In an unlikely battle of two 0-2 teams, Sunday afternoon’s clash between the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers is suddenly of huge importance. Both squads have far more talent and potential than they’ve shown thus far, and the way both teams are talking before this game makes it seem like it’s being treated as a ‘must-win’ on both sidelines. New York enters this game playing with heavy hearts, as their respected head coach Tom Coughlin suddenly lost his brother earlier in the week. Expect the Giants to play their best for their sideline boss, but whether that will be enough against Cam Newton and the Panthers remains to be seen. It should be a great game, filled with points. Read on below for our official game thoughts and Week 3 selection.
Giants at Panthers Betting Odds:
New York Giants -1.5 (-110)
@ Carolina Panthers +1.5 (-110)
Over 47 (-115)
Under 47 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants at Panthers Pick:
Expect an emotional affair between two teams that should be fairing much better than their current record indicates on Sunday. Eli Manning is coming off a disastrous performance against his brother in Week 2, and knows he needs to step it up to get his team back to the playoffs once again. For the Panthers, they suffered yet another disappointing defeat against the Bills last week. Carolina seemed to be in complete control for much of the fourth quarter, before unbelievably letting it slip away late. The Panthers are riddled with talent and right now are simply not playing up to their potential. If they don’t improve, expect to see changes along the sideline, especially with head coach Ron Riveira.
One reason the Panthers woes could continue however is the atrocious play of their secondary. Carolina has been getting shredded through the air and remain very vulnerable to big passing plays. That’s definitely an area where the pass-heavy Giants can and likely will expose. New York’s run game isn’t much to write home about, and Carolina’s front-seven are quite dangerous, so look for Eli to drop back and air it out on many occasions. The Panthers secondary enters this game quite depleted, already without Josh Thomas, Josh Norman, D.J. Moore, Charles Godfrey, and Quintin Mikell as a result of injuries. The likes of Cruz, Nicks, and Randle will have little problem exploiting these absences, and Manning really should have no problem moving the ball through the air. The Giants are motivated, and hungry to erase two bitter losses from their memory.
On the other side of the ball, Cam Newton definitely has loads of talent but has struggled to show it thus far. He’s been mostly held in check through the opening two weeks of the year, and he has never fared well against the Giants. Newton seems to be out-of-sync at the moment with new offensive coordinator Mike Shula and he hasn’t seemed like himself. New York still has a dangerous pass rush, and after taking a beating in the pocket against the Bills last week, he could be in line for another one this week.
Ultimately this is a classic example of everyone already counting out Tom Coughlin and his New York Giants. This is a winning organization, and a team that simply knows how to get it done. They’ve been coming up big for years, and will do so again today. Eli and his receivers thrive on the road, and will have a big day through the air. Even though siding with the Giants is a massive public play, it seems like the right one. New York blew Carolina out in 2012, and expect a repeat performance today.
PICK = Giants -1.5 (-110)