2008 New York Giants NFC East Predictions May 20th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Pro Football Futures Betting – Another Giant Step
BetUS online sportsbook has its pre-season NFL odds up, and not only are the defending world champion New York Giants listed at a lengthy +1800 to win the Super Bowl, they are not even the sports betting favorites to win their own division, Are the Giants not getting enough respect? Today we will examine their case, as they undertake to repeat.
First let’s look at the odds to win the NFC and NFC East divisions, as they appear in Our best Sportsbooks:
BetUS NFL Futures Odds
To Win NFC East
Dallas Cowboys -150
NEW YORK GIANTS +250
Philadelphia Eagles +400
Washington Redskins +650
To win the NFC Championship
Dallas Cowboys +350
Green Bay Packers +900
NEW YORK GIANTS +700
New Orleans Saints +900
Philadelphia Eagles +750
Seattle Seahawks +1200
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1400
Washington Redskins +1600
Minnesota Vikings +1000
Arizona Cardinals +1800
Carolina Panthers +2000
Detroit Lions +2200
Chicago Bears +1600
San Francisco 49ers +2800
St. Louis Rams +2500
Atlanta Falcons +6500
There are some people who still consider the Giants’ run to a Super Bowl title to be a fluke, and that it is a team that is just a big break away from destroying itself.
There are others who see Eli Manning as an emerging superstar, who finally proved his mettle in the post-season, and the Giants as a talent-laden team who at long last demonstrated what they could do when (a) they were able to jell at the right time, and (b) the distraction of Tiki Barber was out of the locker room. The Giants’ drive to the championship was indeed unusual in that it was done without the presence of Barber and also without Jeremy Shockey, the Pro Bowl tight end, in the post-season.
Plaxico Burress also played most of the season with a bum ankle, but the wide receiver should be well-rested by the season’s start. Manning showed all the poise in the world down the stretch, although there is still some vulnerability. The running game is deep, with contributions from Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward (a revelation before he got hurt) and Ahmad Bradshaw (a rookie). The team contemplated dealing Shockey, but did not pull the trigger. If he stays, the team has depth at tight end, since Kevin Boss stepped froward with some big plays when the Giants needed them. The offensive line was good enough, but not everyone is a big believer in left tackle David Diehl. Sinorice Moss needed to produce more at wide receiver; New York thinks it may have gotten a bargain in Mario Manningham, a third-round selection out of Michigan who had some off-the-field problems and ran a poor time at the combine, but improved upon that in his “pro day” for scouts.
The Giants don’t have to worry very much about putting enough pressure on the quarterback. they led the league in sacks, and Marcus Kiwanuka, who missed a lot of time with a broken leg, will presumably be back at or near full strength. The pass rush was a major factor in the Super Bowl win over a beleaguered Tom Brady and the Patriots; Michael Strahan is playing the “will he or will he not?” scenario, but whether he comes back or not, this will be a formidable unit. The secondary will do some shuffling. Gibril Wilson, the starting free safety, went to Oakland as a free agent, so Kenny Phillips was drafted out of Miami to take his place. Phillips is good, but he is not on the level of other former Hurricane safeties like Ed Reed and the late Sean Taylor. There is a deep cornerback crew, at least on paper. But Sam Madison is aging, R.W. McQuarters is vulnerable, and Aaron Ross must come back to full health. USC’s Terrell Thomas was picked in the second round and could find himself getting a lot of playing time.
One of the most important things to note about the Giants is that after an opening day loss at Texas Stadium, they won every other game that was played away from home. This is a mentally-tough team, and if they can learn to win a few more games on their own home field, they’ll have it all covered. Rather than a team that couldn’t possibly duplicate last year’s accomplishments, I look at this team as one who now has the confidence in knowing they’ve gotten over the hump, which will make it easier to play at the highest level going forward. Dallas is obviously a capable rival, but at the prices available in the Top Sportsbooks NFL futures betting odds, I would certainly jump on the Giants at +250 in the NFC East, +700 in the NFC odds, and if I’m going to be like a roulette player who’s spreading a few plays over the layout, the Giants, who, let’s not forget, upended an 18-0 team to win the title, are mandatory at +1800.
JAY’S PREDICTION FOR 2008:
New York Giants — 12-4, 1st place, NFC East
(+250 to win NFC East, +700 to win NFC, +1800 to win Super Bowl)
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