Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#301 New York Giants vs.
#302 San Francisco 49ers
Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 8:15pm EDT
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara
Written by Chris King

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Week 3 of the NFL season gets underway with a battle of NFC teams on the gridiron out in the city by the bay. The New York Giants are on the road as they travel to face the San Francisco 49ers on short rest Thursday night. New York rallied from a 20-0 halftime deficit to beat Arizona 31-28 on the road Sunday afternoon, though they failed to cover the line as a 4.5-point favorite. San Francisco knocked off the Rams 30-23 on the road Sunday afternoon, though they fell short covering the line as a 7.5-point favorite in that contest. In the all-time series between the teams, each team has won 17 regular season matchups and four postseason tilts. The 49ers prevailed 36-9 on the road in the most recent matchup back on September 27, 2020.

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New York Giants Try to Build Off Improbable Comeback

New York started miserably against Arizona before rallying in the second half to earn their first victory of the 2023 season. The Giants improved to 1-1 on the year and still sit in the basement of the NFC East, which has three 2-0 teams for the first time since 1989. Against Arizona, New York trailed 20-0 at the half, meaning they were outscored 60-0 in the first six quarters of the season, and 28-7 with 9:34 to play in the third quarter, before rallying. The Giants were still down 28-14 after three quarters before outscoring Arizona 17-0 in the final stanza, capped by Graham Gano’s 34-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play, to earn the win. New York held a 439-379 edge in total offense and held a 26-24 edge in first downs to offset committing the game’s lone turnover. The Giants were also edged 30:37 to 29:23 in time of possession in the contest.

For the season, the Giants are averaging 212.5 yards per game through the air, leaving them 24th in the league in that department. New York is running for an average of 117.5 yards per contest, leaving them 13th in the league in that category. The Giants are 27th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 15.5 points per game this season. New York is last in the league in scoring defense by giving up an average of 34 points a contest. Daniel Jones has completed 41 of 65 passes for 425 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions while getting sacked 10 times this season. He is second on the team with 22 carries for 102 yards plus a score on the ground. Tyrod Taylor is two of two for six yards on the year. Saquon Barkley leads the team in rushing as he has run the ball 29 times for 114 yards and a score. Matt Breida (three carries, 14 yards) and Gary Brightwell (one carry, five yards) are next in line in that department. Barkley (41 yards, TD) and tight end Darren Waller (112 yards) lead the team with nine receptions on the season. Darius Slayton (six catches, 77 yards), Isaiah Hodgins (five grabs, 64 yards, TD) and Parris Campbell (five receptions, 23 yards) are other options that have seen their fair share of action in the passing game this season. Graham Gano has hit all four extra point attempts and one of three field goal attempts with a long of 34 this season.

Guard Ben Bredeson sustained a concussion in the game against Arizona Sunday while Barkley suffered an ankle injury. Barkley underwent a MRI on Monday that confirmed an ankle sprain and he is expected to miss three weeks. Watch for any updates on Bredeson as he works through the concussion protocol.

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San Francisco 49ers Seek 3-0 Start to Season

San Francisco took down the Rams though it was a tougher than expected victory. The 49ers improved to 2-0 on the year and stand atop the NFC West as the lone unbeaten team in the division entering this week. Against Los Angeles, San Francisco trailed 17-10 late in the first half before tying the game on Brock Purdy’s one-yard TD run on fourth down as the first half expired. That jumpstarted a run of 17 unanswered points by the 49ers, pushing them in front 27-17, and they didn’t let the Rams closer than seven the rest of the way. San Francisco was outgained 386-365 in total offense, gave up 28 first downs while picking up 21 and lost time of possession by a 33:11 to 26:49 margin yet still prevailed. The 49ers forced a pair of turnovers, leading to six points, while not committing one in the victory.

On the year, the 49ers are 16th in the league in passing as they average 213 yards per game through the air. San Francisco is third in the league in rushing offense as they pile up 173.5 yards per game on the ground this season. The 49ers are third in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 30 points per game. San Francisco is third in the league in scoring defense by allowing an average of 15 points per contest. Brock Purdy is 36 of 54 passing for 426 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions while getting sacked four times. He adds 25 yards and a score on the ground. Christian McCaffrey leads the team on the ground with 42 carries for 268 yards and two scores. Deebo Samuel (seven carries, 46 yards, TD) and Elijah Mitchell (five carries, 10 yards) have also seen some work in the run game. Brandon Aiyuk (172 yards, two TD) and Deebo Samuel (118 yards) are tied for the team lead with 11 receptions. McCaffrey (six grabs, 36 yards) and George Kittle (six catches, 49 yards) are the only other players with more than two receptions on the year. Jake Moody has hit all six extra point attempts and six of six field goal attempts with a long of 57 this season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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While the Giants rallied to win by downing the Cardinals Sunday, the fact remains that if they start off that slow here, the game will be over by halftime. New York was down 20-0 at the half and seemed dead in the water before rallying in the second half to earn the win. The 49ers are a complete team that can put points on the board while making things difficult for opposing offenses. San Francisco has an aggressive defense that will pressure Jones, who has been smacked around already regularly this season. If Barkley can’t go in this one, the Giants will be minus their best weapon and that will make things an even steeper climb. In the end, the 49ers are clearly the better team and are poised to exploit the weaknesses of the Giants to run their record to 3-0 with a convincing triumph.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers -10.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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New York split their first two games in relation to the total this season. The Giants saw a total of 40 points in their season-opening loss at home to the Cowboys, falling short of the 44-point number set by the books. On Sunday, New York had a combined 59 points with Arizona to blow past the total of 39.5 points that was set. The Giants stayed under the total in five of their seven true road games last season: they went over in a neutral site game with Green Bay. San Francisco has split their two games in relation with the total. The 49ers stayed under in their road win over the Steelers with a total of 37 points against a number of 41 while they totaled 53 points in the win over the Rams, going past the number of 45. Last season, the 49ers went over the number in six of their 11 home games, including playoffs. San Francisco went over the number in five of their final six home games and they’ve hung 30 points in each of their first two wins. Look for this game to wind up just over the total as some garbage time offense gets it done.

Prediction: Over 45

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.

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