Games that nobody wants to watch are often the most compelling handicaps because that’s where the value can be found. Does that sentiment hold true for the game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10? That’s what we will attempt to find out. This number opened with the Giants a one-point favorite at Bookmaker, but it has since bounced around on either side of 1. The total is either sitting at 41.5 or 42 depending on the book.
It would seem that we found out just everything that we needed to know regarding the New York Giants in last week’s 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Giants fell to 1-7 straight up and 3-5 against the spread with that embarrassing defeat that came out of the bye week. Ben McAdoo isn’t even a dead man walking. He’s a deer in headlights with a semi bearing down on him. Kyle Shanahan’s job is plenty safe on the San Francisco side, but it is clear that this is a rebuilding year for the Niners. San Francisco is 0-9 straight up, but the 49ers are 4-5 against the spread. They have not been favored in a game this season and have four of their five ATS losses over the last six games.
McAdoo isn’t the only problem with the Giants, but he has been a pretty big one. The uninspired decision to elevate the offensive coordinator after pushing Tom Coughlin out of the picture set this team up for failure. To make matters worse, Odell Beckham Jr. got hurt late in the preseason and then was lost for the season in early October after playing just four games and catching only 25 balls. Brandon Marshall was also lost for the year around the same time. With no semblance of a running game and a porous offensive line that had already left Eli Manning exposed, this type of season could be seen from a mile away. Manning has done the best that he can with a 63.2 percent completion percentage and a 12/6 TD/INT ratio, but he’s trying to put out the flames with a squirt gun. Orleans Darkwa has shown flashes of being a feature back and has over five yards per carry, so hopefully the next regime will have something to work with in that regard. Wayne Gallman certainly seems like a versatile player as well, but he missed time earlier this year due to a concussion. Evan Engram leads the team with 34 catches. There are pieces here, but the offense needs the right play caller and a different voice.
With a bad offense and some injuries and suspensions on defense, the strongest unit on the team has fallen off as well. The Giants have now allowed 5.8 yards per play this season and over 200 points. The Giants have allowed the most passing touchdowns in the NFL and the league’s second-highest adjusted net yards per pass attempt at 7.8. Only the Raiders are higher. Even with guys like Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants only have 13 sacks in eight games. Perhaps Steve Spagnuolo’s voice has fallen on deaf ears as well. Between the friction with Janoris Jenkins and the injuries over the last few weeks, this group is undermanned and may continue to spiral out of control. In the team’s defense, the Giants have faced some pretty stellar offenses this season. The 49ers are not that.
In fact, the 49ers are far less than stellar. CJ Beathard will once again keep the seat warm for Jimmy Garoppolo this week, as the 49ers look to err on the side of caution with their new asset. Garoppolo was acquired from the Patriots at the Trade Deadline for some draft picks and now Kyle Shanahan, who has a brilliant offense mind, seems to have a guy that can fit what he wants to do. Beathard, since replacing Brian Hoyer to make the loss to Washington more respectable, has started three games and has struggled mightily. He has barely completed 50 percent of his passes, going 63-for-125 with a 1/3 TD/INT ratio. He has rushed for two touchdowns, but it is pretty clear to see why the Niners only have 4.7 yards per play this season. The schedule has been a real bear for San Francisco as well. Since the start of October, the 49ers have played at Arizona, at Indianapolis with an early kick, at Washington with an early kick, Dallas at home, at Philadelphia with an early kick, and then home against Arizona. The bye week is definitely needed for this team and the look-ahead to the bye is a real consideration.
All in all, the San Francisco defense has done just about everything within its power to keep games close. Another big loss came in the form of Jaquiski Tartt’s season-ending broken forearm, which is an injury that this group could ill afford. Tartt is a very underrated last line of defense and the 49ers have already spent ample time without Arik Armstead and Reuben Foster. The 49ers defense has faced 40 more plays than any other team in the league, so this group has been worked to the bone. The 49ers have held the opposition to 3.9 yards per carry, but have also had major problems defending the pass.
Free NFL Pick: San Francisco 49ers PK
The Giants have to go across the country just days after getting absolutely embarrassed at home. Getting away from the New York media might help, but traveling three time zones to play a winless team probably won’t have too many players excited, especially with what is transpiring this season. For San Francisco, this appears to be far and away the best shot at a win to avoid going 0-16. Kyle Shanahan can use this as a rally point before the bye to get a big effort from his team. Neither team is worthy of your money right now, but we have to pick one and the pick is fairly clear.