NFL-Week 2-Monday night football-Lions at Giants game preview

The Lions (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) were sluggish in the season opener against the Cardinals as quarterback Matthew Stafford was intercepted and Arizona returned the pick for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Detroit erased a 17-9 third quarter deficit by scoring 26 unanswered points to pick up a 35-23 victory, while cashing as 2 ½-point home underdogs. Stafford bounced back from the early interception to throw four touchdown passes, including a pair of scoring strikes to rookie Kenny Golladay.

Detroit’s defense caused four Arizona turnovers, including three interceptions of Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer. The Lions limited the Cardinals to only 45 yards rushing, which was aided by Arizona running back David Johnson leaving with a wrist injury. Detroit improved to 6-1 the last seven season openers, as all seven games finished OVER the total.

The Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) finished last season by scoring 19 points or fewer in each of their final six games, including in their Wild Card loss at Green Bay. New York’s offense didn’t produce much in its season opening 19-3 defeat at Dallas as the Giants posted 233 yards. The rushing attack was anything but by racking up 35 yards on 12 carries, as New York could be on its way to another poor season running the ball after ranking 29th in this category in 2016.

New York was without the services of Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who sat out due to an ankle injury suffered in the preseason. Eli Manning’s top target in Week 1 turned out to be running back Shane Vereen, who picked up nine receptions out of the backfield for 51 yards. Veteran Brandon Marshall didn’t make a dent in the Dallas defense as the wide receiver recorded only one catch, which came in the final minute of play.

DETROIT DOGS

The Lions covered already as a home underdog against the Cardinals, but Jim Caldwell’s team struggled when receiving points away from Ford Field last season. In eight opportunities as a road ‘dog in 2016, Detroit posted a 3-5 ATS record, while the UNDER cashed five times. The Lions closed last season with three consecutive losses as an away underdog, while scoring six points in two of those defeats. Dating back to 2013, the Lions have compiled an 8-13 ATS record in this situation, while going 13-21 ATS the last four seasons on the highway.

Ben McAdoo is entering his second season as the head coach of the Giants as he helped propel New York back to the postseason in 2016 at 10-6. Although the offense suffered late in the season, New York still managed a six-game winning streak halfway through 2016, while posting an impressive 7-1 record at Met Life Stadium. The Giants will be playing only one home contest through the first four weeks (at Philadelphia and Tampa Bay the next two games), but Big Blue has failed to cover its home opener in each of the past five seasons.

The Giants and Lions are hooking up for the third time in the past four seasons. New York has captured two of the past three meetings, including a 17-6 home triumph last December as four-point favorites. Manning threw for 202 yards, but also connected on touchdown passes to Beckham and Sterling Shepard, as the Giants posted 300 yards of offense. Stafford couldn’t produce a touchdown for Detroit, as he put up 273 yards through the air, while getting intercepted once. The last time the Giants and Lions met for a Monday night affair came in the 2014 opener at Ford Field as Detroit cruised to a 35-14 blowout as 6 ½-point favorites.

Stafford has struggled in the spotlight of primetime games in his career. Detroit owns a dreadful 3-10 record in games started by Stafford at night, including three straight losses to close out 2016. However, two of those victories came on the road, while the third win came at home against the Giants in Week 1 of the 2014 campaign. The Giants split a pair of games on Monday night last season, as the lone victory was a one-point decision against the Bengals at home.

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