After getting shut out through their first six quarters of the season, it looked like the Giants were in big trouble. However, they came alive in the second half against the Cardinals in Week 2. Darren Waller played a key role in the comeback, coming up with several big catches down the stretch. He was targeted eight total times, which he turned into six receptions for 76 yards.
Pick: 49ers vs. Giants Best Bet: Darren Waller over 45.5 receiving yards (-125 DraftKings Sportsbook) for 1 unit
Let's face it, Thursday Night Football games are sloppy. Teams are dealing with less rest, more injuries and fewer days to prepare. The 49ers have a lot of weapons on offense, so even if Aiyuk is out, they should be able to move the ball. They are also facing the same Giants defense that allowed Joshua Dobbs and the Cardinals to score 28 points.
Pick: 49ers vs. Giants Best Bet: Jake Moody over 1.5 field goals made (-115 DraftKings Sportsbook) for 1 unit
Barkley isn't the only notable injury for the Giants. They will also be without two starting offensive linemen, with Andrew Thomas (ankle) and Ben Bredeson (concussion) having been ruled out. That could end up being a disaster for Jones, who has already been sacked 10 times over two games.
Pick: 49ers vs. Giants Best Bet: 49ers First Sack Recorded (-140 DraftKings Sportsbook) for 1 unit
Prediction: It's difficult to envision a path for the Giants to win this game. Even if Barkley were healthy, they would be facing an uphill battle against a much better team. Add in the injuries to their already-struggling offensive line and the Giants are likely to have a hard time putting points on the board. Look for the 49ers to win this in convincing fashion.
Giants-49ers Anytime Touchdown Scorer
Running back Christian McCaffrey played on every offensive snap of San Francisco’s win over Los Angeles. While that usage is encouraging for his ability to find paydirt, it’s also unlikely to recur after a short week of rest. Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke at length before the season about minimizing risk for the team’s star running back by not overworking him, and I expect that he’ll play far fewer snaps in Week 3.
So who benefits the most from if McCaffrey sits out more snaps? It’s easy to jump to backup running back Elijah Mitchell, but his anytime touchdown scorer odds of +280 (26.3%) at best just don’t stand out to me. Mitchell is yet to receive a red-zone carry or target this year. He also converted just two of his 12 red-zone opportunities last season. Instead, give me fullback Kyle Juszcyzk at +1100 (8.3%) via DraftKings.
Juszcyzk is yet to record a touch or a target this season, but he has played on a whopping 53% of San Francisco’s snaps this year. He has also started both games. Last year, Juszcyzk earned five red-zone carries, one of which he converted for a score, and two red-zone targets, one of which he converted for a score on a pass from Brock Purdy. That’s a far more efficient clip than Mitchell.