We now have one week of NFL football in the books. Week 2 begins on Thursday night when the Washington Football Team hosts the New York Giants. The Giants are three-point underdogs and the total sits at 40.5 at BetMGM.
With one week worth of data, we now have more information in terms of how teams want to play and which players are more involved than others. Here are three props I'd look at for Thursday night.
It's a make-or-break season for Jones, as the Giants try to figure out if the third-year quarterback has what it takes to succeed in the league.
When looking at the box score for the opener, it doesn't appear that Jones performed poorly. He threw for 267 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He added 27 yards and a score on the ground. However, a deeper look will make clear that Jones' opener was salvaged by garbage-time production.
Of Jones' 267 passing yards, 113 came in the fourth quarter after the Broncos already had a three-score lead. Jones mustered just seven points of offense against Denver before scoring a completely meaningless touchdown with no time left on the clock.
BetMGM has the over/under for Jones' passing yards set at 229.5 yards on Thursday. Last season, Jones went over this mark just five times in 14 games.
It's not an easy matchup for Jones on Thursday, as Washington ranked second in pass defense DVOA last season, according to FootballOutsiders. With the total set at just 40.5 on Thursday, oddsmakers are expecting a low-scoring affair in which the offenses struggle to move the ball. I'd go under on Jones throwing for 229.5 yards.
Gibson enters his second season, and there's been a lot of hype about the young running back. Over the offseason, Ron Rivera says he envisioned Gibson having a similar role to the one Christian McCaffrey played for Rivera in Carolina.
In Week 1, Gibson might not have had quite the role McCaffrey did, but it's trending in the right direction. He was on the field for over 65% of Washington's offensive snaps. He received 20 of the 23 running back rushing attempts for the Football Team while also getting five of the six running back targets.
With Taylor Heinicke now the starting quarterback in Washington, it wouldn't be surprising to see them rely even more heavily on Gibson. Last season, J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber vultured key touches from Gibson. Based on what we heard Rivera say in the offseason and based on his usage in the opener, those days might be in the rear-view mirror.
Currently at BetMGM, the over/under for rushing attempts for Gibson on Thursday is set at 15.5 attempts. I'd definitely lean over. I'd also lean Gibson to go over 67.5 rushing yards as a result. I also don't mind laying a little juice and betting on Gibson to score a touchdown at anytime, which is currently -125 at BetMGM.
Heading into the season, we wondered what Washington's receiving core would look like. Terry McLaurin was obviously the No. 1 receiver, but behind that, the picture was murky. Things cleared up a little when Curtis Samuel was placed on injured reserve last week. Nevertheless, we still didn't know who the No. 2 receiver was behind McLaurin.
In Week 1, Dyami Brown was on the field for 51 of Washington's 55 offensive snaps. Adam Humphries was on the field for just 33 snaps while Cam Sims, Dax Milne and DeAndre Carter were basically non-factors. The verdict? Dyami Brown, the rookie out of North Carolina, is the clear cut No. 2 receiver in Washington.
I'm not saying this is an extremely fruitful role for Brown, but he will be on the field almost all game. The Giants did a good job of shutting down Courtland Sutton in Week 1, so maybe they neutralize McLaurin as well. The Giants allowed secondary options like Tim Patrick and Albert Okwuegbunam to find the end zone for Denver in Week 1.
Brown is currently sitting at +450 to score a touchdown on Thursday night. Based on his role, I don't mind throwing a few shekels on Brown at this price.
Stats from FootballOutsiders.com and PFF.com