Oakland Raiders at New York Giants (-9.5, 44)
The New York Giants are rather shockingly still alive in the NFC East, where a two-game winning streak is cause for much celebration. The Giants will look to turn that into a three-game run when they host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. New York is in last place in the East after its 0-6 start but is beginning a three-game homestand and has three divisional games remaining against the Washington Redskins (two) and the Dallas Cowboys (one).
The big change during the Giants’ two wins came on the defensive side of the ball, where they held Minnesota and Philadelphia to seven points apiece after surrendering an average of 34.8 during the 0-6 start. New York’s strength is in stopping the run while the Raiders do their best work on the ground with Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden. Oakland had plenty of trouble stropping the pass against its last NFC East opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, who threw for seven touchdowns in a 49-20 shellacking last week.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE: The Giants are -9.5 home favorites. The total opened at 43.5 and moved up to 44.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid 50s with a 15 mph wind blowing across the field.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Raiders (+6.0) - Giants (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Giants -6.5
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (3-5): Pryor leads the team in rushing with 485 yards and is 45 yards shy of passing Rich Gannon for the club record for a quarterback. Where Pryor struggles is in the passing game, with four interceptions and no touchdowns in the past two contests, and he could have his running attempts limited due to a knee sprain. Oakland is trying to move on from its terrible effort against the Eagles. “Absolutely, there’s no question there’s a bad taste in our mouth right now, but that one’s over with,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “That one’s done and I can promise you we’ll have a bunch of guys who will be ready to get back to work.”
ABOUT THE GIANTS (2-6): One of the reasons the defense was able to be so effective the last two games is because Eli Manning and the offense weren’t putting it into bad positions with turnovers. The former Super Bowl MVP threw 15 interceptions in the first six weeks but was not picked off in either of the two victories while focusing on shorter passing attempts. New York is ranked 30th in the league in rushing at an average of 69.9 yards but is expecting Andre Brown to make his season debut in the backfield after sitting out the first eight games with a broken leg.
* Raiders are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a loss.
* Giants are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games with a losing record.
* Under is 8-1 in Raiders last nine games following a ATS loss.
* Over is 4-1 in Giants last five home games.
1. Giants RB David Wilson (neck) was placed on season-ending injured reserve while RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring) is questionable.
2. McFadden (hamstring) was limited to five carries against the Eagles and is questionable for Sunday.
3. New York WR Victor Cruz, who has 18 catches for 282 yards in two games against AFC opponents this season, sat out practice on Wednesday with a neck injury but expects to play Sunday.