The #NYGiants are in bad injury shape to kick off #NFL Week 3 on Thursday night as they visit the San Francisco 49ers, who still haven’t lost a regular-season game under second-year QB Brock Purdy. Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley leads Giants players ruled out so San Francisco almost surely will close as at least a 10-point home favorite and might even get to -11.
That’s possible bad news for Big Blue backers as since 2005 double-digit underdogs on Thursdays (also includes Thanksgiving, etc.) have gone only 12-21 against the spread. Since 2015, those DD dogs are 0-13 SU and 5-8 ATS.
In addition, underdogs of at least 7 points are 0-5 straight up so far this season, losing on average by 15 points per game. Need another reason to fade New York? QB Daniel Jones is 1-10 all-time at night, the worst primetime record of any QB with at least 10 starts since 1970.
Barkley had a career 2022 season in leading the Giants to the playoffs for the first time in 2016. Players tend to have career years when they are entering a contract year, which the former NFL Rookie of the Year was. Teams don’t generally give running backs long-term extensions these days, and the Giants weren’t going to do that with Barkley’s injury history so they slapped the franchise tag on him. He has played every regular season game just once and that was his rookie year. Barkley could have done so last year but sat out a meaningless Week 18 game. Otherwise, he hasn’t played more than 13 games in any other season and his ankle injury may be a multi-week thing.
This year, Barkley has 29 carries for 114 yards and a TD and has caught nine passes for 41 yards and a score. In his career, Jones has a passer rating of 90.4 in games Barkley plays and 77.3 in those he doesn’t. New York also will be without three other starters in left tackle Andrew Thomas, left guard Ben Bredeson and pass-rusher Azeez Ojulari. Jones is 0-7 career as a double-digit underdog, the most without a win by any active QB.
San Francisco’s 12-game regular-season winning streak is No. 2 in franchise history behind 15 straight from 1989-90. Brock Purdy is 7-0 in his regular-season career and only three other QBs since 1950 have started 8-0. Purdy could have plenty of time Thursday as the Giants are the only team in the league without a QB sack. Ojulari had 5.5 sacks last year in seven games.
The #Niners have five straight 30-point games in the regular season, tied for the longest in team history. Christian McCaffrey has scored at least one scrimmage TD in 11 straight games, one shy of the team record set by Jerry Rice. These teams haven’t met since 2020 and have split 42 all-time meetings including playoffs.