Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST.
N.Y. GIANTS +6½ -101 over Cleveland
8:20 PM EST. We are going to be ♫ “Waiting all day for Sunday Night♫. Now STFU. The 9-4 Browns come off a heart-breaking loss to the Ravens that could play into this week. The 5-8 Giants are only 2-4 at home and were throttled by the visiting Cardinals last week. Buy low, sell high but that’s not all.
Although Cleveland lost last week in prime time, their loss to the Ravens was without doubt the most talked about game of the week. Brian Griese couldn’t help but repeat over and over that it was the greatest game of the year that delivered more than expected.
What we want to know is how does an American broadcasting institution, ESPN, the hallmark of appointment TV, devolve into this mess. Every year, the Monday Night crew gets worse but we’re fine with it because, as Griese calls it the greatest display of football, the Brownies stock has risen, despite the loss. We lost count of how many times the ESPN crew said, “These are not the same old Browns”. The market keeps hearing that and it sticks in their head. Cleveland’s performance last week in the “greatest game of the century” did nothing but give them more market appeal and now they are going to be featured once again in prime time against a team that got frog-stomped by the Cardinals last week.
That loss to the Ravens last week is going to leave a mark. And yet when Kareem Hunt scored with 1:04 left, it seemed like the Brownies were going to win but in the “same old Browns” fashion, they didn’t and then in the same old Brownies fashion, they failed to cover and now we get the Giants in one of our favorite angles.
“A road favorite is the worst role for a team coming off a difficult loss”.
Quantifying this angle is difficult, as it depends on the input definition of "tough loss." But whether it's losing as a favorite, losing in the final seconds or losing a game after holding a lead with a minute to go, no matter how the data is sliced, trust us when we say that road favorite is the worst role for such teams the following week. Why that role? Any team that's still a dog despite being at home is probably perceived as inferior, so there's not enough fear or concern to instill urgency in preparation. There is also no atmosphere.
Now trust us again when we say that no matter how you define it, Cleveland’s loss versus Baltimore counts. There were swings of emotion throughout. The Browns battled back time after time and took a late lead. This was as devastating as they come, and it would probably take a panel of Hall of Fame motivators to get this team off the mat this week. On rare occasions, it works the other way, as the devastation fuels an inspired encore but the early signs don't suggest that here, and therefore the Browns are unbackable without a quality read that they've defied convention this week. You are not going to see the same Browns this week that you saw last week. If you bet them today, not only are you betting them in a bad situation, you would also be spotting inflated points.
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N.Y. GIANTS +6½ -101 (Risking 2.02 units - To Win: 2.00)