So the home team always wins when the Giants and Patriots battle in the preseason. But what about covering the spread? And what about when the spread is a chunky 8 points and climbing in favor of the host Patriots?
It’s the seventh straight preseason where the Super XLII combatants have faced each other in the exhibition finale. In the past five, the home team won. However, the home team is only 2-2-1 ATS. While betting the Patriots may seem like a ‘square’ position to take, Mike Pickett is backing New England for two main reasons.
"The Patriots got whupped last week by the Lions and we suspect that Bill Belichick will tinker more with his lineup and give starters a longer look to make sure that loss was an aberration and not a trend," admitted Pickett, the NFL handicapping analyst at OddsShark.com.
"The other reason is turnaround time – the Giants played Monday night and hit the field less than three full days after that loss, where their starters played into the third quarter. Fatigue is the bonus factor."
Whether the 34-10 Detroit loss (after New England routed both Jacksonville and Tampa Bay) points to Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriot starters playing the first half or not is irrelevant. So is the much-talked-about Albert Haynesworth dilemma, where the former All Pro DE has yet to play in the preseason.
Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin has broadly hinted that QB Eli Manning won’t even play. So three days after they managed a limp 17-3 loss against the Jets, it’s hard to imagine them mustering a huge effort on the road in a meaningless situation.
For Belichick, who was on the Giants staff for 12 seasons and helped them win a pair of Super Bowls, he has indicated he wants to tinker. He should also be careful of leaving starters too long in a game where they could get hurt.
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