On Thursday night, an undermanned New York Giants offense sans Saquon Barkley plays the San Francisco 49ers (-10, 44.5) at Levi’s Stadium.
In Week 2, the 49ers improved to 2-0 with a road victory against the Rams, while the Giants recovered from a 21-point deficit to defeat the Cardinals.
So, what can we expect in terms of betting for Thursday’s game?
— NFL (@NFL) September 22, 2023
Tyler Fulghum, Erin Dolan, Eric Moody, and Seth Walder, betting experts, are here to provide their ideas.
Unless otherwise specified, all lines are from Caesars Sportsbook.
Given the Giants’ dramatic comeback victory last week, how much do you believe the passion of that game, as well as the short week, will influence what we see on Thursday night?
Fulghum: Due to the short week and trip to Santa Clara to play what I feel is the top team in the NFL, very little of it will transfer over. The Giants made a great comeback (saving my Eliminator entry), but Arizona is maybe the weakest team in the league. The Giants’ need for a comeback is quite humiliating. San Francisco resembles the Dallas club that New York faced in Week 1, and we all know what transpired there. Following their amazing Week 2 victory, the Giants may find this to be a sobering experience.
Moody: Those feelings will continue over to the next game because a comeback of that magnitude contributes to the development of team culture, chemistry, and mental fortitude. However, the 49ers are not the Cardinals, the week is short, Barkley will not play, and the Giants are on the road. San Francisco possesses one of the league’s greatest defenses and is capable of stopping the run. It possesses a powerful pass rush, and gamblers remember what the Cowboys’ defense did to the Giants in Week 1. My advice is to back the 49ers to cover the spread. I was intrigued by the Giants scoring under 16.5 total points at plus odds. Since last season, five of New York’s nine losses have been by 16 points or less.
Deebo Samuel with DETERMINATION 👏
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 22, 2023
Do you believe the Giants will be able to move the ball on the road against one of the NFL’s top defenses without Barkley?
Fulghum: That is a major worry of mine. Daniel Jones will be able to make a couple plays with his legs and perhaps score a throwing touchdown, but that’s about it. The 49ers’ defensive line is unyielding, and the Giants have allowed 10 sacks! Nick Bosa and company should be salivating. Just like in Week 1, the Giants’ offense might have a hard day.
Walder: I simply believe things may become ugly for Jones out there: he’s taken sacks on 12% of his dropbacks this year, which is unusual for him, and while one of those games came against the Cowboys, the 49ers also have a strong defense. I believe Bosa will earn his first sack of the season.
The 49ers open Week 3 as +650 Super Bowl favorites. Have you seen enough to declare the 49ers the team to beat in the NFL this season after two weeks?
Fulghum: I declared the 49ers the best team in the NFL (and my Super Bowl prediction) before the season even began, so I didn’t need to see anything to believe it. So far, all they’ve done is support my belief. In my view, the San Francisco 49ers are the best club in the NFL when all aspects of a football team are considered (QB, coaching, offense, defense, special teams, etc.).
Moody: Absolutely. To be honest, this is a fluid situation, but as Jerry Glanville famously remarked, “NFL means ‘not for long.'” While some of the other Super Bowl hopefuls have faltered, San Francisco has started the season with two strong wins. The 49ers have a fairly advantageous upcoming schedule, facing the Giants this week and the Cardinals in Week 4, but the Week 5 encounter (Dallas Cowboys) will tell us a lot about this club.
Matt Breida and the @Giants narrow the deficit 💪
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 22, 2023
The total running yards prop wager (79.5 yards) on Christian McCaffrey is fascinating, especially after he ran for 152 yards against the Steelers and 116 yards against the Rams. Does this one appeal to you?
Fulghum: It appears enticing on the surface, not only since McCaffrey comfortably surpassed this figure in both games and is one of the top talents in the league, but he’s handled 42 of 47 running attempts by 49ers RBs (89.3%) thus far this season! So far, Kyle Shanahan has been utilizing CMC as a genuine 3-down back. Having said that, this is a Thursday night game on short rest following a hard and tight division battle against the Rams on Sunday. Given those conditions and the big margin, we must assume that Shanahan incorporates Elijah Mitchell into the game plan more on Thursday night. So be cautious.
Moody: It’s rather enticing. McCaffrey has averaged 78.0 running yards per game for the 49ers throughout the regular season since last year. This includes five games with 100+ yards running. There’s little doubt McCaffrey is a real contender for Offensive Player of the Year, and he’s running behind one of the finest offensive lines in the league. The Giants’ defense just allowed 106 yards rushing to Cardinals running back James Conner.
Is there anything else on your schedule for Thursday?
Daniel Jones has over 214.5 throwing yards, according to Moody. Jones’ total appears to be low, given that Matthew Stafford passed for 307 yards against the 49ers previous week. To be competitive in the absence of Barkley, the Giants will have to depend more on Jones and the passing game. Throughout his career, Jones has averaged 215 throwing yards per game. Even against the 49ers’ great defense, he’ll meet his career average.
Dolan: 49ers (-7) in the first half. On this team, San Francisco will stand out. Purdy has started the season well, with victories against the Steelers and Rams. San Francisco has a +30 point difference (the league’s second-best mark), while the Giants have a -37 point differential (the league’s lowest mark). Both teams have a short week, but I’m counting on the Giants to win their second game in a row on the road. The Giants only had to come back from a 21-point deficit against probably the league’s poorest squad. I’d rather play the first half than be concerned about a backdoor cover.
Brock is Walder’s pen name. Purdy has more than 0.5 interceptions (+190). Purdy has almost everything working in his favor to not throw an interception on Thursday night. In the past, he had a poor rate of interceptions. His squad is the overwhelming favorite. And he’s not going to throw the ball much anyhow. All of this adds up to why Purdy’s over should be +150, according to my calculations. Still on a high! However, it is not as high as what is available at Caesars. We’re going with the number, and +190 is a good play.
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