The 2021 NFL season started off with a bang in last week’s Thursday Night Football thriller as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers knocked off the Dallas Cowboys 31-29 with a last-second field goal.
In Week 2 of the 2021 TNF slate, we will see an NFC East divisional rivalry matchup when the New York Giants visit the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field.
For in-depth analysis, and extended betting tips for TNF Week 2, read on for the latest installment of our TNF football predictions series.
Thursday Night Football Prediction Week 2
Although we are only one week into the 2021 NFL season, every game matters, especially in-division matchups. If the NFC East race is as tight as it was last season in December, this Thursday Night encounter could be a deciding factor on which team wins the NFC East crown.
The key to this Giants-Football Team matchup will be New York’s offensive line. Entering the 2021 NFL season as one of, if not the league’s worst unit, they will have their hands full facing a terrorizing Football Team defensive front seven led by Chase Young and company.
If the Giants can’t protect giveaway-prone Daniel Jones, this game could get out of hand. However, Washington’s defense isn’t the only one deserving of mention.
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New York’s defense was terrific in 2020 and kept a lot of games close, especially in the second half of the year. While Washington’s offensive line is a top 10 unit, the Giants can apply pressure of their own and force turnovers on QB Taylor Heinicke.
Heinicke will draw the start due to a hip injury to regular Football Team starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered in Week 1 against the Chargers. As a result of the injury, Fitzpatrick will reportedly miss “several weeks" of football activities.
Now, Heinicke will draw his second NFL start. His first was in last year’s Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs against the eventual Super Bowl 55 champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although the Football Team lost that day, Heinicke was terrific, throwing for 306 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while also going for another 46 yards and a score on the ground.
Despite all of the offensive firepower on both sides with the likes of Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, just to name a few, we are staring at a low-scoring Thursday Night affair.
Both teams are defensive dominant with questionable quarterback play.
TNF Week 2 Pick: Washingon Football Team 20, New York Giants 17
Thursday Night Football Betting Trends for 2021
- The Over is 1-0
- The Underdog is 1-0 Against the Spread
- The Favorite is 1-0 on the Moneyline
- The Home Team is 1-0
Thursday Night Football Best Bets Week 2
TNF Best Bet: Under 40.5 (-110) at BetMGM
The lack of scoring upside clearly makes this our NFL bet of the day for Giants-WFT.
As I noted earlier, both the Football Team and the Giants are defensive dominant units with questionable quarterback play on either side. While we know what Daniel Jones is at this point, Taylor Heinicke is a question mark. Heinicke has upside, but his inexperience will be his downfall early.
Last week, the Giants were stifled by the Broncos’ defense. Sure, Saquon Barkley wasn’t managing a full workload and Even Engram was out, but New York’s offensive line can’t give Jones any time to throw. He is already giveaway-prone, the line makes it worse.
On the other side, the Football Team lost. However, it was not at the fault of their defense. They were terrific, holding Justin Herbert and company to 20 points despite surrendering 424 total yards. And although the Chargers had six red zone opportunities, the Football Team defense only allowed them to score twice.
The play from our NFL gameday odds is the Under:
- The Under is 7-3 in the past 10 games between the Giants and the Football Team, including 3-1 in their past four and 2-0 in their past two meetings.
- Both the Giants and the Football Team’s totals went Under in Week 1.
- The Under is 7-3 in the Football Team’s past 10 games.
- The Under is 9-1 in the Giants’ past 10 games, including nine straight.
TNF Best Bet: Giants +3.5 (-115) at BetMGM
- Taking the Giants points is playable from +3 to +4.5.
The Giants and the Football Team normally play each other close. I expect that trend to continue into this upcoming Thursday Night Football encounter. Though both sides have high-end talent, their quarterbacks are their handicap, which will not only keep this game low-scoring but will also keep the matchup close.
If Ryan Fitzpatrick was the quarterback, I might take Washington giving the 4.5 points. However, not with Taylor Heinicke. I like Heinicke, but in his second career start, he will struggle. The Football Team should win this game, but they won’t cover.
In situations like this, I will err on the side of the better defense and the signal-caller who will make fewer mistakes. And despite Heinicke’s inexperience, I trust his decision-making more than I trust Daniel Jones.
- Both the Giants and the Football Team failed to cover the spread in Week 1.
- The Giants are 5-5 against the spread in their past 10 games and 4-1 in their past five.
- The Football Team is 4-6 ATS in their past 10 games and 3-1 in their past four.
- The Giants are 6-4 ATS in their past 10 games against the Football Team, covering in four of their past five.
- The Giants are 9-2 ATS in their past 11 road games.
- The Giants are 4-1 ATS in the past five road games at Washington.
TNF Best Bet: Washington Moneyline (-175) at BetMGM
Maybe I am going out on a limb here, but this will be the game in which the Football Team finally beat the Giants. The Giants are 5-0 in their past five games outright facing the Football Team. The last time the Football Team defeated the Giants was back on October 28 2018 in New York.
The Football Team’s pass-rush will ultimately put them over the top. While the Giants managed to weather the storm of one of the league’s elite front sevens last season and sweep the Football Team, this is now year two for that defense under HC Ron Rivera and DC Jack Del Rio. It is also Chase Young’s second year as a pro and he will be an even greater force than he showcased in 2020.
This game will be close, but in the end, look for the Football Team defense to make a play on Daniel Jones in a crucial situation and put the Giants away. The Giants only averaged 9.9 yards per play last week against Denver. The Football Team’s defense poses a greater challenge.
- The Football Team is 0-5 against the Giants in their past five meetings.
- Both the Giants and Football Team lost in Week 1.
- The Giants are 1-4 straight up in their past five games.
- The Football Team is 1-4 SU in their past five games.
- The Giants are 3-16 in the past 16 games in September.
- The Football Team is 4-12 SU in their past 16 games facing NFC East foes.