled out, it will be up to Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams to carry the load. That duo has combined for only 29 carries this season.
Whoever leads this rushing attack will have their work cut out for them, as the Giants have been one of the better run-stopping teams, ranking eighth in yards allowed per carry.
Defensively, the Bengals’ front has been inconsistent throughout the season. They have allowed more than 150 rushing yards in six games but fewer than 90 rushing yards in their other four. Defensive tackles Christian Covington and Mike Daniels will lead this rushing defense, but they’ll need to play better than their respective 102nd and 111th PFF rankings to stop the Giants.
Against the pass, the Bengals have been able to contain opposing teams’ primary options thanks to the strong play of cornerback William Jackson and safety Jessie Bates. However, teams have thrived when targeting alternative options. Both Sims and safety Vonn Ball have both allowed a passer rating greater than 125.
The Giants have been able to provide some support to Jones by creating an efficient running game. This has not only helped move the ball but also has limited Jones’ turnovers.
While the Giants have found their rhythm, the Bengals have turned the other way. Burrow was enjoying a fantastic rookie season, and the downgrade from the No. 1 overall pick to Allen is a large one.
With their backup starting, it will be too difficult for the Bengals to move the ball against the Giants’ defensive front. This will play right into the Giants’ style and allow them to run the ball to a win against the Bengals’ 30th-ranked run defense.
PICKS: Giants -6; Under 44.5