NFL Football Betting: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The New York Giants have done it: they finally benched Eli Manning and are going forward with Daniel Jones as their starting quarterback. They pulled the plug two games into the season but – just like before – some are wondering if the failures are Manning’s fault. Now the rookie and No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft will square off with what appears to be an improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that has had 10 days to prepare for this game.

NEW YORK GIANTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
NFL ODDS:
BUCCANEERS -6.5
NFL TOTAL: 48

WHY THE GIANTS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

The possibility that Daniel Jones is the real deal is one reason to think the Giants will play really well and win, but the best reason to pick the Giants is the other quarterback in this game, Jameis Winston.

The returns are in from the Bucs’ first two games and it is clear that Winston is not making the grade. Winston continues to force throws into traffic and make bad throws in the fourth quarters of close games. He threw two pick-sixes in the opener versus San Francisco that cost his team and against Carolina this past Thursday, he threw a late-game pass which should have been intercepted by the Panthers, but was dropped. Maybe Winston will have a good game here but that is not the kind of bet one should feel confident about. It is much easier and more logical to bet against Winston than to place trust in him.

Bruce Arians is and has been one of the better teachers of quarterback play in the NFL. If he can’t get through to Winston, that is a commentary on the former Heisman Trophy winner, not on Arians himself. The Giants can get turnovers from Winston and if Jones gives the offense a spark, maybe they can pull this out.

WHY THE BUCCANEERS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

The reason to take the Bucs here is Jones. He might be good and he might evolve into a special quarterback. Sure, he had a brilliant preseason where he completed 29-of-34 passes for 417 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. However, he has not yet started an NFL game and now he has to go on the road against a credible defense.

Typically, rookies playing their first NFL games run into problems and either fail spectacularly or show profound limitations and inconsistencies as they adjust to the speed of regular season ball. Jones did do great in the preseason, but he was often playing against backups. He was using a vanilla playbook against vanilla defenses. This is an entirely different level of violence, physicality and pressure, and it is not likely that Jones will pass this first test.

The other concern here is that this is still the Giants. Manning was victimized by some brutal drops last week. Jones now has to work with that cast – including a wide receiving corps that’s been stripped down to the bones. The Giants are pinning their flaws on Manning but they have far greater problems beyond him.

TAKING A LOOK AT THE TOTAL

With a rookie quarterback for the Giants and a bad quarterback for the Bucs, there is little reason to think that the over is a good play here. The Giants will come out and try to rely on Saquon Barkley and the ground game but Tampa Bay won’t allow it. Meanwhile, Winston and the Bucs offense will continue to sputter. The under is the play here.

PICK: BUCS 19 GIANTS 16

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