NFL Pick: Giants vs 49ers
- Updated: November 12, 2011
NFL Betting Favorite: 49ers -3.5
Jim Harbaugh has once again worked his magic. Everyone knew that Harbaugh was a terrific coach, but almost no one predicted the 49ers would be 7-1 and atop the NFC West after eight games. On the other side, the New York Giants have plenty of momentum coming into this one thanks to their last-minute win over the Patriots. Can the Giants pick up another big win on the road or will the 49ers continue their winning ways?
Eli Manning is quietly putting together a very nice season. Manning has done a great job cutting back on his interceptions this year, and he is matching a career high with a completion rate of 63%. The Giants have found some new talented wide receivers that have helped Manning a lot this year. Victor Cruz is a rookie who has burst onto the scene. Cruz leads the team with 588 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions. Jake Ballard had two huge catches in the last minute last week against the Patriots, and he has been great at the tight end position. The Giants are averaging 24.8 points per contest.
The Giants defensive line has looked dominant in the last few weeks. A defensive line with Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora is very difficult to matchup with for just about any team. Not surprisingly, the Giants lead the NFL with 28 sacks this year. New York needs to do a better job against the run. The Giants are allowing opponents to run for 127 yards per contest.
San Francisco has stunned everyone through the first eight weeks of the season. The main reason this team has been so good is the amazing play of their defense. The 49ers have gotten terrific play from NaVarro Bowman and Patrick Willis at the linebacker position. This unit easily ranks best in the NFL against the run. Opponents are only rushing for 71 yards per game. San Francisco is also first in the NFL in points per game allowed at just 14.8 per contest. Aldon Smith has also been great addition to the team, and he leads the team with 6.5 sacks. They’ll need to put some pressure on Manning in this one if they want to keep the Giants off the scoreboard.
Alex Smith hasn’t been spectacular this year, but he has done everything Harbaugh has asked him to do. First and foremost, Smith has taken great care of the basketball. He has thrown ten touchdown passes and just two interceptions this year. It also helps that Frank Gore is having a tremendous season running the football. Gore is averaging 4.9 yards per carry this year, but is listed as questionable for this game due to an ankle injury. If Gore can’t start, it will be rookie Kendall Hunter who receives the majority of the carries.
The Giants are playing with a lot of confidence right now. If Gore isn’t fully healthy, I think the Giants have a good shot at winning this game. Take the points on the underdog here.
Free NFL Pick: Giants +3.5
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