Saints vs. Giants Betting Preview: Why Giants Can Exploit Saints' Struggling Pass Defense

Scott Gramling
Sports Illustrated

New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (+3.5)

Sun. 9/30, 4:25 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Saints-Giants:

1. A pair of teams coming off road wins will meet in New Jersey on Sunday afternoon when the Giants host the Saints. While New Orleans snapped a four-game road losing skid dating back to last November with its 43-37 overtime win in Atlanta this past Sunday, New York won 27-22 as a six-point underdog at Houston—a game the Giants led by 12 until the Texans scored a meaningless touchdown with one second remaining in the fourth quarter. These teams are meeting for the third time over the past four seasons, with each of the previous two matchups resulting in the home team winning by a field goal. The Saints prevailed in a high-scoring 52-49 affair in 2015, and the Giants won 16-13 in 2016. Despite the relatively low score of that most recent meeting, New York quarterback Eli Manning torched the New Orleans secondary for 368 yards on 32-of-41 passing as the wideout duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard each caught eight passes for a combined 203 yards. That same trio had similar success against the Texans on Sunday. Manning completed 25 of 29 pass attempts for 297 yards and two touchdowns, while Beckham and Shepard combined for 15 catches, 189 yards and a score.

2. Each of the Giants’ first three opponents are among the 14 NFL teams that have allowed an average of fewer than 240 passing yards per game through three weeks. That group includes the Jaguars and the Cowboys, New York’s first two opponents this season, who each rank among the league’s top four passing defenses. New Orleans is one of only three NFL teams allowing an average of more than 300 yards per contest (336.7)—and that’s despite the fact that one of the three games the Saints played was at home against a Browns team with Tyrod Taylor under center. New Orleans is allowing 11.2 yards per pass attempt—no other NFL team is allowing over nine yards per throw.

3. This marks the third game this season that New Orleans has been favored, and the team failed to come close to covering either of the previous two times. The Saints lost outright as double-digit home favorites against Tampa Bay in the opener. Then they nearly lost as a 9.5-point favorites to Cleveland, prevailing 21-18 on a field goal with less than 30 seconds remaining after now-former Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points. The Saints come into this game with just one takeaway—an interception of Taylor—over three 2018 games. Since the start of the 2014 season, favored teams that force an average of fewer than one turnover per game are 22-53-3 against the spread when coming off a game in which they failed to force a turnover.

Pick: New York +3.5

Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

What to Read Next