NFL Betting: Can Giants bounce back?

By: Bob Harvey | Saturday, July 17, 2010
eli manning

Eli Manning threw for a career-high 4,021 yards last season.

Eli Manning and the New York Giants look to bounce back from last season's disappointing 8-8 record and a third-place finish in the NFC East. Though New York raised hopes with a 5-0 start, the club tailed off down the stretch by losing eight of its last 11 games.

Despite their .500 finish, the Giants proved to be a profitable 9-7 ATS. They also saw the ‘over' go 11-4-1, including a 6-1'over' run to end the season. The Giants' defense surrendered 45, 45, 41 and 44 points respectively in the final four games.

Manning, the beacon of hope.

The Giants were eighth in the NFL football in yards per game (3,666) and Manning led the way with a career high 4,021 yards with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His passer rating of 93.1 placed him 11th in the league. He should be even better this season thanks to a trio of young and talented receivers such as Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.

Smith became a weapon in just his third NFL football season with 107 receptions. That was second in the league behind Wes Welker's 123. Smith also had 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns. Manningham contributed 52 catches for 822 yards and five touchdowns, while Nicks, a former No. 1 pick from North Carolina, had 47 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns. Tight end Kevin Boss, who battled a nagging ankle injury, looks to build on an '09 campaign that featured 42 catches and 567 yards.

New York's running game was hampered by NFL football injuries. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, the club's top two backs, missed time. Jacobs, who rushed for 835 yards and six touchdowns, had a torn meniscus in his knee cleaned up last December. Bradshaw, his backup, underwent offseason surgery on both ankles and feet. Injuries certainly help explain why the Giants rushing attack dropped from the top three in 2008 to 17th last year.

New York's offensive line did a decent job protecting Manning last season (30 sacks), but they'll need to pick up the pace when it comes to running ball.

What's the rush?

Only Detroit and St. Louis surrendered more points than the Giants last season. New York allowed an average of 26.7 per game, including yielding 40 points or more in five of its last 11 games. That led to a plethora of changes in the offseason, including the hiring of Perry Fewell as the NFL football teams new defensive coordinator. General Manager Ernie Accorsi didn't stop there. He used five of the Giants' first six draft picks on defense, focusing in on a pass rush that had just 32 sacks in '09. Rookie DE Jason Pierre-Paul from was South Florida was the team's No. 1 overall pick. He should push veterans Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, who combined for just 13 takedowns in ‘09.

Put me in coach.

Tom Coughlin is not far removed from the days where the practice facility was referred to as "Camp Coughlin" and he was the Colonel. This will be his 15th season as an NFL head coach. He enters the 2010 campaign with a pretty strong resume, including a 123-101 record, a Super Bowl title, four division titles and eight playoff appearances.

Looking ahead.

Coughlin's defense is going to get tested early and often this year. Six of the Giants eight road games will come against teams that finished in the top 10 in passing yardage in 2009. New York will visit Indy, Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Green Bay. The home slate is a bit more forgiving, with Carolina, Detroit and Jacksonville visiting the new Meadowlands.

Odds are against the G-Men.

The Giants are listed at 25/1 to win the Super Bowl and 11/1 to take the NFC. They're the second betting choice (+250) in the NFC East, while the season win total opened and remains at 8 1/2. NFL football betting odds.

Good but not great.

This is essentially the same team that won a Super Bowl in '07 and went 12-4 in '08, However the Giants pretty much stood pat, while the Cowboys and Eagles have improved. New York should be better, but even a 9-7 record won't get it done in the ultra-competitive NFC East.

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