Week 3 of the NFL season will kick off with “Thursday Night Football” at Levi’s Stadium as the red-hot San Francisco 49ers host the injury-plagued New York Giants.
49ers -10 (-112)
Yes, I understand these big point spreads are rare because usually the competition is so tough in the NFL. However, Thursday night likely will showcase two different teams playing on two different levels. The Giants bounced back after getting embarrassed by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. Last week, the G-Men were able to rally from a 21-point deficit to edge the Arizona Cardinals 31-28. While a win is a win, I’m concerned after the Giants were down such a large margin to a terrible Arizona team. The 49ers have had no such struggle. San Fran dismantled the Steelers in Week 1 and it forced two critical turnovers last week to beat the Los Angeles Rams. On a short week, both teams are at a disadvantage due to the lack of time to prepare. But to make matters even more challenging for the Giants, it’s likely they will be without dynamic running back Saquon Barkley. While head coach Brian Daboll hadn’t ruled Barkley out as of Wednesday morning, his absence would be another huge advantage for the Niners.
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Over 44.5 (-108)
While I was quick to point out how the Giants were embarrassed in their opener at home to the Cowboys, I also feel that game was an outlier. In the second half of their game last week against the Cardinals, the offense came to life. The Giants climbed out of a 21-0 hole in the third quarter behind both quarterback Daniel Jones and Barkley. Barkley ran for 63 yards and one touchdown before getting hurt late in the game. Jones was 26-37 for 327 yards with two touchdowns through the air. He also ran for 59 yards and had a touchdown on the ground as well. With the injury to Barkley, Daboll will need to be creative in using Jones against an aggressive San Francisco defense. Offensively, the 49ers are efficient and explosive. Brock Purdy is decisive and gets the ball out of his hands to an endless multitude of weapons.
Daniel Jones Over 37.5 rushing yards (-125)
Jones’ second-half performance last week can’t be overstated. I would argue the Giants comeback was sparked by Jones using his legs and running for a 14-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give his team momentum. Jones has been a dual-threat his entire career, but last season he achieved a career high in rushing yards at 708. Due to the pressure of the 49ers defense and his ability to escape, I’ll roll the dice on Jones’ Over 37.5.