Giants' key injuries move New York-Carolina spread four points
Bettors who bought the New York Giants at -1.5 in Carolina tonight got a jolt when the line swung a full four points (now Panthers -2.5) on the news that five New York players were not on the south-bound plane.
Top wideout Hakeem Nicks, featured back Ahmad Bradshaw and offensive lineman David Diehl are three key players who will be among the missing when the Giants try to gain some traction in an NFC.
The loss of Nicks, in particular, will be a concern for both Eli Manning and slot receiver Victor Cruz. Nicks was able to draw occasional double-teams, and tonight freed-up defenders will almost certainly roll extra coverage toward Cruz to stifle his game-changing ability.
At bet365.com, the line move was seen as inevitable, even before news of the Giant no-shows.
“The line moves are largely based on the Giants’ injuries,” Aron Black of bet365.com
told Covers, “but… the line was probably always going to move to Carolina. It looked to move to a home team who had a solid game last week (35-27 victory over New Orleans), and a road team who has a loss and win in a big comeback.”
New York lost the opening game of the schedule to Dallas at home and needed a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Tampa Bay and avoid a 0-2 start to the year. The Giants failed to cover the spread in both outings.
Bet365.com points out that, “The sharp money was quietly playing Carolina but not big, however, as the word would have got out that the Giants were going to have a few starters at least out. Then the money really started moving all around the campfire, which again, I think oddsmakers were sleeping on this one; it was always going to be hard for the Giants to come in with all those players healthy even if they were in the lineup.”
The total for tonight’s game has also dropped, falling from as high as 52 point to 49 as of Thursday morning.