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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM

This isn’t exactly what ESPN was hoping for when their Monday Night schedule was announced last summer. Minnesota had been a playoff team in 2012. The NY Giants have won two recent Super Bowls, and have typically been playoff contenders during the Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning era. Maybe both teams would be on the fringes of the playoff picture rather than championship contenders. Maybe one would fall part while the other still mattered. But…a combined 1-10!!!!

 

Won-Lost Records (opponents so far)

Minnesota: 1-4 (at Detroit, at Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Carolina)

NY Giants: 0-6 (at Dallas, Denver, at Carolina, at KC, Philly, at Chicago)

You can’t say either team has been the victim of a brutal schedule. There are few terrific teams in the NFC right now, and these teams have managed to dodge the elite from that conference. The Giants did have to face Denver, and improved Kansas City. Still. This isn’t a case of .500 caliber teams drawing 11 games against superpowers. These are legitimately struggling teams whose head coaches are now on the hot seat.

 

Yards-Per Play to Date

Minnesota: 5.5 on offense, 5.4 on defense

NY Giants: 5.6 on offense, 5.8 on defense

At least here we see some respectability. Minnesota doesn’t have the stats of a 1-4 team. The Giants sure don’t have the stats of an 0-6 team if you’re focused on the point of attack. This means either is capable of at least playing spoiler the rest of the season. And, mathematical life still exists for playoff eligibility given the nature of the Wildcard race for Minnesota, and the disappointing NFC East race for the Giants.

 

Turnover Differential

Minnesota: even

NY Giants: -16

This is what’s killed the Giants this year. Eli Manning keeps frantically throwing passes downfield to the wrong team. The Giants have had troubles on the offensive line…which is death to a downfield passing team. You would expect this to get better because it’s impossible to maintain a horrible pace like that! But, if the Giants don’t fix their line problems, Eli is stubborn enough to keep rifling the ball to bad places.

Why is Minnesota 1-4 with acceptable yardage stats and a break-even mark in turnovers? Close losses to Chicago and Cleveland could have gone either way. The Vikings are hoping that new quarterback Josh Freeman will help them do a better job of maximizing their yards on offense, and moving the chains in a way that helps the defense get some rest.

 

Market Performance

Minnesota: 2-3 ATS

NY Giants: 1-5 ATS

The 1-10 straight up record only improves to 3-8 ATS. The market was slow to notice New York’s horrible play during the Preseason, and didn’t recognize the impact that a bad offensive line was going to have on the regular season. Oddsmakers were as stubborn as Eli Manning! Minnesota was reasonably well pegged early in the season. But, they missed the mark badly in two of three recent games against Cleveland and Carolina.

 

Current Line: NY Giants by 3, total 47

Home field advantage is worth three points in the NFL. So, oddsmakers threw their hands up in the air and asked bettors to tell them who the better team was. Bettors hadn’t decided as of press time. Minnesota with Freeman is a big question mark. There’s still an opinion in Vegas that the Giants can’t possibly be as bad as they’ve been playing. That’s the only way an 0-6 team could be a favorite of at least a field goal vs. anyone.

JIM HURLEY doesn’t care if Monday Night Football is a potential Super Bowl preview…or a TV ratings dud. He knows that Monday is the most important night of the week for Las Vegas gamblers…and he’s going to make sure you GET THE MONEY! You can purchase the final word for Monday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about including the World Series in any football package when you cal.

We’ll take a look at that World Series matching the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox during our midweek reporting. The Fall Classic begins Wednesday Night. Big game football previews resume Thursday with Carolina/Tampa Bay in the NFL. Be with us every day in the NOTEBOOK for helpful handicapping tips and stats. When you need a BIG JUICY WINNER any day of the week, link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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