Giants vs Washington Thursday Night Football Picks and Predictions: Lots Of Running and Defense

No QB1, no problem for Washington on Thursday Night! Armed with a strong run game and a dominant defense, we like the Football Team to cover as NFL betting home chalk against an already beat-up Giants squad.

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2021 8:41 AM ET Read Time: 5 min

Now that the pomp and circumstance of Week 1 in the NFL have come and gone, we get back to the Thursday Night Football matchups we have grown accustomed to as the New York Giants visit the Washington Football Team.

But what better way to make this NFC East battle (that only a mother could love) than by finding some winning bets. Washington is a 3.5-point NFL betting favorite despite losing its starting quarterback for the next couple of weeks. Does that mean the G-Men could have some value as an underdog?

Find out in our free NFL picks and predictions for Giants at Washington on September 16.

Giants vs Washington odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Most sportsbooks opened this matchup with Washington as a 4.5-point favorite, but the early money has come in on the Giants moving the line to -3.5 as of Tuesday night. When it comes to the total, bettors are already hammering the Under with the number coming down to 41 after opening at 42.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Giants vs Washington picks

Picks made on 9/15/2021 at 12:14 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Giants vs Washington game info

Location: FedExField, Landover, MD
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET

Giants at Washington betting preview


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NFL weather info.

Key injuries

Giants: Evan Engram TE (Out), Collin Johnson WR (Out), Josh Jackson CB (Out), Sam Beal CB (Out), Justin Hilliard LB (Out), Cam Brown LB (Out), Quincy Roche LB (Out)
Washington: Ryan Fitzpatrick QB (Out), Curtis Samuel WR (Out), Darryl Roberts CB (Out), Shaka Toney DE (Out), Saahdiq Charles OT (Out), Sammis Reyes TE (Out)
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 14-3 in the Giants' last 17 games overall and 7-1 in the Football Team’s last eight games at home. Find more NFL betting trends for Giants vs. Washington.

Giants vs Washington predictions

Right off the bat, go out and jump on the Washington Football Team as soon as possible. I don’t think that number will last as kickoff approaches. That said, I don’t hate -3.5 either.

Washington lost a low-scoring, hard-fought game to the Los Angeles Chargers in its season opener, falling 20-16 as a 2.5-point home favorite. And while the Football Team lost starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a hip injury, Taylor Heinicke stepped in and went 11-15 for 122 yards and a touchdown with no picks.

But for me, Washington’s chance for success rides on what might be the most terrifying defensive front in football. Led by Chase Young, Washington made the Chargers one dimensional, allowing 3.2 yards per rushing attempt. And while Justin Herbert threw for 337 yards, Washington limited him to a below-average 7.2 yards per attempt with one pick and two sacks.

The Giants, on the other hand, managed just 13 points in their home opener against the visiting Denver Broncos in Week 1, falling 27-13 as 3-point home pups. The Broncos stifled the Giants run game, limiting Saquon Barkley (who is questionable for this one) to just 27 yards on 10 carries, while QB Daniel Jones went just 22-37 for 267 yards as the Giants struggled to maintain drives. 

Overall, Heinicke doesn’t really seem like much of a drop-off from Fitzpatrick and Antonio Gibson could have a big game in Week 2 against a Giants defense (more on that later) that got trampled by the Broncos backs last Sunday. But the biggest reason to like Washington is that defense and its ferocious front four, which should give the Giants fits in this one.

Young & Co. will make a game-changing play or two to turn the tide and help the Football Team cover the spread.

When it comes to the total, Under bettors have hit this one early and often, driving the line down a couple of points already. It seems like bettors are preparing for the type of snooze fest we are used to with these Thursday night matchups. And I’ve got to tell you, I don’t blame them.

Danny Dimes couldn’t get anything going against the Broncos last week and for my money, Washington’s defense is even better. It doesn't help that his best weapons all seem to have nagging injuries, but his turnover problems continued with another fumble in Week 1. Inconsistency, injuries, and turnovers make scoring tough. 

And while the G-Men are coming off a rough game, the defense should be a little better than last week's result. The New York stop unit was sneaky-good last season, giving up just 22.3 points per game and had a Top-10 rushing defense in terms of yards per carry. 

Even though the drop-off from Fitzpatrick to Heinicke may not be huge, Washington still managed just 16 points last week and averaged just 21.1 points per game a season ago. 

Defense and running should be the name of the game here, which is music to an Under bettor’s ears — even with a number this low.

Speaking of running, you can bet that the Football Team will feed Gibson the ball in this one after watching how the Giants struggled with the Denver ground game just four days ago: The Broncos churned out 165 rushing yards, albeit a large chunk of that came on a 70-yard Melvin Gordon scramble for a score.

While the Giants are solid in the middle with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, you can attack them on the outside, and Gibson is more than capable of that. He is coming off a solid 20-carry, 90-yard performance against the Chargers (if you overlook his costly fumble near the end of the game) and he also has scored eight touchdowns in his last eight games when fully healthy — including punching one in against the Giants in Week 9 last season. 

At this value, Gibson is a good bet to carry one over the goal line on Thursday night.

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