Buccaneers vs. Giants Picks: How To Fade the Monday Night Football Underdog
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Buccaneers vs. Giants Picks
Brandon Anderson: Buccaneers -12.5
The Buccaneers have the No. 1 defense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, by a very wide margin. The Giants rank third-to-last in offensive DVOA.
That seems like … a mismatch?
The Bucs have allowed 20 or fewer points in five of their last six games. They’ve also forced two turnovers a game during that stretch. If the Bucs defense can hold the Packers to 10 points and 201 yards, what are they going to do to a Peewee Giants team?
The Giants were averaging fewer than 12 points per game through four weeks with pathetic showings against the Steelers, Bears, 49ers and Rams. On the surface, it looks like New York is moving in the right direction with 25 points per game over the past three weeks, but those games were against the putrid NFC East. And even then, the Giants needed a ton of help and fluke scores and probably should have lost all three games.
What we have here is a game that shouldn’t be close. The Chiefs were 20-point favorites against the Jets on Sunday and covered with ease. The Bucs might be playing better than the Chiefs, and is one New York team really much better than the other?
We’re getting a whole touchdown discount here.
Tom Brady has that history against the Giants, so you never know, but this game should be over quickly. The question is which angle to play on Tampa. This is an ideal spot for a tease since the teaser should cross the key number of 7, but you may not have another game to tease with it on a Monday night.
I’m tempted to play the Giants team under 16.5 because it’s hard to see them doing anything against this elite Bucs defense, but garbage time could leak a late score. If the Giants get a backdoor cover, they’ll probably cover that 16.5 anyway, so I would rather keep this simple and take the Bucs and hope they put up enough points to close the back door before it’s even an option.
I’ll play the Bucs up to -13.
Chris Raybon: Giants Under 16.5
I jumped on Bucs -10 when this line first came out, but the number has since fallen in line with my projection. (By the way, you can follow me in the Action app to get alerts as I make bets.)
Usually in this situation, the play would be to take the points with the home dog, but even if this number balloons up to the key number of +14, I can’t recommend a play on the Giants because of the mismatch between their offense and the Bucs defense.
Daniel Jones’ propensity to give the opposing defense free points on turnovers doesn’t help, either. He’s effectively negated his team’s home-field advantage, as the Giants are 1-8 against the spread at home with Jones as the starter, failing to cover by a whopping 7.78 points per game.
The total is also iffy. I have it at 44, as I doubt we’ll see the best of the Bucs offense in windy conditions with the receiving corps banged up, but Jones also creates a lot of variance, as he’s committed 33 turnovers in 19 career starts.
Given that the Giants have scored a median of 13 points in five games against top-12 defenses and are now facing the NFL’s top-rated unit, I like the Giants team total under 16.5 better than a side or total.
I would bet under 16.5 up to -135.
Mike Randle: Giants WR Golden Tate Over 2.5 Receptions
The return of Sterling Shepard (turf toe) has allowed Tate to return to his favorable role as New York’s primary slot receiver.
Shepard and Darius Slayton will draw difficult matchups against Tampa Bay’s elite outside cornerbacks, which means Tate will have a winnable matchup against Sean Murphy-Bunting. On the season, Murphy-Bunting has a -35.4 coverage rating per PlayerProfiler.
Tate should find plenty of opportunities in a game the Giants are a 12.5-point underdog. Last week, Raiders slot receiver Hunter Renfrow converted six targets into four receptions and 42 receiving yards against the Bucs. Well, Tate has a much better receiving pedigree than Renfrow, and should need only three catches to hit this mark.
Tate over 2.5 receptions is a 10-rated prop in our FantasyLabs Player Prop Tool. And this season, 10-rated props are hitting at a 61% (249-153-5) win rate. I would bet this prop up to three receptions.