If you told the New York Giants that they might have gotten off to an 0-2 start, they may not have been so shocked. But they have done so while playing the kind of football Super Bowl contenders are not supposed to play. On Sunday they will travel to Charlotte to face off against the Carolina Panthers, in NFL betting action that is set to kick off at Bank of America Stadium at 1 PM ET.
Eli Manning has won two Super Bowl titles at quarterback, but he is making the mistakes of a rookie. Can he make things right against a Carolina defense that has allowed opposing passers to complete 72% of their throws? That’s one of the major questions that has to be answered.
New York Giants -1
Carolina Panthers +1
Here is the over/under on Sunday’s game:
Over 46 Points -110
Under 46 Points -110
Manning’s story has been one of tremendous production, but at the same time tremendous mistakes as well. He threw for 450 yards in the opening game against Dallas, but he also tossed three interceptions. The result was a 36-31 defeat, as the team turned it over six times, but because of Manning, were swinging from their heels until the end.
Last week against Denver and brother Peyton, Eli again pushed things to the limit. he threw for 362 yards but was picked off four times, and his team turned a relatively tight game into a 41-23 rout. After two games thus far, Manning has nine yards an attempt, but also seven picks to lead the league. And the stat geeks from the Wall Street Journal are all over his case, especially as it concerns the questions as to whether he is an “elite” quarterback.
Cam Newton has been decidedly less explosive, and less combustible. He’s been intercepted only once in 61 attempts,.but as pro football bettors know, he is somewhat limited in terms of who he can throw the ball to. Ted Ginn, unfortunately, has not provided a major threat to counterbalance Steve Smith on the other side, and so Newton has been looking toward tight end Greg Olson a lot.
The Carolina defense played pretty well against the Seattle Seahawks in the opening game, but this unit did not come through down near the goal line against rookie E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills. On the deciding play, Manuel threw a touchdown pass to Steve Johnson, who hardly had anyone in the same area code as he was standing all alone in the end zone. The Panthers were probably thinking about the pass interference penalty that had been called on star linebacker Luke Kuechly right before that. But whatever the case, the Bills were able to come from behind to snag a 24-23 victory as a home underdog in the Bovada NFL lines.
While D’Angelo Williams has done well form his running back position, allowing the Panthers to achieve an unusual level of balance (61 passes, 58 runs so far), the Giants don’t seem to have a running back they can trust. David Wilson has fumble-itis, and Da’Rel Scott isn’t good enough to play every down. It is hoped that Brandon Jacobs, with another week of practice, can be a significant contributor, but the jury will remain out on that one. The Giants have called 2.8 passes for every rushing play they have run.
Carolina’s secondary is likely to be somewhat inviting to Manning; the Panthers have permitted 72% completions, with one interception thus far. And safeties Charles Godfrey and Quintin Mikell got hurt last week, as did cornerback Josh Thomas. One positive NFL bettors can point to with the Panthers is that they have been flagged for only seven penalties. Well, at least they follow the rules!
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