New York Giants at Detroit Lions (-6.5, 47)
The New York Giants debut their new-look offense with hopes of
avoiding a repeat of their horrific start to the 2013 campaign
when they visit the Detroit Lions on Monday night in the season
opener for both teams. New York put itself out of playoff
contention early last year, losing its first six games thanks
largely to its shoddy offensive play. The Giants led the NFL
with 44 giveaways, including a league-high 27 interceptions by
Eli Manning, and ranked 28th in scoring with 294 points.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride promptly retired after the
season and New York brought in Ben McAdoo from Green Bay to
install his version of the West Coast offense – a system with
which Manning struggled during the preseason. Detroit is
seeking just its third winning season in the last 15 after
losing six of its last seven games in 2013 – including each of
its final four. Coach Jim Schwartz took the fall for the
meltdown and was replaced by Jim Caldwell, whose
offensive-minded approach could do wonders for a team boasting
the likes of Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: The Westgate LV Superbook opened the
Lions as 4-point faves, but they now have Lions -6.5. The total
opened at 46 and is now 47.
INJURY REPORT: Giants – CB Prince Amukamara
(Probably, groin), LB Jon Beason (Probably, foot), WR Odell
Beckham (Questionable, hamstring). Lions – S James Ihedigbo
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Giants (+3) – Lions
(+3.25) + home field (-3.0) – Lions (-3.25)
WEATHER REPORT: N/A
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “After missing the playoffs
the last two years, the schedule is on the side of New York as
a win here could lead to a 5-0 start. The Giants are 0-7 ATS in
their last seven Monday night games as underdogs of four or
more points. Jim Caldwell takes over for a Detroit teams that
has lost 17 of its last 24 games but it is loaded on both sides
of the ball. The Lions have covered five of their last six as
Monday night favorites.” Covers
Expert Matt Fargo.
CHEERLEADER WAR: (Neither of these teams have
ABOUT THE GIANTS (2013: 7-9, 7-9 ATS, 7-9 O/U, 3rd NFC
East): New York will be without its 2014 first-round
pick as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will watch from the
sideline with a hamstring injury that limited him throughout
the preseason. Guard Geoff Schwartz will miss the first half of
the season as he was placed on injured reserve/designated to
return with a dislocated big toe on his right foot. To replace
him, New York signed veteran offensive lineman Adam Snyder, who
was released by San Francisco on Saturday.
ABOUT THE LIONS (2013: 7-9, 6-10 ATS, 8-8 O/U, 3rd NFC
North): Stafford will have a second option after
Johnson this season as Detroit added Golden Tate, who made a
career-high 64 receptions for Super Bowl champion Seattle last
season. That’s good news for Johnson, who missed two games in
2013 due to a nagging knee injury and saw action in only one
preseason contest in order to maintain his good health. “My
body feels great,” the superstar said. “This is as good as I’ve
felt in a while.” Stafford hopes the duo will help him eclipse
the 4,500-yard plateau for a fourth straight season.
* Road team is 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Under is 7-0 in Lions last seven Monday games.
* Giants are 5-2 ATS in their last seven Monday games.
* Over is 6-1 in Lions last 7 games in Week 1.
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to
Covers Consensus, 60 percent of wagers are supporting the
San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (-3, 46.5)
The San Diego Chargers look to get off to a better start this
year as they visit the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night in the
season opener for both clubs. San Diego needed to finish 2013
with a four-game winning streak in order to qualify for the
playoffs, where it defeated Cincinnati in a wild-card game
before falling to AFC West rival Denver in the divisional
round. The Chargers rode the strong play of Philip Rivers, who
completed a league-leading and career-high 69.5 percent of his
passes en route to Comeback Player of the Year honors.
The Cardinals reached double digits in victories for just the
second time in their 26 years in Arizona but failed to reach
the postseason due to the strength of the NFC West. The club
went 2-4 against division rivals in 2013, including a 23-20
loss to San Francisco in the season finale. Arizona thrived at
home last season, going 6-2 while allowing an impressive 17.8
points per contest, but could be without starting running back
Andre Ellington, who hurt his foot Thursday and did not
TV: 10:20 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: The Westgate LV Superbook opened
the Cards as 3-point faves in July and it’s remained at that
number. The total opened at 44.5 and is up to 46.5.
INJURY REPORT: Chargers – LB Manti Te’o (Probably,
foot), TE Antonio Gates (Questionable, hamstring). Cardinals –
S Tyrann Mathieu (Questionable, knee), RB Andre Ellington
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Chargers (-2) +
Cardinals (+1) + home field (-3.0) = Pick
WEATHER FORECAST: N/A
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “According to reports, the Chargers
offense is clicking under new OC Frank Reich so they could be a
dangerous sleeper if the defense improves. San Diego was 5-1-1
ATS last season as a road underdog. It will be tough for the
Cardinals to post double-digit wins once again playing in a
brutal division and a tough out of conference schedule on top
of it. Arizona has covered its last four season openers. ”
Expert Matt Fargo.
ABOUT THE CHARGERS (2013: 9-7, 9-6-1 ATS, 7-9 O/U, 3rd
AFC West): San Diego hopes to improve upon its rank of
23rd in total defense with the return of linebacker Dwight
Freeney and addition of cornerback Brandon Flowers. Freeney had
his 2013 campaign abruptly ended when he tore his quadriceps in
Week 4 while Flowers joins the club from division rival Kansas
City, where he recorded a career-worst one interception but
registered a personal-best six sacks. The Chargers were fifth
in the league with an average of 393.3 total yards and could
put up even better numbers with another strong effort from
Rivers and a backfield that features three solid options in
Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and newcomer Donald Brown.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (2013: 10-6, 11-5 ATS, 8-8 O/U, 3rd
NFC West): Carson Palmer had a strong initial season
in the desert, throwing for a career-high 4,274 yards while
completing 63.3 percent of his passes – his best mark since
2007 while with Cincinnati (64.9). Arizona’s defense was a
strong point in 2013, ranking sixth in both yards allowed
(317.4) and sacks (47), but it took a major hit afterward.
Karlos Dansby exited via free agency and fellow linebacker
Daryl Washington was suspended for the entire 2014 campaign
after violating the league’s substance policy a second time
while defensive end Darnell Dockett suffered a season-ending
knee injury during training camp.
* Road team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Under is 4-1 in Cardinals last five Monday games.
* Chargers are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games.
* Under is 8-2 in Cardinals last 10 games in September.
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers
Consensus, 53 percent of wagers are behind the Chargers.