Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) talks with New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) after their game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
We’re almost there. Less than two weeks until the first Sunday of football. We at the PFF Forecast are as anxious (if not more) than you. While it’s difficult to find something analytically exploitable every week of the offseason, we feel confident we’ve found some things that our numbers like since February.
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In this article, we’ll dive deeply into our last two “Locks of the Week” for the offseason, both involving New York teams. Starting Week 1, we will be providing one such pick a week free to everyone who comes to profootballfocus.com while PFF Greenline (available to PFF Elite subscribers) will remain the key to unlock all of our picks. As we did last season, a weekly article of five picks will be printed each Friday morning of the season and it will be on these picks that we track our success.
Previous ‘Locks of the Week’ can be found for our Bengals over, our Raiders under and our Houston under. Some of these numbers and prices have moved since then, but our analyses are still useful today. Additionally, we gave out five way-too-early spread and over/under picks for Week 1. These will likely (but may not be) different than our five picks a week from Friday.
Totals and prices courtesy of MyBookie.ag:
Below we provide a point-counterpoint analysis of this week’s pick:
Point (Eric Eager):
Even if this were evenly-sided, we’d like the Giants’ under here, as we have the Giants going over this total a measly 35 percent of the time, in large part due to having the league’s second-toughest schedule (with an average opponent PFF ELO value of 1528 – versus a league average of 1505).
Aside from this, it’s a smart play to fade the public, and nothing signals that the public is in love with the Giants more than the fact that their Super Bowl odds are 33/1 – implying that they are roughly as likely to win the Super Bowl as the average NFL team. This is likely due in large part to having a new head coach in Pat Shurmur, whose last turn at the wheel yielded a 9-23 mark, and a shiny new running back in Saquon Barkley. Barkley is a terrific athlete, graded well in our system when at Penn State and offers quite a bit as…