Much of the drama in Sunday’s second preseason game for the New York Giants, which starts at 7 p.m. against the Cincinnati Bengals, will be when the moment when the starters take the field.
That’s when we’ll know exactly what Giants coach Brian Daboll and his staff decided to do with their regular starters — and perhaps whether taking New York -5.5 points was a smart move.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds for this one:
Bengals at Giants, 7 p.m. Sunday
TV: WNYT, NFL Network (blacked out in Capital Region)
THE LINE (from Caesars Sportsbook): Bengals +5.5 (-110); Giants -5.5 (-110)
MONEY LINE: Giants -240; Bengals +200
ANALYSIS: Daboll originally said that the Giants starters would see quite a bit of action in this game, including quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. They both played sparingly in New York’s preseason opener, a 23-21 win over the New England Patriots but were expected to see more time here.
That is, of course, until Daboll partially reversed course Friday, saying that because of injuries along the offensive line, he would revisit with his staff the wisdom of using skill position players in a game where they could get hurt behind a makeshift line.
The betting line, which opened at Giants -3 and had moved significantly upon news of New York’s starters playing significant minutes, didn’t react much to Daboll’s statement Friday. Some books had the line as high as -6 and have moved back a half-point, but the Giants are still significant favorites.
Part of that is because the Bengals aren’t likely to play starters at all, particularly because quarterback Joe Burrow is still recovering from an emergency appendectomy. Cincinnati lost its preseason opener 36-23 against the Arizona Cardinals as 1.5-point favorites. The Bengals are 2-6 straight up and 3-5 against the spread since Zac Taylor took over as head coach in 2019.
Last week’s win over the Patriots was Daboll’s first preseason game as a head coach. The Giants didn’t cover the 3-point spread, but Daboll did have a strong track record in the preseason as an offensive coordinator in Buffalo, which was 9-2 both straight up and against the spread during his preseasons there from 2018-21.