Green Bay Packers (-6, 44 over/under) at New York Giants, Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Sunday Ticket)
The New York Giants, losers of seven straight contests, face arguably the toughest offense they will see all year when Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers come to MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Giants haven’t had any aspect of their team perform even adequately, let alone above average, this season, so welcoming the Packers after Green Bay’s blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football is troublesome.
The Giants’ biggest issue at the moment is what has happened to running back Saquon Barkley?
Barkley made the Pro Bowl as a rookie a year ago and looked to be well on his way to another strong season with a combined 227 rushing yards in his first two games.
An ankle sprain sidelined Barkley in Week 3, keeping him out until Week 7. In the five games since Barkley’s return, the 22-year-old is averaging 2.8 yards per carry and has just 224 yards on the ground,
Perhaps the Giants rushed him back?
With the entire coaching staff on the hot seat, maybe the Giants felt they couldn’t afford to wait until Barkley was near 100 percent.
In hindsight, the Giants probably should have given Barkley more time to recover.
On PointsBet, Barkley is -111 to have 100+ rushing yards in the game, but with the way he is going, avoid all overs on Barkley production for now. Barkley has not had 75+ rushing yards in a game since the injury.
With Barkley not playing well, it has put more emphasis on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.
Jones is -114 to throw for more than 250 yards against the Packers.
Jones has been up and down, but considering how the Giants are probably not going to be able to stop Rodgers defensively, Jones is going to need to air it out to stay in this game.
After a hot start, the Packers defense is back to its mediocre ways. Green Bay is allowing 255.0 passing yards per game – 23rd best in the NFL.
The key for Jones is going to be limiting turnovers, a weakness that has plagued the 2-9 Giants.
This prop bet isn’t a sure thing, with top receivers Golden Tate (concussion) and Evan Engram (foot) already ruled out for Sunday.
On the Packers’ side, Rodgers is probably looking to take some frustrations out after arguably the worst game of his career. Rodgers had just 104 passing yards in the 37-8 loss last week in San Francisco.
Now Rodgers faces a Giants pass defense that is 26th in the NFL in passing yards allowed (260.0) and 29th in points allowed (28.0 per game).
Packers’ No. 1 receiver Davante Adams is -111 to have 100+ receiving yards in the game.
Adams has been inconsistent, with 100+ receiving yards in every other game he has played this season. Well, Adams is coming off a poor performance, so if the trend continues, he’s due.
It’s hard to imagine cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and rookie DeAndre Baker slowing down Adams significantly.
Safety Jabrill Peppers is also out with a back injury.
If the Giants’ depleted and struggling secondary is a good enough incentive, Adams is also +230 to record at least 125 receiving yards in the game.
Arguably, the Packers’ most valuable player this season, running back Aaron Jones, is +190 to collect at least 100+ rushing yards in the game.
If this game gets out of reach, the Packers will be relying heavily on their run game to eat up as much clock as they can.
The Giants are allowing 117.5 rushing yards per game, 22nd in the NFL.
With rain expected in the forecast, expect the Packers to keep the ball on the ground more than usual this Sunday.
Prediction: Green Bay (-6) covers, total points over 44 (-110)
This one is simple: The Packers are a Super Bowl contender, while the Giants are a No. 1 NFL draft pick contender.
The Giants haven’t won a game since Sept. 29 and are just 4-7 against the spread this season, so it’s hard to believe in them here.
At six points, it’s a surprise the Packers aren’t favored by double digits.
While the weather is expected to be cold and rainy at Metlife Stadium, the 44 over-under is still low enough to strongly consider.
The Packers should be motivated, and the Giants defense can’t stop anyone, so the Packers putting up 30 points or so with the Giants adding a touchdown or two seems very realistic.
If the 44 is worrying you, consider the teaser Packers to win combined with over 38.5 points at -110.
If the Packers lose, it’s going to be one of the biggest upsets of the entire NFL season with the way this Giants team is performing.
The Packers have had a combined over 38.5 points in eight of their last nine games.