New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers MNF Odds & Free Pick

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Date: 
November 22, 8:15 PM EST
Location:
TV:

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
NYG +11/TB -11
Total: 
49.5

The New York Giants come down to Raymond James Stadium to take on the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. Tampa is coming off one their more-puzzling losses of the Tom Brady era—a 29-19 loss to Washington on Sunday. With that being their second loss in a row, one would expect them to approach this game with more hunger than normal, taking on a 3-6 Giants team. The Giants haven't been looking that bad, however, and on Sunday they handed the Raiders a 23-16 loss. Who can get the cover in Tampa on MNF?

What's Going On?

It's a bit strange for a contender to be taking on a doormat when the it's the contender who has dropped consecutive games and the doormat who has won two out of three, but such is the case this Monday. Tampa is smarting from consecutive double-digit losses. Teams are running a little easier on the Tampa run-stop. Tom Brady has multi-pick games the last two weeks. The aerial game has cooled off and Leonard Fournette isn't producing like he was earlier in the season. Maybe it's a little funk they're in or perhaps it's indicative of some larger issues. One possible one is injuries, as their defense has been hit hard, especially in the secondary.

Not that wins over the Raiders and Panthers, along with a razor-close loss to KC makes the Giants a lot more than we thought of them, but they're making progress. They've been getting more out of a defense that has given up a combined 36 points in their last three games. They haven't been bad running the ball and getting Saquon Barkley (questionable) could give that part of their game a big boost. QB Daniel Jones looks to start connecting more with a receiving crew that is really the envy of many teams. They just need to get more aerial production with Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard (questionable), Darius Slayton, and Kadarius Toney. Maybe against a Tampa pass-defense that seems to be getting worse over the course of the season, this is a spot where they can make something happen.

Problematic Spot for the Giants

If the Bucs were just cruising along without much incident, you could almost make the case for some Tampa apathy with a seemingly unthreatening Giants team coming into town for a difficult road-spot. Coming off two straight losses with some alarm bells sounding, it's unlikely the Giants will receive any such courtesy this week. At 6-1, the Buccaneers looked like the class of the conference. Another slip-up and they'd be sitting at 6-4, a struggling team on the verge of blowing it. A win puts them back on the right track at 7-3, a much rosier proposition. In a long season, there are a lot of ups and downs that are hard to predict. But if looking to identify a midseason high-energy spot for a defending Super Bowl Champion, this would seem to be a pretty good candidate.

Tampa's Problems Can Be Fixed

It's important to consider the mental state of a defending champion after they get off to a fast start. Maybe a little let-up is to be expected. Even last season, they're not the kind of team that will be shot out of a cannon every week. This Tampa team is never going to be one of those good teams that puts together a 14-win regular season. But since Brady came into the fold last season, they've usually been able to deliver in these fork-in-the-road games in the middle of the season where they need to plug the leak in the boat. And facing one of those scenarios this week could be hard on the Giants.

Giants vs. Bucs Prediction AYS 11/22/21

I think the recent Bucs slide could be a little mental, with a lot of mistakes and turnovers helping things get a little ragged in the last few games. I'd expect that to get at least partially cleaned up, with some more pointed urgency being evident for this game. Tampa should be able to render the Giants a bit one-dimensional. And if looking to have an aerial slugfest, Tampa has a pronounced advantage. I see this manifesting on MNF with the Bucs cruising home with the win and cover. I'll take the Buccaneers.

Free Pick: 
Take Tampa Bay -11