NFL oddsIt is difficult to bet against the New England Patriots when quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are working together. Earlier in the preseason it looked like the wheels might come off the Patriots perfectly constructed wagon. Tom Brady was speaking out in the media against the HBO show “Hard Knocks” which is completely unlike Brady and the Patriots lost last week to the St. Louis Rams.

The preseason loss to the Rams would not be so discouraging if it wasn’t for the fact that the first-string Patriots defense made rookie St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford look like a 10-year pro. If you are betting on NFL games this year that involve the Patriots, then their young and inexperienced starting defense has to be a concern.

The New York Giants have just come off of two tough preseason losses. The Pittsburgh Steelers squeaked past the Giants 24-17 two weeks ago, and last week the Baltimore Ravens pummeled the Giants 24-10. The concern in New York this season is the same as it always has been; the offense.

Eli Manning is paid like an elite quarterback, and he puts up impressive numbers each season but he always seems to have problems getting that 80-yard drive to seal a game that the Giants really need. Ever since the Giants lost their three-back attack at running back, Eli has looked questionable.

On defense it looks like the Giants have found yet another stud on the defensive line in rookie defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. He may not yet be able to affect pro games like he did college football betting, but working next to guys like Osi Yumeniora can only help the young man’s career.

The loss to the Rams was shocking to the Patriots and their fans. While it was only preseason, both first-string teams looked ineffective for New England. It is doubtful that a preseason loss to the Rams will affect the football betting action surrounding the Patriots this season, but it is something that the coaching staff noticed and they will look to make changes before the season starts.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may see limited action in this game if he plays at all, but first-string quarterback Eli Manning may play a couple of series in this game just to get warmed up. In the first preseason game against the New York Jets, Eli was hammered without his helmet on and had a gash in his forehead that required 12 stitches to close up. He has not been able to practice with a helmet on, and has not played since. Head coach Tom Coughlin may want to get Eli in this game a little bit just to get Eli some game playing time before the season starts.

The Patriots still have some second-string defensive players that could be first-string depending on how they play in this game. So, from a Patriots perspective, this game is very important. The Giants are pretty much set all around on their roster so, aside from a little more Eli than he may want to use, Tom Coughlin will probably use this game to determine who stays and who goes with Big Blue.

Pick: New England Patriots 35-20


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