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NY Giants ‘OVER’ 8 1/2 WINS (Team Total) @ +130:
I’m generally not a big fan of NFL ‘futures’ in terms of over/under team win totals. But I’ll make an exception here. I played the New York Giants ‘OVER’ 8 ½ @ +130. A year ago there were big question marks with this team. Eli Manning was coming off ankle surgery with a new offensive coordinator in Ben McAdoo. Odell Beckham Jr. was an unknown commodity and missed time at the start of the season with a nagging right hamstring injury. Meanwhile Victor Cruz was lost late in the season. Their bad misfortune didn’t stop there. They also sustained season-ending injuries to Jon Beason, the captain of the defense, and Geoff Schwartz, their best offensive lineman. They finished 7-9 and that included defeats to Jacksonville squandering a 21-point lead and to Dallas, blowing a 10-point advantage. However 2014 snapped a string of three consecutive seasons of nine wins or more. Plus the Big Blue has posted nine or more wins six times since 2005, winning two Super Bowls with Eli, who completed a career-high 63.1 percent last year with a 30-14 ratio. There’s no question the Giants vastly improved in the second half of the season once Eli got comfortable with the new offense becoming established under McAdoo. The G-Men scored 24 or more points in their final six games. A healthy Beckham, Cruz, and Rueben Randle will keep opposing defenses busy and the 6-6 Larry Donnell at tight end showed flashes of brilliance.

Defense was certainly the Achilles heel of the downfall of the Giants in 2014. But again injuries played a big part of that decline. However they led the league with 28 sacks in their final five games with Jason Pierre-Paul recording nine of those. At the time of this writing the situation with Pierre-Paul is somewhat in limbo following the 4th of July fireworks mishap. But I suspect by the time we get to September Paul will be ready to go with or without a finger or two. Generally in this league if you can put constant pressure on the opposing quarterback with sacks/pass rush you will be effective. Let’s not forget the Giants were #32 and DEAD LAST in rushing defense the last time they won the Super Bowl in February, 2012. Plus I’m not as high on other teams in this division like others. Non-division road games at Detroit, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and St. Louis are all winnable.

Prior to last year’s 7-9, the last time the Giants posted a losing record was 2004. The following season they went 11-5. This franchise has won two Super Bowls since 2007. I would expect them to bounce back and training camp reports I’ve read so far indicates Eli is throwing with better velocity. Weapons certainly won’t be a problem. Go ‘OVER’ 8 ½ wins @ +130.