Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#101 New York Giants vs.
#102 Washington Football Team
Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 8:20pm EDT
FedEx Field, Landover
Written by Chris Kubala

This article covers a past game!

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A pair of NFC East rivals have the showcase game to kick off week 2 of the NFL schedule with a contest in the nation’s capital. The New York Giants are on the road as they make the trip down the east coast to face the Washington Football Team on Thursday night. New York opened their season at home against Denver Sunday afternoon, losing 27-13. Washington battled but ended up falling 20-16 at home to the Chargers in their season opener Sunday afternoon.

In the all-time regular-season series between the teams, the Giants hold a 104-68-4 edge and have won the last five meetings. That includes a 20-19 home win on October 18, 2020, and a 23-20 road victory on November 8, 2020 in the two matchups a season ago.

Line Movements & Weather

Washington opened up at -3 and the line has since gone up to -3.5 with the Football Team grabbing 62% of the bets.

The OU line opened up at 43 and 9it has dropped to 40.5 despite 55% of the bets coming in on the Over.

Gametime Weather: Cloudy skies with temps in the lower 70s.

New York Giants Seek Early Division Victory

New York started strong but once they gave up the lead in the final seconds of the opening half, they were unable to answer and ended up being stifled by the Broncos in a dismal home opener. The Giants are now looking to get back on track and find a way to even their record by beating a division foe that they have had success against in recent years. New York was tied at zero after the opening quarter, took a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter and still held that edge late in the half. The Giants gave up the go-ahead score with eight seconds to play in the first half to trail 10-7 and never got things going in the second half. Their inability to move the ball or slow Denver on defense ended up handing them a defeat.

In the contest, the Giants were outgained 420-314 though 64 of those yards were in garbage time on the final drive, which ended as time expired. New York lost the first down battle 24-19 and the time of possession battle 35:08 to 24:52 while each team turned the ball over once. Daniel Jones completed 22 of 37 passes for 267 yards with one touchdown while adding 27 yards and a score on the ground. He also lost a fumble in the contest, which has become a major weakness in his game. In 27 starts, Jones has lost 18 fumbles and has 40 turnovers in that span.

Saquon Barkley was neutralized for the most part in his return from a torn ACL in the second game of the season that wiped out most of his 2020 campaign. He finished with 10 carries for 26 yards while Devontae Booker had four carries for seven yards in the game. Sterling Shepard was the team’s top receiving option with seven receptions for 113 yards plus a score. Kenny Golladay (four grabs, 64 yards) and Darius Slayton (three catches, 65 yards) were the only other players with even 10 receiving yards in the contest. Graham Gano hit his lone extra-point attempt and did not attempt a field goal in the contest.

A big key for the Giants is the health of Barkley. The quick turnaround for a back coming off a major injury is the greatest bit of fortune.

“I don’t think this schedule is ideal for coming back from a major injury,” Barkley said to the New York Post. “But that’s what it is. That’s the challenge I have to face.”

Washington Football Team Hope to Learn From Tough Loss

Washington did almost everything they could in the game against the Chargers but came up a play or two short on each side of the ball when it mattered to wind up with a season-opening defeat. The Football Team hopes that they can learn from that contest and even their record on a short turnaround here. Washington trailed the entire first half as they were down 7-3 after the first quarter and 13-9 at the half. The Football Team took their lone lead at 16-13 with 11:20 to play in the third quarter and that held up into the final stanza. Washington gave up the go-ahead score with 11:21 to play in the game after a horrific giveaway and had just one more possession in the contest. The Football Team allowed the Chargers to eat the last 6:43 off the clock as Los Angeles converted third & 16, third & seven and third & 3 on the final possession.

The Football Team was outgained 424-259 in total offense, gave up 27 first downs while picking up 15 and lost the time of possession by a 36:03 to 23:57 margin in the contest. Washington did force a pair of turnovers while committing only one but their giveaway was costly. The Football Team coughed up the ball at their own three-yard line early in the fourth quarter, setting up the winning touchdown. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed three of six passes for 13 yards while adding two yards on the ground. He suffered a hip injury in the first half and did not return, and he was placed on IR on Monday.

Taylor Heinecke, who started the NFC Wild Card game against Tampa Bay last year, came on in relief of Alex Smith, hitting 11 of 15 for 122 yards plus a score while adding 17 yards on the ground. Antonio Gibson led the ground game with 20 carries for 90 yards but had the critical fumble that led to the winning score. Terry McLaurin led the team with four receptions for 62 yards, all of which came in the second half. Gibson (18 yards) and tight end Logan Thomas (30 yards, TD) each had three catches in the game. Dustin Hopkins hit his lone extra-point attempt and was three of four on field-goal attempts in the game. He hit from 30, 48 and 43 yards while misfiring on a kick from 51.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Washington gave the Chargers all they wanted despite having to go to their backup quarterback in the first half and struggling to move the ball for the majority of the game. Washington’s defense clamped down in the red zone, holding the Chargers to two of six when it came to putting touchdowns on the board once they got inside the 20. The Giants have had Washington’s number in the last few seasons but we know how erratic Daniel Jones can be on any given night. WFT is just starting to become a solid team under Ron Rivera. New York is still working on getting everyone up to speed on the offensive side of the ball and we have to see them put together a decent showing on the road before you can take them seriously. Not sure Joe Judge is the guy to get the Giants back on track. Take the Football Team at home as they even their record.

Prediction: Washington Football Team -4.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Points were hard to come by for the Football Team in the opener as they settled for three field goals. Of course, their defense did the job by tightening up once the Chargers reached the red zone, which kept them in the game. All told, 36 points were on the board in the contest, falling well short of the 45.5-point total that was projected for the contest. Things weren’t all that much more exciting for the Giants as the 40 combined points fell short of the 41.5-point total. The total wouldn’t have been that high if not for Jones’ last-second meaningless touchdown. Seven of the last 10 meetings between the teams have stayed under the total, including both matchups last season. With what we saw in the opener for both teams, you have to think that this one is another defensive clash that ends up short of the mark.

Prediction: Under 43
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

Chris Kubala has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well. as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.