Giants vs. Bucs Odds, NFL Picks, Predictions: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Monday Night Football Over/Under
Getty Images. Pictured: Giants WR Kadarius Toney and Bucs WR Mike Evans (top), Giants RB Saquon Barkley and Bucs QB Tom Brady (bottom)
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
The Bucs are coming off two straight losses while the Giants are coming off a bye looking for their second straight win. Will this be a get-right spot for Tom Brady and Co.?
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Giants vs. Bucs Injury Report
- WR Sterling Shepard (quad): Out
- S Logan Ryan (reserve-COVID-19): Out
- S Nate Ebner (knee): Out
- LB Lorenzo Carter (illness/ankle): Out
- RB Devontae Booker (hip): Questionable
- RB Saquon Barkley (ankle): Questionable
- FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf): Questionable
- TE Kaden Smith (knee): Questionable
- WR Antonio Brown (ankle): Out
- DT Vita Vea (knee): Doubtful
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/hand): Questionable
- CB Dee Delaney (ankle/concussion): Questionable
- TE Rob Gronkowski (back): Questionable
Giants vs. Bucs Matchup
|Giants Offense||DVOA Rank||Bucs Defense|
|Bucs Offense||DVOA Rank||Giants Defense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Giants Ready For Barkley’s Return
Even with Saquon Barkley slated to make his return and Vita Vea out for the Bucs, running the ball figures to be a struggle for the Giants against a Bucs run defense that is ranked fourth in DVOA. On 73 carries dating back to the start of last season, Barkley has picked up just 229 yards — a putrid 3.1 yard-per-carry average.
Instead, the Giants must look to get Barkley going the same way they did against another one of the league’s best run defenses, the Saints. In that game, Barkley managed only 52 yards on the ground but caught five of six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. Because the second level of the Bucs defense has been more concerned with blitzing or dropping back into coverage to help its injury-ravaged secondary, it hasn’t been able to devote as much attention to backs in the flat, and the team ranks just 26th in DVOA on passes to running backs.
When Daniel Jones drops back to pass, he will face a Bucs defense that has generated pressure at the 12th-highest rate (26.0%, per Pro-Football-Reference), but used the NFL’s highest blitz rate (40.3%) to achieve it. Partly because Jones isn’t exactly a world beater from a clean pocket, his numbers don’t fall off as far as most quarterbacks under duress.
Here are Jones’ passer rating splits when under pressure and blitzed, courtesy of PFF:
- Kept clean: 91.8
- Under pressure: 76.0
- Not blitzed: 94.2
- Blitzed: 69.0
Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles tends to dial up pressure on early downs to help out a secondary missing opening-night starting cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow) and Carlton Davis (quad), as well as Richard Sherman (calf), but on third down, he’s still forced to play coverage. And therein lies the issue for the Bucs defense: It can’t get off the field. On third down, the Bucs are allowing opponents to convert 42.7% of the time, which ranks 24th in the league among defenses. The Giants should be able to take some advantage, as they quietly rank 15th in third-down conversion rate on offense (39.3%).
It also helps that Jones has three of his top four wide receivers, with the oft-injured duo of Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney expected to start alongside Darius Slayton, with only Sterling Shepard (quad) sitting out. Jones is averaging 7.0 yards per pass attempt on the season, but the third-year pro is averaging 9.8 yards when targeting Toney and 9.7 when targeting Golladay.
Buccaneers Stay Dominant at Home
Brady will face a Giants defense that has registered above-average pass defense metrics under second-year defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, ranking 11th in DVOA. However, the Giants have one glaring issue that will burn them against Brady: They don’t get pressure. New York has generated pressure on the opposing quarterback just 18.9% of the time, the second-lowest rate in the NFL.
Brady’s splits when kept clean vs. under pressure this season spell trouble for the Giants’ pressure-average unit:
- Kept clean: 72.5% comp, 8.1 YPA, 21 TD, 4 INT, 113.5 rating
- Under pressure: 45.8% comp, 5.7 YPA, 6 TD, 3 INT, 74.5 rating
Even without Antonio Brown (ankle), Brady has more than enough weapons — namely Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin — to go up and down the field with relative ease.
Leonard Fournette should also be able to get going here, as the Giants are 30th in run defense DVOA. Fournette’s 4.3 yards per carry this season is on par with his prior career high, and his 5.1 yards per touch is a career-best mark.
The Bucs offense will enjoy being back at Raymond James Stadium after getting handed a couple of losses on the road. At home, Tampa Bay is averaging an NFL-best 40.5 points per game, but that figure drops to just 23.4 on the road.
Giants vs. Bucs Picks
It’s tough to play the spread here. On one hand, you would expect this to be a get-right spot for the Bucs at home against a bad Giants team. According to our Action Labs data, Brady is 41-16 (72%) against the spread (ATS) coming off of a loss and 7-2 (78%) ATS off a multi-game losing streak. On the other hand, laying double-digit spreads is an easy way to deplete your bankroll in this parity-driven era. This is also one of those spots where the Giants tend to hang around: They’re 12-5 (71%) ATS on the road with Daniel Jones, including 11-3 (79%) ATS as a road underdog.
Instead of attacking the spread, I’d look to the total. I have the number projected at 51.5, but it’s sitting at 49.5 or 50 at most sportsbooks. What puts it over the top is how well the Bucs have played at home, where they’ve averaged 40.5 points and their combined scores have averaged 59.0 points.
And since Bruce Arians took over as head coach of the Bucs, his “no risk it, no biscuit” mantra has produced a winning over record every season and a 26-15 (63%) over record overall, including 13-7 (65%) at Raymond James Stadium.
Pick: Over 49.5 | Bet to: 51
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