Monday Night Football Picks — Can Rookie QB Give Cowboys a “Giant” Problem?


Are the New York Giants happy that they have made the switch already from Eli Manning, who brought them two Super Bowl titles, to rookie Daniel Jones, fresh out of Duke University? I think the company line is that this is a move that was going to be made sooner or later. And the truth is, they are content with dealing with his ups and downs, because that is all in service toward getting him the experience he’ll need for the long haul.

Jones was not the Giants’ starting quarterback for the season opener, when the Dallas Cowboys waxed them pretty good in the Metroplex. But his name was heard plenty, because fans, media and management were reminded again that Manning had gone relatively stale.

It can be argued that the Giants aren’t any worse off now than they would be had they stuck with Manning, so it’s onward and upward – or sideward, if you will – with the rookie.

The Giants and Cowboys get together once again on Monday night football, as they meet this time at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, where the ‘Pokes took it on the chin solidly and often from Sam Darnold and the Jets. Yes, it seems like it came one week too early for Darnold to see ghosts. The game begins at 8:15 PM ET, televised by ESPN, and customers at BetAnySports can place wagers after the kickoff, and in real time, as they partake in what is available from Sports Betting Ultra.

As we make our Monday Night Football pick, we’ll be looking at these numbers on the game:

Dallas Cowboys -6.5 (-105)
New York Giants +6.5 (-105)

Over 48 points (-108)
Under 48 points (-102)

You may notice that there are better numbers than -110 here. That’s because of “reduced juice,” which is available through the BetAnySports website. It’s perhaps the best deal you can get in the sportsbook industry!

Dak Prescott rolled over this Giants’ defense enough to attain a perfect quarterback rating in the first meeting, and you have to look at this and wonder whether things are going to be all that much difficult for Dallas. The Giants have not been terrifically strong at the line of scrimmage. But it’s their secondary that has offered very little room for encouragement. They have surrendered 70% completions and eight and a half yards per pass attempt. Prescott has been a 70% passer, and it is likely he’ll have some success with play action, which means New York’s best chance on defense is to stop Ezekiel Elliott, although we’re not all that crazy about their ability to do so.

The Giants have a 4.5-to-1 ratio of touchdowns to field goals, which is far and away the highest in the NFL, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they have been all that proficient in the red zone. And protection problems DO rear their ugly heads, as Nate Solder ain’t nearly worth the free agent contract he signed. But they have been touting this as the first week where they can have the whole offense on the field, as Sterling Shepard, the #1 receiver, joins Golden Tate and Evan Engram (who leads the team in catches). And then, of course, there’s Saquon Barkley, and you know you’re going to get some extra effort out of him with this duel against Elliott.

You are going to have to live with turnovers form Jones, for the time being. Indeed, he has committed 13 of them. But he also threw four TD strikes last week, and Dallas has surprisingly not turned in a lot of big plays.

By the way, if Jones sees ghosts, you won’t know it, as head coach Pat Shurmur has refused to allow ESPN to mic-up any of his players. Leonard Williams, recently traded from the Jets to the Giants, has told reporters that the Giants do a lot better job of keeping the “noise” out, a sign that maybe Adam Gase is allowing the wheels to come off. So Jones is in a better atmosphere to develop, and he’s got a veteran (and fellow David Cutcliffe disciple) like Eli to lean on.

We think the Giants have the ability to put some points up on the board, which points us toward the OVER in our Monday night pick.

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