As with every team in the offseason, the New York Giants enter summer with hope for a better 2021. At least in the case of the Giants, there are actual reasons for their optimism. First, their all-world running back, Saquon Barkley returns to fold after a brutal knee injury in 2020. There’s also anticipation over Daniel Jones’s future now that the front office has surrounded him with a capable receiving core. However, the reality is the Giants have lost 10+ in four consecutive seasons. Will this be the year that changes, or will it be another frustrating year in the Big Apple? Here are all things Big Blue.
Daniel Jones Litmus Test
Entering this season, the Giants’ front office obviously decided this will be the year Daniel Jones makes the leap or becomes a future reclamation project. The team heavily invested at wide receiver by signing Kennedy Golladay (total receiving yards O/U 1050.5 -112) and drafting Kadarius Toney in the first round. They join Darius Slayton and Tight End Evan Engram to once and for all decide Jones’s future. Either he rises to the occasion next season or the Giants start looking for their QB of the future.
Unfortunately, for Jones, oddsmakers don’t like the Giants’ chances of success. FanDuel one of the top sports betting apps has them as the 9th best odds for the worst record in the NFL (+2400). BetRivers set his passing O/U at 3800.5 (-112). However, for gamblers that presents an intriguing number. If Jones remains at QB, he’s likely to hit the over on passing yards, thanks to improved wide receivers and the likelihood that the team will be behind and forced to throw. Historically, Jones has shown he can throw a nice deep ball. We will see if his shiny new receiving core makes the difference.
Saquon Barkley Returns
In today’s NFL, drafting a running back in the first round often elicits a chorus of boos. However, through his first couple of years, Barkley looked like the once a decade prospect that bucked that trend. After tearing his ACL last season, Barkley looks to regain the form that made him such a tantalizing prospect. Fanduel expects a big year from the New York running back, giving him the second best odds for Comeback Player of the Year (+700) behind Dak Prescott.
BetMGM set his rushing O/U at 1175.5 (over +100) (under -124). Despite the return of their star running back, the Giants ensured themselves a plan B in the backfield. They signed Devontae Booker and Corey Clement as well as drafting Arizona’s Gary Brightwell for depth.
Big Blue Outlook
Even though oddsmakers lack faith in the Giants, there are legitimate reasons for hope. First, the offense can’t be worse thanks to the improved WRs, Saquon’s recovery, and a revamped offensive line with Nate Solder returning after opting out last season. However, the number one reason for optimism is the terrible state of the NFC East. Sure the Giants are far from world-beaters but that only aligns them with the rest of the division.
BetRivers set their O/U on wins at 7 (O -143 / U+118) and their divisional finish as follows: 1st +350, 2nd +325, 3rd +200, 4th +210. Their odds to make the playoffs? Yes +210 No -265. Obviously, their only chance to make the playoffs is to win the division but looking around the division, they’ve at least got a puncher’s chance.