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Giants vs. 49ers NFL Pick With Analysis
John J. Raspanti
The New York Giants (6-2) and San Francisco 49ers (7-1) face off in an intriguing battle between surprising division leaders. The Giants are playing their second consecutive road game. Last weekend they shocked the New England Patriots in Foxboro by scoring the game winning touchdown with 15 seconds left on the clock. Quarterback Eli Manning coolly drove the Giants down the field for the winning score. Manning has completed 63 percent of his passes and thrown 15 touchdowns. He also leads the league with a fourth-quarter quarterback rating of 121.7. Defensive end Justin Tuck feels Manning is having his best season to date.
"I've been here seven years with him," said Tuck. “He’s probably playing the best ball in those seven years."
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw has gained 440 yards rushing but his status for Sundays game is questionable. Brandon Jacobs started against the Patriots and rushed for 72 yards. Wide receiver Hakeen Nicks hamstring is still tender, and his availability will likely be a game time decision. Victor Ortiz has caught 34 passes (Nicks has 38) and scored three times.
The 49ers play through eight games has shocked many so-called football experts. Quarterback Alex Smith has thrown 10 touchdown passes with only two interceptions. The team’s best player is running back Frank Gore who has gained 782 yards on the ground. Gore is averaging five yards a carry. Gore has to be salivating at the Giants inability to stop the run. Tight end Vernon Davis is Smith’s favorite receiver. Davis has snagged 31 balls and scored three touchdowns. Smith looks for the veteran tight end on almost every play from scrimmage. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree has caught 30 balls. Defensively the 49ers continue to improve. Their run defense is the stingiest in the league allowing only 70 yards per game. Inside linebacker Navorro Bowman has collected 76 tackles for the season. The MVP of the defense is easily linebacker Patrick Willis who sets the tone. Willis has 67 tackles and a sack. Defensive end Justin Smith and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks have both sacked the opposing quarterback five times.
Bettorsworld bottom line - The 49ers are emerging as the real deal, however, you can't lose track of who they have played to this point. Yes, they shut down offense-less teams like the Browns, Skins, Bucs and Bengals. But against teams with an offensive punch, they lost to the Cowboys 27-24, beat the Eagles 24-23 and the Lions 25-19. In other words, good offensive teams have found the end zone against the 49ers. This isn't the 85 Bears.
You'd have to include the Giants with good offensive teams like the ones mentioned above. Their inability to run the ball will hurt them this week and let's not kid ourselves, Eli Manning looked great last week but that was against the worst pass defense in the NFL. Eli may find some open receivers this week as well as the 49ers rank just 22nd against the pass but likely won't have the same success.
We have to go with the numbers here, which all point towards a 49er win and cover. We have several methods we use to handicap the NFL and all of them come back with a 49er win by anywhere from 6 to 14 points. Having the best numbers in the NFL, for example, yards per point, does not happen by accident 8 games into the year. Should be a good one - 49ers -3.5
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