NFL Week 1 Predictions: Panthers vs. Giants Vegas Odds & NFL Picks: Two teams looking toward the NFC playoffs in the 2010 NFL predictions season meet in a head-to-head NFL week 1 picks battle as the Carolina Panthers travel to the new Meadowlands Stadium to face the New York Giants in the first ever game at the new $1 billion dollar stadium. The Las Vegas odds have placed the Giants as 7-point NFL predictions favorite as the home team, but this could be a trap game for the sports betting public. The Giants had a difficult time against the spread (ATS) in the 2009 NFLpicks season, especially at home, going 2-5. The Panthers, on the other hand, have a 6-3 NFL predictions record as a road underdog ATS.
Last year, the New York Giants ended their NFL predictions season losing 41-9 at the old Meadowlands. That meltdown led to the firing of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s defensive coaches, and the Giants are looking for a rebound in the 2010 NFL picks season. Against the Panthers, New York will need a stout performance from its defensive line and linebackers to stop Carolina’s powerful running game. This unit underperformed in 2009 and they’ll need defensive ends Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka to have good games on Sunday. The Giants will need linebackers such as Keith Bulluck and Michael Boley to also hold-up strong against the run as Carolina averaged 156 yards per game in 2009. The Panthers feature a new quarterback this NFL predictions season in Matt Moore and the Giants will want to pressure the young quarterback with outside rushes from Tuck and Kiwanuka. In the secondary, young cornerback Terrell Thomas will match-up against the Panthers’ Steve Smith. The Giants have active safeties that make plays so the cornerbacks will get help as they try and bait Moore into throwing interceptions.
On offense, the Giants are a team in transition. In years past, they relied on a power running game but, during the 2009 NFL predictions season, the team morphed into a passing offense. Eli Manning threw for more than 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns with a primary receiver in the “other” Steve Smith, who caught more than 100 balls. Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks will also test the secondary of the Panthers. In 2009, bruising halfback Brandon Jacobs had an off-year and Ahmad Bradshaw has taken-up more of the slack. Bradshaw is a different style running back and seems a better suit for this more spread-style offense. The Panthers, who allowed their best defensive player Julius Peppers to walk as a free agent this NFL picks season, will break-in a new defensive line and they will need to put pressure on Manning. The Panthers do have a strong group of linebackers this 2010 NFL predictions season in Jon Beason and Dan Conner, who could control the Giants ground game, but the secondary has questions all over the field and Manning will exploit this unit. If the Giants do not pass for over 200 yards and 2 TDs, this NFL week 1 picks match-up will be a disappointment.
The Giants should cover the NFL spread but the memory of last year’s NFL picks contest casts a shadow over this game so proceed with caution.
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