Patriots (PK) and first half under 24 One thing about Super Bowls is they don't tend to start with a bang.
Hot ‘dog: NFL Week 14
Giants +160 at Chargers
Chances are, anyone who’s made a habit of wagering on or against either of these teams has been burned on more than one occasion. To say the Giants and Chargers are fickle would be an understatement. Yet as maddeningly unpredictable as the teams quarterbacked by Eli Manning and Philip Rivers have been in 2013, the NFL season is long enough that patterns start to emerge.
Simply put, San Diego – after a promising start – has routinely figured out ways to lose. Since entering their bye at 4-3 with playoff aspirations, the Chargers are 1-4, their sole win coming thanks to a last-minute Rivers-led rally vs. the Chiefs in Week 12.Their losses during that run have come in a variety of forms, from blown leads (Washington and Miami) to an ill-fated comeback attempt (Denver) to a turnover-laden no-show (Cincinnati).
There’s no denying the Chargers have talent and have been competitive on a near weekly basis. In each of those five games since the bye, they’ve had an opportunity to win (or in the case of the Broncos game, force overtime). But as has become the norm over the last few years of the Rivers era, that talent hasn’t translated to victories – particularly in the second half of the season.
The Giants, on the other hand, have rediscovered their winning mojo after opening the season with six straight losses. The key to their turnaround and the 5-1 run that’s accompanied it has been twofold. First, Manning has stopped turning the ball over in bunches. After throwing 15 interceptions and losing two fumbles in the first six games (mind-bending numbers), Manning has turned the ball over a total of three times in the last six.
The New York defense has stepped up as well, allowing just 14.7 points per game – a full 20-point improvement from the 34.8 they were surrendering during the slide – and racking up 15 sacks while markedly improving what had been an unsightly pass defense.
For two teams trending in different directions, there’s solid value on the Giants moneyline, which when paired with a standard -110 side or total will pay nearly 4-to-1 as a two-team parlay.
Overall picks: 22-15
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