The Denver Broncos and New York Giants will do battle at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, opening up their 2021 regular seasons. It'll be the status quo for New York under center as Daniel Jones embarks on what will be a critical Year 3 for the Giants former first-round pick. Meanwhile, there was a changing of the guard at quarterback at Mile High with Teddy Bridgewater, who was acquired by the team this offseason, beating out Drew Lock for the Broncos starting job to begin the year.
As these quarterbacks begin what is poised to be a pivotal season on Sunday, we'll specifically look at this game from a gambling perspective. Below, you'll find a betting preview of this head-to-head that includes a breakdown of the line movements leading into this contest, along with our predictions for how it'll ultimately unfold and a handful of player props that catch our eye.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
The Giants opened as a one-point favorite in this matchup back in mid-May, but it didn't take long for things to swing in the direction of the Broncos. Shortly after opening, this game was moved to a pick'em, and as the summer moved forward Denver grew as the favorite. On Sunday, Denver was sitting as a 2.5-point favorite and has since jumped to a full field-goal advantage.
The pick: Broncos -3. I have much more confidence in what the Broncos are bringing to the table than the Giants, largely due to my concerns surrounding New York's offensive line. Throughout the preseason, Daniel Jones was continuously under siege and I don't expect that to subside now that we've moved into the regular season, especially with a healthy Von Miller lurking in Denver's defense. It also doesn't help that the Giants offensive skill position players aren't exactly 100% healthy. While it looks promising that Saquon Barkley will play, it's hard to expect him to be the dominant running back he's known for being right out of the gate.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater has been very good to those who place their bets on him. For his career, Bridgewater owns a 35-14 ATS record in his starts. To go even deeper and pair it to Sunday's opener at MetLife Stadium, he is 21-3 ATS on the road.
Key trend: Giants are 0-4 ATS in their last four Week 1 games.
The total for this matchup opened at 43 back in the spring but has seen a consistent drop throughout the summer. To start game week, the total stood at 42 and has since dipped even further to 41.5 as of Thursday (9/9).
The pick: Under 41.5. The Giants and the Under will likely be a popular pairing throughout the season and is where I'm leaning heading into this Week 1 matchup with Denver. Both Jones and Bridgewater aren't quarterbacks who are known for lighting up the scoreboard and with the recovering skill position players on New York's roster along with Denver's revamped defense, points will come at a premium here.
Key trend: The Under is 13-3 in the Giants last 16 games.
Player props to consider
Daniel Jones rushing yards: Over 20.5 (-110). For his career, Jones averages 26 rushing yards per game and hit this Over in seven of his 14 games played in 2020.
Jerry Jeudy receiving yards: Over 50.5 (-115). Jeudy lines up enough in the slot that makes me think Courtland Sutton will be the Broncos receiver blanketed by New York's James Bradberry. If that holds true, Jeudy could end up being Bridgewater's go-to target on the afternoon, setting up a number of opportunities to go Over.
Melvin Gordon rushing yards: Over 49.5 (-115). Gordon hit his rushing yards prop in 11 of his 16 games played in 2020. While rookie Javonte Williams figures to share some of the work in the backfield, I expect Denver to lean on the veteran more in the early goings of the season.