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Giants Host Panthers in Preseason Monday Night Opener
Betting Line: New York Giants -3 Over/Under 32.5 at Sportsbook.com
The New York Giants and Carolina Panthers kick off the Monday Night Festivities for the 2009-2010 NFL season, albeit in a preseason affair. Both teams are in off very disappointing playoff exits at home a year ago after 12-4 seasons. But don't expect this game to look anything like a game between to division champs from a year ago. Both starting units are likely to play only a couple of series.
For Giants fans, the highlight has to be the return of Osi Umenyiora. You can be sure he'll see limited action though. Osi going down with an injury in preseason would destroy the Giants mentally. Another reason this game will be little more than a scrimmage with real uniforms is because these two games play for real during the regular season. Neither is likely to show their hands in a meaningless preseason game.
All is not lost from a betting standpoint though. There may be an angle or two worth looking at. Such as the aforementioned fact that these two play for real this season. With that in mind, you're likely to see a straight forward go through the motions game with neither team taking too many chances. Certainly no trickery. That could make the Under 32.5 worth a peak.
Another angle is the coaches. Astute handicappers know that some coaches put much more emphasis on the preseason than others. John Fox of the Panthers wins out here over Tom Coughlin. Not only with his overall record, but certain coaches put more emphasis on certain games in the preseason, i.e. the first game or 3rd game. John Fox took over the Panthers in 2002. Between 2002 and 2008 Tom Fox has only lost one preseason opener. It's safe to say Fox likes to start things off on a positive note and build a winning mentality.
We could be talked into a small play on the Panthers +3 and Under 32.5 in this Monday Night opener. However, we really don't like betting on the preseason until week 3, which is the week most coaches point towards as the game they go all out and actually try to win. Anything we do prior to that is for 1/4 unit or less.
The Giants and Panthers aren't the only game in town Monday Night. The Jaguars and Dolphins also hook up with the Dolphins favored by -3 and a total of 31.5. No national spotlight for the Jags and Dolphins though as only the Giants-Panthers will be televised Nationally (ESPN).
Enjoy the games Monday Night. If you're a handicapper, make sure you take notes. Even though neither team will show much, you never know when you might pick up a little tidbit of information that could help you down the road, when these two play for real!
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