Monday Night NFL Picks: New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints Monday Night NFL Week 12 Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on ESPN 11/28/11: Two of the top quarterbacks in the game will be on display Monday night when the New York Giants (6-4) travel to the Superdome to play the New Orleans Saints (7-3). Both teams are in the thick of the playoff hunt in the NFC and have a shot at their respective division titles. While the two franchises aren’t exactly rivals, this Monday’s meeting has serious long-term implications for both teams. Momentum is on the Saints’ side, having won two straight while the Giants have lost two in a row, and New Orleans is a seven-point favorite in this one.
Both teams are powered by pass-heavy offenses. In fact, the Saints boast the top-rated passing attack in the NFL, while the Giants rank fifth. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is having an MVP-caliber season, throwing for more than 3,300 yards and 23 touchdowns, and New York’s Eli Manning isn’t too far behind with more than 2,800 yards and 18 touchdowns. Both QBs have plenty of weapons to work with, including plenty of speed and above average tight ends. Brees has a slight edge in terms of firepower because he also has the luxury of running back Darren Sproles at his disposal, who leads the team in receptions out of the backfield.
While both offenses excel at throwing the ball, the Saints at least have some balance and can run the ball when need be. The same cannot be said for the Giants. They rank 31st in rushing yards per game, managing just over 80 per contest. An injury to running back Ahmad Bradshaw hasn’t helped, but at the end of the day, the New York offensive line just struggles when it comes to run blocking. Last weekend’s embarrassing effort against a terrible Philadelphia Eagles’ run defense was proof that the Giants simply can’t move the ball on the ground.
On the stat sheet, neither side has a strong defense. That being said, the Giants are one of the better teams in the league at rushing the passer. Against a pass-happy team like the Saints, New York’s biggest strength on defense will get a chance to flex its muscles. If the Giants can get consistent pressure on Brees, New Orleans’ rhythm on offense could be disrupted. When Brees struggles, the entire Saints’ offense follows suit.
The X-factor in the game could be the mental focus of the Giants. It sounds a bit cliché, but one look at New York’s schedule makes it clear that the team plays its best against better competition. After all, the Giants lost at home to the Seattle Seahawks and an Eagles’ team missing Michael Vick but somehow went into Foxboro and ended the New England Patriots’ home winning streak. A trip to the Superdome is normally bad news for the road team, but for New York, it could be just what the team needs to end its losing streak.
In the end, the game will likely come down the Giants’ pass rush versus the passing attack of Brees and the Saints. The motivation of playing the top-ranked passing attack should bring out the best in New York’s front four. With Manning likely being able to put up a decent amount of points against a mediocre New Orleans’ defense, this game should be tight. It could go either way, but with the Giants getting seven points, New York is the smart pick.
Prediction: New York Giants (+7.5) Win the Game
Free NFL Football Picks and Predictions: New York Giants +7.5
|Week 12 NFL Football: New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints
Time: 8:35 PM EST on ESPN
Vegas Odds – Favorite: New Orleans -7.5 Total: Over/Under 51.5
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