Get a Free $60 Credit from Docs Sports to Spend on ANY Package - No Strings! Just Winners! Click Here
Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants
Betting Odds: Giants -6.5 O/U 41
John J. Raspanti
The Panthers invade New Jersey to take on the G-men. Both teams are coming off disappointing seasons and desperately want to get off to a good start. The Giants have Eli Manning at quarterback who's coming off his best season statistically. Manning threw 27 touchdown passes last year and is rarely called Peyton's little brother anymore. He's poised and prepared but does he have enough help to get the job done? Both teams have a Smith at wide receiver. Steve Smith of the Giants grabbed 107 passes last year in a season that surprised many. Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks are reliable as is tight end Kevin Bass. The running game was lacking last year and has a big question mark hanging over it. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw struggled all year but I think they will run the ball a bit better this year.
Matt Moore took over for a struggling quarterback Jake Delhomme last year and proceeded to lead the team to victories over New York and New Orleans. His mobility and decision making were a big improvement over Delhomme who seemed to be forcing the ball all year. There is some pressure on Moore to get off to a good start as rookie Jimmy Clauson is breathing down his neck. Moore has the other Steve Smith to throw to and Smith can take over a game at times. Last season Smith caught 65 balls for 982 yards in what was considered an average season for him.
RB's Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have to take the pressure off the passing game. Stewart and Williams each had over 1,100 yards rushing and combined for 17 TD's. Look for Stewart and Williams to continue their good play.
The question mark surrounding the Giants is their defense. New York signed free-agent safety Antrel Rolle away from Arizona to help shore up a weak secondary, while accomplished veteran Keith Bulluck was signed in July in an effort to bolster a shaky linebacker corps. They also brought Perry Fewell as their new defensive coordinator. Fewell brings a lot of energy and passion to the job as well as a record as a coordinator.
The Panthers lost sack artist Julius Peppers to the Bears in the offseason. Jon Beason, Thomas Davis, and Chris Gamble are all very good players. The Panthers have some solid corners but still the question is...how much will they miss Peppers? The Panthers were 22nd against the run last year and it looks like they will go even further backwards in 2010. All in all this team will have 36 new faces on their roster for 2010-2011. John Fox is a good coach, but he'll have his work cut out for him this year. In fact, this is the last year of his contract, and considering the last 4 years have seen just one winning season, with two years at 8-8 and another year at 7-9, Mr. Fox could find himself on the outside looking in when all is said and done.
The Giants are the better team here. Despite the fact that the Panthers have given the Giants fits in big games over the years, we think the Giants win their first regular season game at the new Giants Stadium in a big way. Lay it. Giants -6.5