Can we believe in Daniel Jones and the revamped Giants offense?

·Betting analyst
·3 min read

Joe Judge is familiar with high expectations. The former Patriots special teams coach has celebrated three Super Bowl wins in his career. He welcomes the challenge of building a winner in a massive market. In his first year, the Giants took a step forward by finishing 6-10. They battled to the final week before watching the Washington Football Team capture the NFC crown.

The level of success you attribute to the Giants' progress depends on your perspective. Turning a four-win team into a playoff contender is a reason for excitement, but considering they only won six games reveals the amount of work that still needs to be done.

The NFC East projects to be wide open again with uncertainty surrounding each team, so the opportunity is there if the Giants can take another step forward. Fair or unfair, the expectations are accelerated and there are several reasons to believe Judge is steering the Giants in the right direction.

Jones has weapons, but will he have the protection to use them?

New York approached this offseason with the singular focus of setting up QB Daniel Jones for success. The Giants drafted Kadarius Toney and signed Kenny Golladay to entice Jones to be more aggressive as a downfield passer. Jones was second in the NFL with a 46.2% completion percentage on throws with 25 or more air yards. His 26 attempts were the fewest among his peers in the top five. Factoring in Saquon Barkley's return from injury, it's fair to say Jones has more weapons than ever entering the season.

Success in the passing game starts with protection. The Giants' 50 sacks allowed were worse than all but five teams. The line does get a boost with Nate Solder returning. OT Andrew Thomas showed marked improvement in the second half of the season. Sixty-nine percent of his blown blocks occurred in the first eight games of his rookie year. Like most areas of the Giants' roster, success will be decided by progress meeting expectations.

Leading the third-youngest roster to the brink of the playoffs is enough reason to consider Year 1 of Judge's tenure a success. Predicting what he will do for an encore is a bit more complicated. The Giants are currently +450 to win the NFC East. The odds are implying there is an 18% probability that they will win the division. I believe the Giants deserve more respect, but I think it's more advantageous to target the win total.

The Giants have the benefit of playing in one of the weakest divisions in the league. However, their schedule outside of the NFC East is difficult. Sharp Football ranks the G-men with the 10th-strongest schedule based on forecasted win totals. New York is the betting favorite in only five of 17 games. Two of the five games they are expected to win are on short rest after playing both of last year's Super Bowl teams — Tampa Bay and Kansas City.

Betting the Giants won't take a step back

I have measured expectations for the Giants to make a leap in the standings based on the schedule difficulty and some of the question marks in key positions. This is a pivotal year for Jones. So much of his success is predicated on the offensive line and the health of Barkley. These are two areas I am not completely sold on.

Betting the Giants to go over the win total of 6.5 at -165 at BetMGM is in line with my projections. Improving to seven wins is a fair expectation for a young rebuilding team that was -77 in point differential. BetMGM offers odds on any win total scenario for the New York Giants. If you have more confidence in Big Blue, the odds are +120 to go over 7.5 wins.

Stats provided by Football Outsiders

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