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The Washington Football Team lost not only its season-opening game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but also its starting quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will be out for multiple months with a hip subluxation. If his performance in last year's wild-card game is any indication, Taylor Heinicke will be more than capable of filling in. Heinicke will get the chance to prove himself as a starter when Washington hosts the NFC East-rival New York Giants on Thursday Night Football. In place of an injured Alex Smith, Heinicke had a strong showing against Tampa Bay last postseason, throwing for 306 yards and a touchdown while also running for a team-high 46 yards and a score. 

Kickoff from FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Washington is a 3.5-point favorite in the latest Giants vs. Washington odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 40.5. Before making any Washington vs. Giants picks, make sure to check out the expert NFL predictions from SportsLine's Mike Tierney.

A national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. 

Tierney has used that experience to crush his NFL picks, going 187-147 against the spread the past three seasons. In addition, Tierney is an incredible 23-9-1 on his last 33 picks involving Washington. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Tierney has set his sights on Washington vs. Giants on Thursday Night Football and just revealed his NFL expert picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several NFL odds and betting trends for Giants vs. WFT:

  • Giants vs. Washington spread: Washington -3.5
  • Giants vs. Washington over-under: 40.5 points
  • Giants vs. Washington money line: New York +150, Washington -175
  • NYG: The Giants have won 11 of their last 15 games in Washington
  • WAS: Washington has lost 17 of its last 21 home contests
Featured Game | Washington Football Team vs. New York Giants

Why Washington can cover

Making his second regular-season start in the NFL, Heinicke will be looking for assistance from Washington's ground attack, led by Antonio Gibson. A third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Gibson had a steady rookie campaign, rushing for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns while making 36 catches for 247 yards in 14 games. The 23-year-old from the University of Memphis had two 100-yard performances last year and nearly opened 2021 with one, as he gained 90 yards on 20 carries in Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Chargers.

Heinicke's top target when throwing the ball will be wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who hauled in four passes for 62 yards in the season opener. The 26-year-old was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and enjoyed a strong rookie season, making 58 catches for 919 yards and seven TDs. McLaurin was an even bigger part of Washington's offense last year, as he had 87 receptions for 1,118 yards and four scores, including one against the Giants.

Why the Giants can cover

New York has eclipsed the 20-point plateau just once in its last seven games dating back to last season, but has had no trouble offensively in its last three trips to Washington. The Giants scored a total of 104 points in winning all three visits, reaching 40 on two occasions. Quarterback Daniel Jones had his most productive game to date at Washington in Week 16 of his 2019 rookie season, throwing for career-highs of 352 yards and five touchdowns.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard hauled in one of those TD passes, a 23-yarder less than three minutes into New York's 41-35 overtime victory. The 28-year-old receiver out of Oklahoma has 33 catches for 345 yards and three scores in seven career contests against Washington. Shepard has caught a touchdown pass in three consecutive games and reached triple-digit receiving yards in back-to-back outings after recording seven receptions for 113 yards and a TD against the Broncos on Sunday.

How to make Giants vs. Washington picks

Tierney is leaning under on the point total. He's also isolated a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread hit hard. You can only see what it is at SportsLine.

So who wins Washington vs. Giants on Thursday Night Football? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Mike Tierney's WFT vs. Giants pick and analysis, all from the NFL expert who's on a 23-9 roll on Washington picks, and find out.