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The New York Giants and Houston Texans head into Week 3 action on Sunday afternoon both looking to avoid falling into a 0-3 hole in the early goings of the 2018 campaign.
Giants’ offense in shambles
Through the first two games of the 2018 campaign, the Giants have gotten off to a rocky start in large part due to their offensive woes. New York has struggled tremendously to move the ball with any consistency that has seen them rank 30th in the league with 14.0 points per contest. Meanwhile, the team has had their issues in the passing game with quarterback Eli Manning having trouble even throwing the ball down the field without pressure getting into his face on any time he has dropped back in the pocket with things worsening with starting center Jon Halapio out for the year with a broken ankle.
Manning has passed for 503 yards with a touchdown, an interception, and fumble while holding an 84.5 passer rating. These issues were present against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night with him being sacked six times in the contest while there was seemingly a defender in the backfield on every play the team chose to pass. Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has picked up where he left off prior to his broken ankle as he has 15 catches for 162 receiving yards. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley has been a huge factor in the offense rushing for 134 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown along with 16 catches for 102 receiving yards in the first two games. However, he did struggle a bit against the Cowboys with 11 carries for 28 rushing but did tally up a game-high 14 catches for 80 receiving yards.
If the Giants hope to have a chance to pull out a win on the road, it will have to come from their offense as the Texans defense presents a formidable challenge as they are currently 12th overall in the league that includes also being 12th against the pass. If their offensive line issues continue to persist it’s going to be a long afternoon for Manning back in the pocket.
Watson looking to finally break through
In his first two games back from an ACL tear, Texans second-year quarterback Deshaun Watson has had his fair share of struggles getting into a groove throwing the ball. Houston currently ranks 21st passing the game as Watson has thrown for just 486 yards on a 59.1 percent completion rate along with three touchdowns to two interceptions with three fumbles. Despite picking up his play against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 where he posted 310 passing yards with two touchdowns, he threw an interception in the end zone and fumbled twice that were both recovered by his team. Watson was also sacked four times in the loss.
However, he has had some reliable play with his receiving options as Pro Bowl wideout DeAndre Hopkins has been a highly stable source of production with 14 catches for 188 receiving yards and a touchdown. This saw him haul in six catches for 110 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Titans, which could have been two if cornerback Adoree’ Jackson didn’t make an impressive interception in the end zone. Third-year wide receiver Will Fuller also stepped up in Week 2 with eight catches for 113 receiving yards and a touchdown. Watson has a formidable duo in the passing game, but it has been a continued progression toward getting all the way back from that major injury that typically takes between nine months to a year to fully recover.
The Giants will present a strong challenge as they have been one of the league’s top defenses against the pass being second overall with just 5.8 yards per attempt allowed and a 58.6 percent completion rate allowed. If Houston is hoping to get the edge over New York, it will require Watson to finally take some strides forward in his play on the field and build off his encouraging outing throwing the ball against Tennessee last week.
- Texans are 15-8 SU in its last 23 games at home.
- Giants are 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- Giants are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Giants are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games in September.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although the Texans have fallen short in their first two weeks of action, their offense hasn’t struggled like the Giants have had over that span. New York has had much difficulty putting the ball in the end zone due to their porous play up front on the offensive line. This could quickly become a one-sided affair with Houston finally getting into the win column.
Prediction: Houston -6
Full-Game Total Pick
The Giants may possess one of the league’s least productive offenses through the first two weeks, this should be a breakout game for the Texans with Watson finally putting together a huge outing to push his team forward for a convincing win. The table is set for him to finally break through since his return to the field.
Prediction: Over 41.5