New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
Date and Time: Monday, November 12, 2018, 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Opening NFL Odds: San Francisco -3, 44
Giants at 49ers TV Coverage: ESPN
Never in my wet and wildest did I foresee the New York Football Giants managing just one win through eight games under its new regime. Not with the talent the team has on the offensive side of the ball. Regardless, that’s the harsh reality the team faces coming off a bye in what I perceive to be a very winnable game. San Francisco enters this tilt 2-7 overall. Injuries have decimated the roster and forced the fan base to turn the page to next year way back in Week 3 after Jimmy G went down with a season-ending knee injury. With him at the helm, the Niners only managed one win through three tries and failed to cover the closing NFL odds in each.
If it’s ever going to happen for Eli Manning this season, this is the spot. Save for last week, the 49ers defense has been very kind to opposing quarterbacks. Before holding Derek Carr without a passing touchdown, the defense had conceded at least two in seven of its previous eight games. While the unit has given up an average of just 188.7 passing yards over its last three games, the Cardinals and Raiders have impotent passing offenses and the Rams got out to such a big early lead due to San Francisco turnovers that they never truly needed to pass the pigskin. I got a feeling New York will need to look to the air in this one, so I’ll be holding my breath and banging Eli over his pass yards prop once released at online sportsbooks.
The 49ers actually possess a pretty decent run defense. Its ranked No. 12 overall and has only conceded an average of 4.0 yards per carry ( No. 8 ) and 0.8 rushing touchdowns per contest ( No. 17 ). With that, you’re likely better off targeting Saquon Barkley’s receiving props than rushing props on Monday night. That said, the Niners did concede touchdowns to the better backs in the league in Kareem Hunt, David Johnson and Todd Gurley, so go for it if you want to take a shot on Barkley hitting pay dirt on the prop odds. Still, the better option might be to target his receiving yardage instead with San Francisco giving up 452 yards and 3 TD on 55 receptions to opposing running backs; that’s better than 8.0 yards per pop people!
All of New York’s pass catchers are in play as well from Odell Beckham Jr. to Evan Engram. Heck, you might even want to take a flyer on Sterling Shepard! San Francisco ranks No. 18 and No. 14 from a fantasy football point of view against wide receivers and tight ends respectively. However, San Francisco has conceded over 1,500 passing yards and 11 TD to opposing wide outs and another 426 yards and 4 TD to opposing tight ends. The opportunities should be there for all. Even though Manning has failed to throw for many touchdowns this season, he’s still thrown for 300-plus yards in three of his last four games. Target NY pass catchers over their respective prop totals on Monday night.
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Nick Mullens was simply sensational in his debut last Thursday night in relief of the injured C.J. Beathard. In throwing for 262 yards and 3 TD without an interception thrown, he’s been given the keys to the 49ers offensive car for the time being. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t get to face the pathetic defense of the Oakland Raiders a second straight week. The G-Men have by and large been a tough out for opposing quarterbacks and pass catchers. New York ranks No. 16 against the pass and only concedes an average of 1.4 passing touchdowns per game ( No. 8 ). On top of that, it ranks No. 11, No. 4 and No. 9 against the QB, WR and TE positions in fantasy football. With that, I find it extremely tough to back George Kittle, Marquise Goodwin or any other 49ers pass catcher over their receiving yards prop total.
Kittle would be the lone player I take a flier on since he’s proven to be matchup proof all season, but the Giants are limiting tight ends to just 53.6 yards per game and only given up 1 TD to date. Granted, they’re yet to run into a specimen quite like Kittle.
I would however look to target San Francisco ball carriers since they’ll hold the advantage over a porous Giants run defense running behind one of the best run blocking O-Lines in the league. The Giants give up better than 122 yards per game ( No. 23 ) at 4.5 yards per carry ( No. 22 ) and have allowed nearly 1.0 rushing scores per contest. The unit allowed Adrian Peterson to go HAM right before their bye which should have Matt Breida and Alfred Morris salivating over the prospect of running into this charitable wall of defense. The only worry would be New York getting out to a quick early lead that forces Kyle Shanahan to abandon the run and pass the ball all over the yard. This is expected to be a close and competitive game at offshore sportsbooks, so that likely won’t be the case.