Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 1:00 PM
ESPN will have a great Monday night game down the road…when the Denver Broncos face the Cincinnati Bengals with a lot at stake! Between now and then, the Monday and Thursday attractions aren’t particularly stellar. At least we have “importance” this week when the NY Giants visit the Miami Dolphins, even if we won’t end up having quality football!
New York is very much in the race for the NFC East championship. It’s a bad division and somebody’s got to win it. Maybe an 8-8 record eventually claims the prize. Maybe we’ll see a replay of the NFC South last year where 7-9 was enough to host a playoff game on Wildcard weekend. At 5-7…the Giants can get there from here. Much easier if the win in Miami!
The Dolphins have the same record…but would need a few miracles to sneak into an AFC Wildcard spot. They’re certainly not playing like a contender. Even when they win, the numbers are ugly. When they lose, even uglier.
Let’s run JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats to get a sense of how things might play out on the most important betting night of the week. Keep in mind that both teams are playing worse lately than their full season numbers would have suggested.
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
NY Giants: 5-7 (#27 schedule according to Sagarin)
Miami: 5-7 (#22 schedule according to Sagarin)
Even worse news to start with as we have losing records vs. sub-par schedules. The Giants in particular should be embarrassed. They might be 3-9 against a league average slate! If the Giants do end up winning their division, they would likely get embarrassed in their postseason opener.
NY Giants: 5.5 on offense, 6.1 on defense
Miami: 5.5 on offense, 5.6 on defense
Miami actually grades out reasonably well here. What’s odd is that they’re not getting results that are in line with those numbers. The offense just disappears vs. quality. The defense only gets stops when games are out of reach. Better to think of the Dolphins as more like what the Giants are showing in this category. For the Giants, you really have to worry about their defense. They’re just not putting up any brick walls, even against guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Kirk Cousins (and especially not Drew Brees!)
NY Giants: +9
This is why the Giants are on the fringes of the playoff picture despite poor play. They are getting the best of the risk/reward challenge. Eli Manning isn’t throwing many interceptions this year. The defense will score some takeaways while not tackling! Imagine NYG’s record if they weren’t +9 in turnovers against one of the worst schedules in the league. Think ESPN will talk about that this week? Probably not. They’ll talk about Eli’s leadership and how the head coach knows how to win Super Bowls. YOU need to remember that this year’s team has been awful outside of the turnover category…which is the most fickle of them all.
NY Giants: 6-5-1 ATS
Miami: 4-8 ATS
Those turnovers have helped the Giants become a slight moneymaker against the market. They’ve technically been underrated based on that winning ATS record. Luck and some good timing are the main reasons. Miami has been one of the most overrated teams in the league. They were supposed to be a Wildcard contender at the start of the season. Then, a coaching change after a London debacle had supposedly fixed some of the issues. The market took forever to realize how bad the Dolphins truly were. If only oddsmakers read boxscores!
Current Line: NY Giants by 1.5, total of 47
Tough challenge here for oddsmakers and bettors. Miami will probably try for a half…and then only keep trying if they have a chance to win. The Giants are obviously in a “must-win” situation. That was true when they lost at Washington two weeks ago and vs. the NY Jets last weekend (where they wouldn’t have forced overtime if not for a non-offensive score). Who can you bet with confidence at that price? Neither can succeed on command based on the past few weeks.
JIM HURLEY will do what he can to find the right Las Vegas betting strategy, whether it’s focusing on a side or a total. His exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach is designed to weed out the noise and hone in on what matters most. You can purchase the final word for Monday…along with our award winning basketball…right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours Monday. Be sure to ask about our college bowl and playoff package when you call.
Some more ugliness coming up on the prime time NFL schedule. But, the BOWLS arrive this week…and the exciting Arizona Cardinals will be facing an interesting road test this Sunday night. Up ahead in the NOTEBOOK…
Midweek: NFL TV Preview…Tampa Bay at St. Louis
Bowl Preview: BYU vs. Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl
Saturday-Sunday: NFL TV Preview…Arizona at Philadelphia
Sunday-Monday: NFL TV Preview…Detroit at New Orleans
We’ll do what we can to help you do-it-yourselfers here in the NOTEBOOK. The best bets on the board are always just a few clicks away when you sign up with JIM HURLEYS NETWORK!
Be sure to follow:
Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters