Giants vs Patriots NFL betting picks and predictions: Can Danny Dimes cash as big dog in New England?

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It’s Danny Dimes versus the GOAT. Yup, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones faces his toughest test as a pro, as the Giants travel to Foxboro to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots to open Week 6. The Giants are big 17-point road underdogs and it won’t help matters that Jones will be without his top offensive weapons for this one. From the opening kickoff to the final whistle, we break down the best ways to wager the odds for the NFL Thursday nighter.



Tell us if you’ve heard this one before. The Patriots are undefeated. Not only are the defending Super Bowl champions undefeated, they may have one of their all around strongest teams to date, particularly on the defensive side of the ball where they rank first in the NFL defensive DVOA.

But this is a Tom Brady team, so you know the offense is going to be good as well. And it has been, ranking eighth in offensive DVOA. And Brady and the Pats have been getting off to good starts this season. New England leads the NFL in first quarter scoring at 9.2 per contest and have opened the scoring with a touchdown in four of their five games.

A Giants defense that ranks 30th in total defense probably won’t put up much resistance in this one.

Pick: First Score – Patriots TD (+125)


When big numbers are staring you in the face like this one, sometimes the first-half spread is the way go. Particularly when you have a team like the Pats. New England has a +13.6 first-half margin, and have only allowed 10 first half points all season long.

While Danny Dimes burst onto the scene with big games against Tampa Bay and Washington, those were not exactly tough defenses. Last week, Jones finally had to go up against a team that was competent on that side of the ball, and it didn’t go well. The Vikings defense held Jones to 21-38 passing for 182 yards with a touchdown and a pick in a 28-10 home loss. Minnesota was also to keep Jones in the pocket and didn’t allow him any room to run.

Take the Patriots to head into half with a double-digit lead.

Pick: Patriots -10 First Half Spread


Keep an eye on the weather forecast for this one, it could get a little slick. There is a fairly high percentage of precipitation all through the game and that could play right into the Patriots game plan. Bill Belichick is the master of making offenses uncomfortable and you can bet Jones will feel that way at some point in this one.

Not only will Jones have to deal with one of the best defenses in the league, but it will also be his first pro game dealing with a wet ball. And while the Danny Dimes love is high right now, he has already committed five turnovers in his first three games, and the Patriots lead the NFL in takeaways with 12, turning three of those turnovers into scores.

The matchup combined with the wet weather could lead to ample chances for the Pats opportunistic defense to run one back.

Pick: Special Team or Defensive TD Scored – Yes (+225)


Fun stat. The Patriots are third in the league in points per game at 31 per contest, but have only cashed one Over this season. That’s how good the defense has been. They are allowing less than seven points against per game and have only given up two offensive touchdowns all season. Belichick is known for taking away a team’s best weapon. And for the Giants, with star back Saquon Barkley and stud tight end Evan Engram on the shelf for this one, that would be Jones. It’s just really hard to envision where the Giants’ points are going to come from with Jones seemingly all by himself.

This is a really good number, but the Patriots should remain committed to the run in this one (even though their yards per carry isn’t the greatest) and that should shorten the game as well.

Pick: Under 41


The Patriots have already been -14 or greater favorites three times this season, going 2-1 ATS in those games. They throttled Miami as 18-point faves, then took their foot off the gas against the Jets as 20.5-point chalk. And then, just last week covered fairly easily against Washington. So, it’s hard to know what to expect from them here.

But if there is one stat that could maybe sway the way you are leaning, it could be this. Belichick is 11-0 SU and 7-4 ATS when facing rookie quarterbacks at home since 2000. Mix in Jones’ turnover troubles and an opportunistic Pats defense and the home side is the one you should be if you feel inclined to take a side.

Pick: Patriots -17

Longshots to consider when betting the Shoemaker Mile

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Monday’s Shoemaker Miles Stakes at Santa Anita Park is a great race for a number of reasons. For starters, the Shoemaker Mile is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” race that offers the winner a guaranteed spot in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.

Watch the Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 25 from 6-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and the NBC Sports app.

The race also features last year’s Preakness Stakes winner, War of Will, making his season debut. Despite his triumphs on the dirt in 2019, War of Will started his career on the turf and his pedigree suggests that he’s very likely to be just as successful on the grass. That said, the Shoemaker Mile will be his first start off of a six-month break, and I’m going to try to take a swing or two with some horses who could upset the apple cart at longer odds.

Let’s start out with the horse on the rail, Without Parole. He won the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes going a mile at Ascot back in 2018. His three other career wins have all came at this mile distance as well. Granted, he hasn’t won in six races since the St. James’s Palace but he did finish a fast-closing third two starts ago in a much tougher U.S. debut in the TVG Breeders’ Cup MileIrad Ortiz Jr. rode Without Parole in that race and he will reclaim the mount on him again on Monday.

Without Parole has only had one race this year and it was in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in which he finished second to last. However, he had several excuses right from the start of that race when he got squeezed coming out of the gate. He also raced in traffic throughout and got cut off several times in the stretch before Frankie Dettori — who had come from Europe to ride him at Gulfstream — finally just wrapped up on him. The Pegasus World Cup Turf also was a race that didn’t allow him to run on Lasix (furosemide) after he’d shown significant improvement racing on Lasix for the first time at the Breeders’ Cup.

Stream the 2020 Shoemaker Mile live here

How much of a factor might Lasix be for some horses? Well, let’s next look at the horse who finished last in the Pegasus World Cup Turf: Next Shares. In his following start (back on Lasix) in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes, Next Shares finished third (beaten just a neck) to River Boyne. Both Next Shares and River Boyne return in the Shoemaker Mile and I prefer the former as a pace play who has plenty of back-class. If you rewatch the Kilroe Mile, Next Shares covered a lot more ground than River Boyne. With a similar effort, Next Shares could certainly turn the tables.

The other thing to like about Next Shares is that his trainer, Richard Baltas, has entered speedster Neptune’s Storm in the Shoemaker Mile. That horse, along with Voodoo Song, should ensure a very brisk pace up front — they’ll also be kept honest by Blitzkrieg and War of Will, both of whom usually race on or near the lead. All of that speed adds up to good news for Next Shares. He’s a Grade 1 winner who has always done his best running when he’s had some pace to run into. The other two keys for him (like all stalking or closing-type runners) is clear running room late, and hopefully he’ll get that with Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez taking the mount.

Lastly, we should take a look at True Valour. It’s hard to make much of an excuse for his flat finish in the Kilroe last out, but he’s truly performed better than what his results on paper might indicate. In the Thunder Road Stakes in February, he looked pretty keen early and it took him a few strides to settle down without throwing his head around and fighting his rider. Turning for home, it was clear that jockey Andrea Atzeni had plenty of horse under him but was just waiting for some running room. It ended up coming too late because River Boyne was in a better spot and had already taken command. True Valour did split horses nicely in the closing stages and was half a jump away from finishing second.

If you go back to the Breeders’ Cup Mile, True Valour had excuses there, too. He was up on heels early and he again took a little bit of time to settle down into a comfortable stride. Then, turning for him, he was just waiting for running room but instead got stuck behind a wall of horses. True Valour ended up steadying pretty badly and lost all chance at that point. I’m a little worried about how headstrong he tends to be early in races, but there’s a scenario here that could have at least two horses battling for the lead early and opening up some daylight on the rest of the field. That means he’ll be less likely to be running up on anyone’s heels and it also ensures that he’ll have a nice setup. Whether he can navigate clear passage late in the race is a separate matter.

Longshot Selections

#1 Without Parole

#3 Next Shares

#2 True Valour

Watch the Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 25 from 6-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and the NBC Sports app.

How to bet an exacta on a horse race

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Betting an exacta can present a challenge on several levels.

There is, of course, the primary need to analyze past performances and decide which horses are going to finish first and second.

Yet because of the inherently lower payoffs as opposed to what you’ll find in a Pick 3 or Pick 4, you’ll need to structure your wagers effectively in order to turn your selections into a profitable wager.

For starters, an exacta can be a simple wager. If you like two horses equally, you can just box them in the exacta and collect so long as they finish 1-2 in any order. If you like one of them a little more, you can then bet more on the one you prefer, say $10 on a 1-2 exacta and $5 on 2-1.

If you’re a little more uncertain, make sure you structure your bet around the size of the field and the probable payoffs.

If you like a longshot, the higher probable payoffs give you the cushion you need to wager on more combinations and still turn a nice profit.

But if you’re dealing with favorites or horses at relatively low odds, you have to wager more efficiently to preserve your profit.

In a field of six or less, you’re best to either focus on one horse or box two of them instead of boxing three or more horses because of the small payouts the bet will most likely generate.

In a field of seven, a wise strategy would be to box your top two choices and then, if you are worried about other horses, play them top and/or bottom other the other horses. For example, box 1-2, then bet 1-2 over 3-4 and 3-4 over 1-2. This way you are getting coverage on four horses without having to box them.

Once you get an eight-horse field, as long as there is not an overwhelming favorite, you can expand the number of horses you box since the payoffs will typically be higher, giving you a better opportunity to offset the inevitable array of losing tickets in a boxed wager.