New Orleans Saints vs. New York Giants
Date and Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Week 2 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Giants -4, O/U 51.5
Saints vs. Giants TV Coverage: FOX
Following Sunday’s performance, it’s hard to say Brees is close to being done. But if the Saints don’t improve on defense, their season may be done before it even starts. Brees looked strong in leading the Saints’ offense to 507 yards by completing 28 passes for 423 yards and four touchdowns. But the defense was unable to hold a 14-point second half lead and New Orleans suffered the kind of defeat that has happened too many times over the past two seasons, leading to a pair of 7-9 records, no playoffs and a coaching staff that is again feeling the heat.
The Giants spent heavily on defense in the offseason, bringing in free agents Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins to strengthen that side of the football. The plan worked well on Sunday, as the group held off the Cowboys to snare a season-opening 20-19 victory. Though they got the win, there is still room for improvement with the rebuilt defense. The Giants were outgained by the Cowboys and didn’t record a sack or a takeaway. They did stiffen once Dallas got near paydirt and that proved to be the difference. New York limited the Cowboys to one touchdown and four field goals.
If you think these teams can’t put up numbers like last year’s game, think again. The winning team has scored 52 points in each of the last two meetings and they’ve cashed the over in the last four. New Orleans won 52-49 last season and the Giants posted a 52-27 win in 2012. Overall the Saints are 4-1 SU and 3-1-1 ATS in the last five. The total has been at 51 or higher in the last three and the teams easily played above it.
Matchup To Watch
After surrendering more than 30 points per game last season, the biggest area of concern for the Saints during the offseason was upgrading the defense. Three of their top four picks in the draft were defenders and free agency landed Nick Fairley and James Laurinaitis. The team also canned former coordinator Rob Ryan and handed the chores to Dennis Allen.
Theoretically the group was to be better. The young players from the 2015 draft have another year of experience and the newcomers are supposed to be better than what the team had last season. But the Saints took a punch to the gut in training camp when top pick Sheldon Rankins was lost with a broken bone in his leg. The defense suffered another loss Sunday when Delvin Breaux went down with a broken fibula.
The unit was done in by some of the same problems that torpedoed last season – too many big plays. The defense held up for much of the game against Oakland, but wilted in the fourth quarter when the Raiders amassed 210 yards of offense and scored 22 points in the last 15 minutes to pull out the victory. They allowed a 75-yard touchdown run and subsequent two-point conversion to tie the game at 27-27. And after taking the lead, they let Oakland march 75-yards for a touchdown and the game-deciding two-point play. To be a good defense you must get to the quarterback and create turnovers. The Saints did neither and lost in an all too familiar way.
Saints vs. Giants Free Picks
The opener went a little different for the Giants this season as they pulled out a victory in Dallas and enter this contest as 4-point chalk. New Orleans riddled a decent Oakland club for over 500 yards of offense but still fell by a point. Now the Saints are without their top cornerback in Breaux as they take on Victor Cruz, OBJ and Eli Manning. That’s not good for a team that is thin at the top level of its defense to begin with.
The Saints stunk in the fourth quarter on Sunday, allowing the Raiders to move up and down the field, but Sean Payton wasn’t about to lay all the blame on his defenders. The Saints need to outscore opponents and they have the weapons, but actually doing it is another thing. The way these teams have played each other, the over is a good bet on the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Saints vs. Giants Week 2 ATS Pick: Saints +4 at BookMaker.eu
Saints vs. Giants Score Prediction: Saints 35, Giants 31