LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R) Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants celebrates with teammate Jake Ballard #85 after scoring on a two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The line on Monday Night Football's Giants-Rams game favors New York by seven, and the conventional wisdom holds that New York should win. But look closer, and the Rams could make things interesting. All content courtesy of SB Nation's Odds partners at OddsShark.com.
The logic says that since the Rams gave up 236 rushing yards to the Eagles and since the Giants love to pound the run, Monday Night Football between the Giants and Rams will be a one-sided battle with New York easily covering the spread. But then you scratch under the surface of the stats.
Before throwing your money on New York at -7 (it opened at -4.5 and was bet all the way to -7 by ‘logical’ bettors), check out the following myth-busting data. "We haven’t seen enough to know if the Rams run-stop is really all that bad and we haven’t seen the Giants commit fully to the run, even though that’s the way they are supposed to play," said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com. "The Giants abandoned the run in the second half of their loss at Washington." [Full Rams vs Giants Preview]
The Rams lost 31-13 to the Eagles in Week 1 and true, LeSean McCoy ran for 122 yards and Michael Vick ran for 97. But 95 of McCoy’s were churned up in the fourth quarter – part of the Eagle philosophy of building a lead with the pass then grinding a tired defense to death with the run late in games.
So if the Giants are unable to make early headway against the Rams defense, does this stat matter? Does anyone think Eli Manning is a similar threat to Vick and will duplicate those 97 rushing yards? Of course not. [Monday Night ATS Matchup Report]
Still, there are other reasons to doubt the Rams here, even if you discount the flawed running-game logic. First, the Giants are 0-1 and hungry to not fall to 0-2, especially at home on national TV.
Second, the Rams have been road patsies, losing 18 of their past 21 trips away from home. They are also 1-5 ATS in their past six games overall and haven’t won a road game in September since 2006. (They have played 10 UNDERs in their past 11 September road games for bettors who like that angle).
Third, the Giants have owned the Rams against the spread in recent years, going 5-0 ATS lately. They have also dominated all NFC West teams, to the tune of a 10-2 ATS run in 12 games.