Welcome to the Thursday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming Thursday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick”. A lean is a wager that we have a certain degree of certainty in. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries; past track record of each team in those bet types and under the specific conditions that apply; and recent performances of each team leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to TNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Thursday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
The Patriots once again enjoy a two-touchdown-plus edge in terms of the point spread, with that number steadily on the rise since the game opened. While that number has *some* room for debate, the ability of New England to win this game straight up shapes up as a much more certain proposition. That would be the case were the Giants at full health. Turns out, they’re not even close to that status following a Week 5 defeat at the hands of the Vikings that was costly in more than just the loss column. New York saw Sterling Shepard and Wayne Gallman sustain concussions. Both players’ availability for Thursday is looking increasingly unlikely as of Tuesday night.
Then there’s the all-important matter of Saquon Barkley’s ankle. Barkley practiced in limited fashion Tuesday, but the reports out there currently range from “not likely” to play against New England to coach Pat Shurmur’s “we’ll see”. The same applies to tight end Evan Engram, who’s questionable with an MCL sprain but did turn in a limited session Tuesday as well. Engram reportedly did not look good running routes during the portion of practice open to the media and was also the subject of a vague “we’ll see” from Shurmur when asked.
There appears to be a good chance that all four players miss this contest, which essentially shifts the Giants from Hopeless to All But Impossible status in this road matchup on short rest. One could theoretically put some stock into New England having struggled against the Bills in Week 4 and then actually having allowed the Redskins to look like a competitive team for about one half in Week 5. However, the matchup against Buffalo on the road is a notoriously difficult one, especially when considering the caliber of defense the Bills are trotting out this season. Then, while Washington was able to disrupt Tom Brady and the offense with a good pass rush in the first half this past Sunday, the end result — a 33-7 New England win — still underscored the gap in talent between the two clubs.
That Washington game shapes up as a much more relevant comparison for this matchup against the Redskins’ NFC East division mate. The Giants will be short-handed in some form and might make an occasional play, but particularly with this game unfolding at Gillette Stadium, I don’t anticipate there being much suspense about the outcome too deep into the contest.
TNF Point Spread
This line originally opened at 14 points in favor of the Patriots and has moved to 16.5 points. That public has every reason to have that kind of faith in New England, especially considering New York’s MASH unit-like state at the moment. Supporting the big number is the fact the Pats have won four of their first five games by 16 points or more.
The Giants are 2-3 (40.0 percent) against the spread this season, including 1-1 as an away underdog.
The Patriots are 3-2 (60.0 percent) against the spread this season, including 1-1 as a home favorite.
With the Giants vulnerable to both the run and the pass, the Patriots will seemingly have their pick on how to attack. They have the horses to succeed with either route, even if Rex Burkhead (foot) sits out the contest. Then there’s the matter of New England’s defense’s ability to contribute points. They’ve already scored three touchdowns this season and have 11 interceptions, the latter figure easily the most in the league.
With the Giants playing with a short-handed roster and a talented but inexperienced quarterback, I see the Patriots getting enough chances to separate as the game goes on and cover.
The Pick: Patriots -16.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook
TNF Over/Under Total
The total here is a relatively stingy one. The thinking is that New York will do so little to contribute to the final tally that the Pats will be able to ring up 4-to-5 touchdowns and perhaps a field goal and the Under could still hit. That may well come to pass, but the state of the Giants defense under normal circumstances is such that New England could well ring up 40-to-45 points here if it really tried. That’s even more true when factoring in the dead legs that might be a factor after Big Blue allowed 490 total yards to the Vikings just four days ago.
The Over is 2-3 (40.0 percent) in the Giants’ games this season, including 2-0 in their away games. Then, the Over is 1-4 in the Patriots’ games this season, including 1-1 in their games as a home favorite.
The number is somewhat tricky. It makes this more of a lean than a pick, as it’s possible the Pats take their foot off the gas at some point.
The Lean: Over 42 points at FanDuel Sportsbook
Best TNF Prop Bets
Home Team To Win By 25-30 Points: (+575 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Given my belief the Patriots take this game with a cover of the 16.5-point spread, I see this prop as a viable one to consider. The Pats have notched their two home victories by an average of 23 points, but that number is partly weighed down by a Jets defensive touchdown in the form of a pick-six off backup Jarrett Stidham. Otherwise, New England’s average margin of victory at home is likely 26.5 points, assuming a 30-7 (instead of 30-14) victory against Gang Green. The Pats haven’t allowed more than 10 offensive points in any game and have the ability pull away here to the tune of about four touchdowns.
Any Time Touchdown Scorer: Julian Edelman (+115 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
When considering potential Pats TD scorers, Edelman always has to be in the conversation. The veteran has a pair of receiving scores thus far and has seen between seven and 11 targets in four of five games, including five total red-zone looks. He doesn’t have the classic big body to box out defenders by the goal line, but Edelman is always a threat to find a soft spot with his crafty routes.