Except for one glitch, the NY Giants’ ride in the NFC East continues to be a smooth one. They will be looking for their fifth home victory (4-1 at home) when they host Detroit Sunday.
New York (7-2) is coming off a 24-16 victory over Houston at MetLife last Sunday in which Saquon Barkley ran 35 times for 152 yards with a touchdown as the NY Giants churned out 191 yards rushing against the league’s worst rush defense. Quarterback Daniel Jones had an efficient afternoon, connecting on 13-of-17 passes for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Detroit (3-6) is coming off a 31-30 comeback victory over Chicago in which it trailed by 14 points. It was the second consecutive victory for the Lions, who won for the first time on the road in four attempts. Quarterback Jared Goff was 19-of-26 for 236 yards with a touchdown, and running back Jamaal Williams had 59 yards on 16 carries, including the game-winning, 1-yard plunge with just over three minutes remaining.
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N.Y. Giants vs. Detroit Lions Betting Odds
The Giants used the extra preparation from their off week to score a strong victory over the Texans last week, and now their two-game homestand ends with another game against one of the NFC’s worst teams. Despite the perceived edge, the Giants are not getting more than the typical 3-point edge for being at home. That might be because the Lions have won two in a row.
Here is a look at the best odds for each team heading into Sunday’s game.
Keeping it Close
Both the Giants and the Lions have had their share of tight games and four-quarter nailbiters this season.
Eight of the Giants’ nine games this season have been decided by one score. The lone exception was a 27-13 loss in Seattle two weeks ago.
The Lions have had four of their six losses by four points or fewer. They have won two games by six points and another by one point.
A Closer Look at Each Team
Barkley has bolstered his case to be the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award winner with his league-leading 931 yards rushing. He needs 69 yards to become the fourth Giant with at least three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Barkley also is a weapon out of the backfield with 29 receptions for 197 yards, and wide receiver Darius Slayton has emerged as a consistent option in recent weeks. Slayton has 19 catches for 327 yards.
Jones has a season-long 92.7 passer rating, and he has not thrown an interception since the team’s final offensive play in their loss to Dallas on Sept. 26. It has amounted to a string of 145 passes without an interception. The Giants are 14-11 when Jones starts and doesn’t throw an interception, and they are 5-16 when he does throw one.
For the season, Jones is 156-of-237 for 1,529 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions. He has been sacked 28 times. The Giants are 22nd at 20.8 points scored per contest.
New York has slowed its pace all season, as they average 30 seconds between plays. The Giants rank third in rushing yardage per game (164.8) and 29th in passing (161).
The Lions have scored more than 30 points in four games, and their offense has produced 42 plays over 20 yards this season, which is tied for the fourth-most in the league. They are ninth in the league in scoring averaging 24,3 points per game.
Goff has been impressive, completing 192-of-301 attempts for 2,277 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has been sacked 15 times, the fourth fewest in the league.
Williams has rushed for 604 yards on 142 carries and has scored nine touchdowns. Amon-Ra St. Brown leads all Lions receivers with 49 grabs for 518 yards with three touchdowns.
The Lions rank eighth in passing yards per game (241.4), and 11th in rushing yards per game (129.8).
The Giants rank 24th against the rush, allowing an average of 137.2 yards per game on the ground. They are 18th against the pass with an average of 217.
The Giants have 20 sacks with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence leading the way with five. Safety Julian Love has a team-high 65 tackles with one of their two interceptions.
They will need to generate a pass rush against the Lions with Goff and Williams surely to test them in the air and on the ground respectively.
The Lions are 31st against the run, allowing 160.9 yards per game, while they have issued 255 yards per game via the air, which places them at 27th.
Rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson leads all NFL rookies in sacks (5.5) and QB pressures (28). They have 15 sacks overall. Linebacker Alex Anzalone leads the team with 72 tackles. Safety Kerby Joseph has two of the team’s six interceptions.
Barkley could be in for another big afternoon against this rush defense.
Series History and Injuries
Detroit leads the series between the two teams, 24-21-1. The Lions have won three of the last four meetings, including a 31-26 victory in their last meeting on Oct. 27, 2019. The last Giants’ win in the series was on Dec. 18, 2018, by a 17-6 score in New York.
Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye), and outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux (illness) both did not practice Wednesday and are questionable for Sunday. Tackle Evan Neal (knee), wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (hamstring), outside linebacker Jihad Ward (thumb), wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring), and safety Dane Belton (clavicle) were limited in practice Wednesday and should play. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (back/rest) should play.
Lions center Frank Ragnow (foot), wide receiver Josh Reynolds (back), and running back Jamaal Williams (illness) did not practice Wednesday and are questionable. Safety DeShon Elliott (concussion protocol) was limited but should play Sunday.
Prediction (overall record 6-3)
This game could be dicey with the Giants being a three-point favorite. They were tested by Houston last week, but they have done well with clock management and a bend-but-don’t-break defense. The Lions are a better team than their 3-6 record.
Yet, all signs point to the Giants here, especially with Barkley churning up yardage and a strong home record. Look for the Giants to take another step forward in securing the division in a close one — Giants win 24-20.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger