Live Free Picks
Home Of 500 Handicappers
The Thursday night game this week again is an all-NFC affair as the Super Bowl champion Giants play their first road game of the season and get their first-ever look at Panthers second-year quarterback Cam Newton.
The Giants bounced back from a Week 1 loss to Dallas with a come-from-behind 41-34 win over Tampa Bay. Eli Manning threw two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth period for the Giants. He finished 31-of-51 for 510 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Manning’s 510 passing yards was a career high and just three shy of the franchise record of 513 by Phil Simms (at Cincinnati, Oct. 13, 1985).
Andrew Brown carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and the winning touchdown for the victors. Victor Cruz caught 11 passes for 179 yards and a score while Hakeem Nicks hauled in 10 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. Nicks was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Nicks and Cruz’s big days gave the Giants the first duo of receivers with at least 10 catches on 175 yards in the same game in NFL history.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), wide receiver Domenik Hixon (concussion) and tackle David Diehl (knee) didn’t practice this week and have been ruled out. Brown, who performed well in Bradshaw’s place vs. Tampa Bay, should get his first NFL start. The Giants shifted starting left tackle Sean Locklear to right tackle, and inserted Will Beatty at left tackle, after Diehl went down. The same configuration is likely Thursday night.
After sitting out the first two weeks with a high ankle sprain, cornerback Prince Amukamara’s status is listed as probable. New York’s struggling defensive backs have been unable to prevent opposing receivers from having big games, with Vincent Jackson racking up 128 yards and a touchdown on five catches last week. Kevin Ogletree torched that group in Week 1.
Carolina bounced back from a 16-10 opening loss at those Bucs with a 35-27 home win over New Orleans. After the Panthers rushed for 10 total yards at Tampa, Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart helped the Panthers total 219 yards rushing vs. the Saints. Newton carried the ball 13 times for a career-high 71 yards and a touchdown, Williams ran for 69 yards and a score on 14 rushes and the returning Stewart, who missed the opener with a right ankle injury, added 51 yards on the ground.
Newton also threw for 253 yards with a touchdown on 14-of-20 efficiency, while Steve Smith caught three balls for 104 yards for Carolina. In seven career victories, Newton has zero interceptions. In his other 10 starts — all losses — Newton has 19 interceptions.
These teams haven’t played since the 2010 opener – Newton was at Auburn then.
WAGERWEB.COM ODDS: Giants -1 (50.5)
GIANTS NOTES: Are 48-34-5 (.585) in road openers … Last week, became 1st team since 1951 LA Rams with 500-yard passer (QB Eli Manning, 510) & 2 150-yard receivers (Hakeem Nicks, 199; Victor Cruz, 179) in same game. Manning’s 510 yards are 2nd most in team history. Nicks (10 catches, 199 yards, TD) & Cruz (11 catches, 179 yards, TD) are 1st teammates with 10+ catches & 175+ yards in same game … In last meeting, RB Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 76 yards & TD. Rookie RB David Wilson played at Bank of America Stadium with Virginia Tech in ACC Champ in 2010 & 2011. … Nicks had career-high 3 rec. TDs in last game vs. Car., tied for 2nd most in game in team history. Cruz has 10 career rec. TDs & avg. 54.8 yards per TD (548 yards). Has 6 TDs of 65+ yards & 9 TDs of 20+ yards … DE Jason Pierre-Paul has 7 sacks in past 6. LB Mathias Kiwanuka had 2 sacks & FF in last meeting.
PANTHERS NOTES: QB Cam Newton became 2nd player in NFL history (Michael Vick) with 250+ pass yards (253), 125+ rating (129.2), 70+ rush yards (71) & rush TD in single game … In 12/21/08 meeting vs. NYG, RB DeAngelo Williams tied team record with 4 rush TDs. Had 108 rush yards on 24 carries in that contest. When Williams has 18+ att., team is 15-3 (.833). In 12/27/09 meeting vs. NYG, RB Jonathan Stewart rushed for team-record 206 yards … WR Steve Smith aims for 3rd in row vs. NYG with TD catch. Had 3 catches for 104 yards (34.7 avg.) last week, incl. 66-yard rec. WR Brandon LaFell had 6 catches for 90 yards in Week 2 … S Charles Godfrey had 9-yard INT-TD last week vs. NO, 1st TD of career. DE Charles Johnson has 17 sacks in past 24. DE Greg Hardy had FF & safety in last meeting (2010). LB Jon Beason had INT last week, his 9th career INT.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Giants are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. Giants are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. Giants are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September. Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 3. Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win. Panthers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games in September.