3 Ways To Win Big On Monday Night Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants
First Scoring Play Type - Home (Buccaneers) Field Goal (+380)
This starts with how little faith I have in the New York Giants being the first to score, period. The Giants offense has been all over the place for most of the past six weeks. Some of that is injuries, some of that is Daniel Jones’ built-in volatility, but it all makes me uncomfortable with them being the first to put points on the board.
As for the Bucs, settling for a field goal rather than a touchdown early on is not out of the question. The Bucs offense has also been out of sorts lately, particularly the past two weeks. Last week’s fiasco against Washington was a bit unlucky — the first interception was a tipped ball that shot up in the air — but the week before against the Saints was a bit more troubling. New Orleans did a good job playing tight coverage, moving around some pieces over the middle, and keeping Tom Brady on his toes. The Giants defense may be able to do some of the same.
Believe it or not, the Giants defense is 11th in pass defense DVOA. Some of their pieces in the secondary have stepped up, namely second-year safety Xavier McKinney. Tampa Bay’s coaching staff may be able to adjust well as the game goes on and get things rolling, but it would not be too surprising to see the Bucs falter out a bit before punching in a touchdown early in the game.
Two-Leg Parlay (+310)
Giants QB Daniel Jones Over 249.5 Passing Yards
It’s going to be tough for the Giants to get anything going in the ground game. Not only do the Giants themselves struggle generating push on anyone, but the Bucs defense is as stout as it gets. Vita Vea is still the most dominant interior-run defender in the league and the rest of Tampa Bay’s front has been doing their part to help him out. Running back Saquan Barkley may make his return from an ankle injury on Monday, but that alone will not be enough to make the difference.
As such, the Giants are going to have to toss the ball around the yard to keep up in this one. Whether or not they can is a different story, but the fact they will likely be forced into that kind of passing volume bodes well for the over here.
Bucs RB Leonard Fournette Over 69.5 Rushing Yards
The Bucs offense is in the opposite boat. Their passing offense has been a rollercoaster the past couple weeks and they are now facing a pretty solid Giants secondary. The Giants’ run defense, however, ranks 30th in the NFL by DVOA. Tampa Bay’s mean offensive line should be able to have their way in this one and spring Leonard Fournette free for a couple of chunk gains as they lean on their rushing offense to march them down the field.
New York Giants First TD Scorer - WR John Ross (+2200)
It’s not really the Buccaneers’ fault their secondary is not as good this year as it was last year. A number of injuries have decimated the unit, leaving them to play guys such as Ross Cockrell, Pierre Desir, and over-the-hill Richard Sherman at different points this season. Teams can not really control their injury luck and the Bucs have been as unlucky as anyone in 2021.
All that being said, the reality is the secondary just does not have bodies right now. The result has been that the defense is allowing more explosive plays than they did a year ago. Tampa Bay allowed a 7% explosive pass rate in 2020, now up to 9% in 2021. That figure is slightly higher than the league average. That is not detrimental, of course, but that could be the opening the Giants need.
John Ross has quietly found himself a nice role in the Giants offense. He will likely never be the guy he was supposed to be out of Washington, but Ross’ value as a field stretcher in this offense is clear. Ross has the raw speed to win on a seam, post, and go routes, and quarterback Daniel Jones is more than willing to let those throws go and swing for the fences. Assuming the Giants try for a couple of shot plays in the first half to stay ahead of the scoreboard, Ross should have a shot at taking advantage of that.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants Picks
- First Scoring Play Type - Home (Buccaneers) Field Goal (+380)
- 2-Leg Parlay (+310) - Daniel Jones Over 249.5 Passing Yards & Leonard Fournette Over 69.5 Rushing Yards
- Giants First TD Scorer - WR John Ross (+2200)