The surprising New York Giants may be on the verge of abbreviating their first name. While they’ve had the qualifier in front of their name for most of their 6-1 start to the year, already topping the four wins they got all last season, things may be changing.
Despite suffering a second loss before their bye week, the G-Men are starting to get a bit more respect from the gambling community and the best sportsbooks.
For the first time this season, the Giants are favored by more than a field goal at the NFL odds, as they opened as six-point favorites with the Houston Texans coming to town.
The Texans are also well-rested, getting extra days off after playing on Thursday Night Football last week, but Houston has lost three straight games and is 1-6-1 on the year.
Houston Texans vs. New York Giants
Sunday, November 13, 2022 – 01:00 PM ETS at MetLife Stadium
Time to Run Wild
As underdog football teams have done since the game was played for the first time, the Texans will try to pull the upset of the favored Giants by running the ball, controlling the clock and shortening the game.
They have the ingredients to give the team hopes that they can pull it off. Running back Dameon Pierce has had a breakthrough season, rushing for 678 yards on 148 carries through eight games.
He’s just outside of the NFL’s top five rushers on the season. He is coming off of a career-best 139 yards against the Eagles in his last game.
Coach Lovie Smith has made no secret of his game plan. “We need to run the football,” he said. “We’ve said that every game, that’s not going to change, doesn’t matter who we go against.”
Help on the Way
The Texans will also get some help in the passing game, with the return of their top two receivers, so Pierce won’t have to carry everything on his shoulders.
Nico Collins has missed the last two games with a groin injury. Smith said he was “right on schedule” to return, as is defensive tackle Maliek Collins, who missed two games with a rib injury.
Receiver Brandin Cooks should also be back. He missed last week’s game as the team prepared to trade him. The deadline came and went, however, and Cooks is still a Texan.
Also Running Wild
The Giants are one of the five NFL teams who can boast a more productive rusher than the Texans’ Pierce.
Saquon Barkley has rushed for 779 yards on the season. He isn’t satisfied, however, complaining after a recent game that he was “running soft” and vowing to go harder.
The Giants weren’t as fortunate as the Texans with trade deadline maneuverings. While the Texans held onto receiver Brandin Cooks and will have him back this week, the Giants, despite being in line for a playoff berth and contending in the NFC East, were deadline sellers.
New York traded away wide receiver Kadarius Toney for draft picks, taking away one of quarterback Daniel Jones’ targets on offense.
The wide receiver spot could be even more depleted for the Giants. Kenny Golladay suffered a knee injury in October, but he may be close to a return.
His status is still up in the air this week, although some observers speculated that his return could be the reason why the Giants were comfortable pulling the trigger on the Toney trade.
However, even before he went down, Golladay had struggled with production, losing his starting spot.
Wide receiver troubles and a steady diet of Dameon Pierce could spell trouble for the Giants. New York is 25th in the league in run defense, giving up 137.3 yards per game.
With their passing game situation on offense, the Giants can be expected to run Barkley all day as well.
That means a limited number of possessions and a low-scoring affair, definitely not the week to be giving up the most points of the season so far.
So, let's ride with the Under and the Texans for our NFL picks.
Predicted Score: Giants 20, Texans 17
NFL Pick: Under 40.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.