NFL Betting: When Will the Giants Get Their First Win of 2020?
It's been a rough last three years for Giants fans as the team has finished third or fourth in the NFC East in each of those seasons, tallying an average of four wins per year. The Giants' listed win total on FanDuel Sportsbook is at 6.0, with the over at -115, so there's optimism this season, though the G-Men are favored in only two games -- home games versus Washington in Week 6 and the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14.
What we're betting on here is when the Giants will get their first win, and the odds jump up fairly quickly after the opening two weeks, giving you a chance to make some big money should Big Blue start 0-2.
If you're bold enough to pick the Giants as home 3.0-point 'dogs in their opener Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, you can get it for +150. The following week at the Chicago Bears -- where the Giants are 4.5-point underdogs -- is listed at +280, but then every other week is at odds of +700 or worse for New York's first victory.
New York really doesn't have much luck in the opening five weeks of the season, drawing just two home games -- said Steelers contest and a Week 3 matchup against the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. The Giants also have to go on the road in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 4 and 5 to face the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys before finally having another "winnable" game against Washington in Week 6.
So with all that laid out, here's a look at the three best bets for the Giants' first victory of the season.
Week 2 at Chicago (+280)
Surprisingly, the Giants are actually bigger underdogs on the road at Chicago than they are at home against the Steelers, even though a healthy Ben Roethlisberger could thrust the Steelers back into the playoffs.
The Bears are in a state of turmoil on offense with Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky in a battle to be the starting quarterback. Whoever wins the job will have to revive an anemic offense that scored more than 25 points in a game just twice all last season.
Playing against a poor offense is always a good recipe for a victory, but the Bears finished 8-8 last year on the heels of a strong, opportunistic defense that forced turnovers at critical moments. These two teams met last year in Chicago, with the Bears gutting out a 19-14 win on the heels of a Khalil Mack strip sack that set up the eventual winning score. It was the only sack and only turnover New York had in the game, but the Bears took advantage of it while limiting the Giants to just 243 yards of offense.
Most of the major pieces return from a Chicago defense that ranked fourth in both points and yards allowed last year, which should scare the Giants. However, New York still has a chance to win if the Bears can't improve on offense. Chicago gained just 335 yards on offense in last year's win over New York, and they averaged just 2.5 yards per carry. For the season as a whole, Chicago scored just 30 touchdowns last year -- 27th most in the league -- and made only 23 field goals for 53 total scores, which tied Washington for fewest in the league.
Week 6 vs. Washington (+750)
As poor as the Giants have been in the past three years, they've always seemed to beat Washington. A third of New York's 12 wins over the last three years have come against its divisional rival as the Giants sport a 4-2 record in that span against Washington. In the past decade, the Giants have held a 7-3 record at home versus Washington with an average margin of victory of 10.4 points.
The matchup against Washington's defense suits the Giants' offense, which is led by star running back Saquon Barkley. Washington ranked 31st last year in rushing yards allowed, surrendering the third-most rushes of 20-plus yards (16) as well as the third-most rushing gains of 40-plus yards (4) in the league. In his first two seasons, Barkley has 24 rushes of at least 20 yards, including 10 that went for at least 40 -- both of which lead the league over that span.
It's also a fairly good matchup for the Giants' maligned defense, which struggled over the final month of last year. Washington had the fewest passing yards in the league last season and had just one wideout -- Terry McLaurin -- eclipse 400 yards receiving. Meanwhile, Washington surrendered 50 sacks a year ago, 29 of which came during Dwayne Haskins' nine appearances at quarterback.
This is the first game all season in which the G-Men are favored, and you can get it +750.
Week 9 at Washington (+4400)
Not much has changed in the analysis from above outside of the change in venue and the fact these teams would have already played once. New York has oddly split its 12 wins over the last three years at home and on the road -- with six wins apiece at the Meadowlands and away from MetLife Stadium.
The Giants have also won two straight at FedEx Field and three of the last four at Washington's home, including last year's thrilling 41-35 win in overtime.
The biggest hurdle here is the G-Men not winning a game until Week 9. That doesn't seem likely, but you never know. Pittsburgh in Week 1, Chicago in Week 2 and Washington in Week 6 are, on paper, the Giants' best chances at a win before this game. Between the two Washington clashes, Big Blue travels to the Philadelphia Eagles and hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, neither of which look like wins. So if you think the Giants get their first win in Week 6, it makes some sense to hedge with a bet here, too, given the huge potential payout.
Sleeper: Week 12 at Cincinnati (+12000)
This is the nightmare scenario for the Giants and first-year head coach Joe Judge. If New York reaches its game against the Cincinnati Bengals at 0-10, then a lot of things went wrong, including getting swept by Washington in Weeks 6 and 9. However, if that happens, the Giants would be coming off their bye week desperate for a win, and they'd be facing a team with a rookie quarterback. Obviously, it's +12000 for a reason.
Given the pricing on this bet, oddsmakers are hoping the Giants can go on the road and knock off the Bears in Week 2. If the Giants start 0-2, we're looking at some big odds for their first win.
The best bang for your buck is to take New York at home in Week 6 against Washington. It's a game the Giants should win. It's in the Meadowlands against the other rebuilding team in the NFC East, and New York should have the better quarterback.
It's the first game all year in which the Giants are favored (as of now), so betting that at +750 odds is a great chance to make some money in what will likely be the easiest contest the Giants have all season.