by Bovada Sports on
Despite better defenses, better quarterbacks and better wagers in 2011, the New York Giants paid off for NFL Futures bettors who took a chance on them; winning Super Bowl XLVl by getting hot at just the right time.
Between November and early December the Giants’ chances appeared slim; they lost four-straight, straight up and went 1-3 against the spread. But the Giants squeaked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record SU and 8-7-1 record ATS, then covered their four playoff matchups to take home the Lombardi trophy.
Is it possible to be a mediocre regular-season wager but a monster in postseason? Perhaps, but with the New York Jets garnering most of the offseason accolades, the Giants could surprise oddsmakers once the season kicks.
2011 ATS Record: 8-7-1
2011 O/U Record: 9-7
Key Additions: Tight end Martellus Bennett.
Key Losses: Running back Brandon Jacobs, Wide receiver Mario Manningham, Cornerback Aaron Ross, Tackle Kareem McKenzie.
Though a 9-7 SU record screams mediocrity quarterback Eli Manning made a leap forward in 2011. Manning posted a career high 4,933 passing yards in 2011, using wideouts Hakeem Nicks (1,192 receiving yards, seven touchdowns) and breakout star Victor Cruz (1,536 receiving yards, nine TDs) to do most of his damage. The one area in the passing attack could use a boost is at tight end, enter Martellus Bennett, an athletic former Dallas Cowboy who has shown chemistry with Manning in preseason.
Throughout his career, Manning’s strength in the passing game has always been through play action. Unfortunately, setting up the play-action pass was the only thing the Giants run game was good for, as the team was dead last in yardage. To help spark a more balanced attack the Giants let go of soft-running big back Brandon Jacobs in free agency, then drafted David Wilson No. 32 overall in the 2012 draft to pair with Ahmad Bradshaw. Word out of Giants camp is that Wilson is so impressive he could eat heavily into Bradshaw’s carries, whoever get the rock expect the run game to improve drastically in 2012.
How did the Giants turn a mediocre regular season record into Lombardi gold not once (in 2007) but twice? You can give plenty of props to Manning, but the pass rush deserves equal accolades.
In a passing league the Giants are relentless at attacking the QB, sitting at third in sacks in 2011 with 48. Unfortunately, though a dominant pass rush seems to be all that’s required to defeat the NFL’s elite in the playoffs, a little more is required to be a suitable wager in the regular season. The Giants were prone to big plays in 2011, giving up the second post plays of 20 yards or more while ranking fourth-worst in pass defense. The team hopes second-year cornerback Prince Amukamara is ready to take over starting corner duties after sitting all of 2011 with a broken foot.
The Giants were 2-4 ATS when they gave up 25 points or more in the 2011 regular season, more stopping the QB instead of just hitting him will help them reach their betting potential.
The 2012 Giants Have Success ATS If...
The run game returns. The Giants can win a Super Bowl without a running game but they struggle ATS if they can’t generate any offense on the ground. Including the playoffs New York went 5-0-1 ATS in 2011 when Bradshaw and former backup Jacob combined for 100-plus yards.
The 2012 Giants Struggle ATS If...
Eli Manning regresses. Manning has been an inconsistent QB throughout most of his NFL career, but 2011 was the first time he was able to put together an elite regular season. Manning needs to avoid turnovers to help the Giants get through the NFL’s toughest schedule with victories ATS.
Regular Season Win Total: 9
Odds to Win 2013 Super Bowl XLVII: 22/1