Giants Open as Big Home Underdogs vs. AFC Powerhouse

Brian Daboll

Getty New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll has his team off to a 4-1 start.

The New York Giants may be 4-1, but the oddsmakers in Las Vegas aren’t quite sold on them as proven winners just yet.

After taking down the Green Bay Packers, 27-22, in London on Sunday, the Giants opened as 5.5-point underdogs at home against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6.

This line came out before the Ravens played their Week 5 game, when they were still 2-2. Baltimore improved to 3-2 with a 19-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night, and as a result the line did not budge on Monday morning.

Here’s how the Giants have fared against the spread in each of their five games so far this season:

Week Opponent Spread Covered?
1 at Titans +5.5 Yes
2 vs. Panthers +1.0 Yes
3 vs. Cowboys -1.0 No
4 vs. Bears -3.0 Yes
5 vs. Packers (London) +9.0 Yes

The Giants have been underdogs in three of their five outings so far this season and have covered the spread four times. New York’s win over the Packers was one of the biggest — if not the biggest — upset of the 2022 NFL season so far.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the upcoming Giants-Ravens matchup to find out why New York is such a heavy underdog at home.

Giants vs. Ravens: Breaking Down the Week 6 Matchup

Offensively, the Ravens have a significant statistical advantage over the Giants. Baltimore ranks fourth in the NFL in scoring offense (27.6 points per game) and 14th in total offense (352.4 yards per game). By comparison, New York ranks 20th in scoring offense (20.6 points per game) and 23rd in total offense (333.2 yards per game).

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ranks second in the NFL behind only Buffalo’s Josh Allen with 12 touchdown passes on the season. He also leads the league with an average of 7.6 yards per rush attempt, making him one of the most dynamic players in football.

Meanwhile, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones only has three touchdown passes (and two rushing touchdowns) this season. New York will likely need another big performance from running back Saquon Barkley, who currently leads the NFL with 676 yards from scrimmage, in order to make up the difference. The Giants have the No. 2 rushing offense in the NFL (179.0 yards per game) behind the Cleveland Browns.

On defense, the Giants have the edge over the Ravens. New York ranks ninth in the NFL in scoring defense (18.6 points allowed per game) and 12th in total defense (326.0 yards allowed per game). Baltimore, on the other hand, ranks 17th in scoring defense (23.4 points allowed per game) and 28th in total defense (398.2 yards allowed per game).

The Wink Martindale Effect is in Full Display

The biggest reason why the Giants have seen significant year-over-year improvement on defense while the Ravens have experienced the exact opposite has to be the impact of Don “Wink” Martindale, who was in Baltimore from 2012-21 before making a lateral move to become New York’s defensive coordinator this offseason.

Martindale was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore for the entirety of Lamar Jackson’s tenure with the Ravens until this season. He has years of experience going up against Jackson’s offense in practice, and now the Giants are counting on him to translate that experience into a successful defensive game plan for next Sunday.

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