2022 NFL Preseason Week 2: New York Giants @ New England Patriots
Updated: 3 hours ago
Backing the road dogs vs. the spread: New York Football Giants +1.5
The Giants and Pats will match up at Foxborough Stadium Thursday, in these team's opening action of the 2022 NFL Preseason. We are backing the Giants, as slight dogs, to beat the number. We detail our rationale below.
In 11 regular and post-season meetings since 2007, the Giants are 5-6 SU versus the Patriots, but are (perhaps counterintuitively) a profitable 8-3 versus the number. Explaining this outcome, we point to the observation that casual wagerers tend to be inclined toward better teams against the spread, despite the normalizing effect of the betting line (see here and here for support for this assertion)—relatedly, the Giants' median spread in competition with the Patriots is +7.5, and New York has been slated as the favorite only twice of the 11 regular season pairings in the last 15 years. Resultantly, historically good teams, like the Patriots, are commonly overbid, while poorer teams, such as the Giants, are typically under-rated ATS.
But in addition to proving worthy regular season bets when facing New England, according to data from BetLabs, New York is a similarly impressive 10-4 ATS since 2005-06 facing the Pats in the preseason. We think the tendency for top-tier personnel to play limited minutes (at best) in the preseason, coupled with the public's disposition toward favorites, opens the door for covers by lessor competition.
Whatever the reasons though, the Giant's consistent historical success against the Patriots suggests that, while anything is possible in any one particular contest, a play on the New York cover at New England by no means constitutes a longshot flyer.
In fact, in the main, the Giants have proven profitable preseason bets back to 2004-05, as indicated by New York's 35-28-5 ATS record. On the other hand, the Patriots have not turned a profit for preseason backers over this same horizon (New England is 30-33-4 ATS).
To be clear though, our support for the Giants Thursday is not predicated on New York's preseason ATS prowess in general, or against New England specifically. In fact, we would back any team facing circumstances akin to those attending the preseason week 2 matchup between the Giants and the Patriots. Specifically, we have observed that road dogs taking no more than a field goal from non-conference opposition have proven strong bets in preseason Thursday Night Football action.
Since 2004-05 betting on teams in this position delivered a 16% return on investment, and suffered seasons with sub-50% cover rates only three times.