It’s too bad Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a roof, now the New York Giants won’t be able to put a tent over it with the circus they’re bringing to town. The Monday Night Football matchup between the G-Men and Atlanta Falcons may not be the most entertaining game on the Week 7 slate, but the theatrics surrounding the Giants are worthy of a primetime soap opera. And the central figure in it all is Odell Beckham Jr., who even has the team owner talking about him. OBJ is trying to galvanize his team by getting as much publicity as he can. At least one part of that equation is working.
Watch this Week 7 regular season matchup live on Monday, October 22, 2018, at 8:15 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu
New York Giants +5.5
Atlanta Falcons -5.5
Eli Manning badly needs something good to happen so everyone will stop reminding him that he’s over the hill and no longer a useful NFL quarterback. It’s easy to blame Eli for the team’s failures, considering he hasn’t reached the bar he set so high several years ago. But let’s be honest, it’s not entirely his fault. Have you seen any Giants games this season?
Statistically his numbers aren’t bad. Manning is completing nearly 69 percent of his passes for 1,662 yards and six touchdowns. The problem is that the Giants haven’t been able to score. They are 22nd in third-down conversions and 21st in red zone efficiency, and they have a minus-4 turnover differential. Manning is responsible for six of the team’s nine turnovers and the spotlight shines brightly on the most recognizable player on the football team.
There’s a good chance Manning and the Giants show a little life offensively against the Falcons, who surrendered 512 yards and 29 points to the Buccaneers last week. Over their last four games the Falcons have struggled to stop teams, twice giving up over 500 yards while surrendering an average of 37.5 points 458.5 yards per outing.
The Giants will lean heavily on their playmaking duo of Saquon Barkley and OBJ. Barkley had a season-high 130 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and added 99 yards on nine receptions in a loss to the Eagles last week. The No. 2 overall pick has been everything the Giants could ask for, and yet fans still want more, like a QB taken with the pick. Hey, you can’t have everything. With Manning under constant pressure when he drops back to pass, expect Barkley to get a few more touches, especially against a team that hasn’t been able to defend the run. That’s a good sign for the over on Barkley’s rushing yard total in a prop bet at BookMaker.eu.
With their defense in a shambles, the only way the Falcons can win is to outscore opponents. And they did just that last week, besting the Bucs behind the strong arm tactics of Matt Ryan. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns and the Falcons held on to snap a three-game losing streak. They covered the 3-point spread in that game and opened as 5.5-point favorite for the Monday Night Football matchup.
Atlanta will be without Devonta Freeman for this matchup, and there’s a good chance both Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu sit ahead of the bye week to heal their ailments. That leaves the flashy duo of Ryan and Julio Jones to make up for a lot of offensive production. The two have done it for years and they hooked up on 10 pass plays for 143 yards in last week’s game.
This is the time for Jones to take over. His 707 receiving yards are second in the NFL and his 16.7 yard average is the most for any player with more than 35 receptions. Jones will be targeted often and the Giants won’t be able to stop him. Find a prop for Jones’ receiving yard total and hit the over. However, he has yet to catch a touchdown pass and I also expect that to change on Monday night. This is another solid bet on a prop you can find at BookMaker.eu.
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