Thursday Night Football Betting Preview

Giants at Washington

Thursday Night Football odds TNF line Washington Giants

Each week, TheLines will provide a daily betting breakdown and analysis for the upcoming Thursday Night Football game. We’ll look at the odds and see why they’re moving a certain way, along with breaking down the matchup and providing the week’s best prop bets.

The New York Giants and Washington Football Team will face off at FedExField for an NFC East showdown on Thursday night, Sept. 16. The game will mark the 179th meeting in a series that the Giants lead by a 105-69-4 margin. The most recent game between the teams unfolded in Week 9 of the 2020 season, with the Giants notching a 23-20 road victory.

Below we will look at the NFL betting line for Giants versus Washington and much more.

TNF betting odds and analysis

New York Giants at Washington Football Team – 8:20 p.m. ET

Both of these teams suffered season-opening losses, although there was a markedly different tenor to each game. The Giants looked hapless – for the most part – while enduring a double-digit home defeat against the Broncos, while Washington played the Chargers down to the wire before succumbing by a 20-16 score.

Nevertheless, this hasn’t resulted in any significant line movement toward Washington. The game opened with the WFT as standard 3-point home favorites and is currently WFT . The total is also unsurprisingly modest, with its current point figure making it the lowest of Week 2.

Some recent history and trends support both lines. Washington was just 3-6 straight up at home in 2020 with a net average point differential of -1.6 points in that sample, underscoring how consistently they played close games. The Giants have also covered the spread in each of their last 11 road games against division opponents and had a net point differential of just -2.5 in their eight road games. The two 2020 games between the teams – both New York wins – were decided by a total of just four points.

The tiny total for this game is also understandable when considering the two squads combined for just 29 points in their Week 1 losses. Additionally, the Giants only got to 13 points because Daniel Jones ran in a meaningless touchdown against Denver as time expired. Meanwhile, Washington lost starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the first half of the loss to Los Angeles with a hip injury that will sideline him for up to eight weeks. Taylor Heinicke did a serviceable job in his stead and will start Thursday, but the offensive expectations for Washington naturally take a hit without Fitzpatrick.

  • The Giants were 9-7 (56.2 percent) against the spread last season (0-1 in 2021), including 6-2 (75.0 percent) as a road team and 5-1 (83.3 percent) in division games. The Over was 3-13 (NFL-worst 18.8 percent) in New York’s games last season (0-1 in 2021), including 1-7 (12.5 percent) in its away games and 1-5 (NFL-low 16.7 percent) in its games against NFC East opponents.
  • Washington was 10-7 (58.8 percent) against the spread last regular season and postseason (0-1 in 2021), including 6-3 (66.7 percent) as a home team and 4-2 (66.7 percent) in division games. The Over was 6-11 (35.3 percent) in Washington’s regular-season and postseason games last season (0-1 in 2021), including 3-6 (33.3 percent) in its home games and 2-4 (33.3 percent) in its games against division opponents.

Live betting angles: New York Giants at Washington

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Giants vs. Washington game matchup

The Giants’ offense finished with an NFC-low 299.6 total yards per game in Jason Garrett’s first year as offensive coordinator in 2020. While the loss of Saquon Barkley for the season in Week 2 last year naturally carried plenty of weight in that poor ranking, Garrett’s recent track record calling plays – dating back to his final handful of seasons carrying that responsibility out for the Cowboys – doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

That’s why the team’s Week 1 lackluster showing – with Barkley back in the fold and logging 11 touches for 27 total yards – has to be worrisome for New York. The matchup against Washington’s stingy defense, that is capable of shutting down both the run and pass effectively, only adds to the concern. However, it’s worth noting that the Giants did manage to put up a respectable 43 combined points in their two contests against Ron Rivera’s squad last season.

New York can also garner some optimism from the fact the chemistry between Jones and new No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay should only get better with each passing game after the two connected on four occasions (six targets) for 64 yards versus the Broncos. Barkley should also be in for a heftier workload in Week 2 after head coach Joe Judge noted the star back would be eased into action in the opener. Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton also have well-established chemistry with Jones that can help make up for the fact that tight end Evan Engram will be missing his second straight contest due to a calf injury.

On the other side, Heinicke will look to keep up the mistake-free form he displayed in relief of Fitzpatrick on Sunday. The Old Dominion product does at least bring nine games of NFL experience to the table and knows how to run the team’s offense effectively. He also has the reliable trio of Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas at his disposal, not to mention the promising rookie Dyami Brown and sure-handed veteran Adam Humphries. The Giants couldn’t slow down Teddy Bridgewater and his group of playmakers in Week 1 and also surrendered a long run to Melvin Gordon late that put him over the 100-yard mark, so there certainly could be paths to success through both the ground and air for Washington.

Gibson could have a particularly key role in this matchup considering both his Week 1 usage and the Giants’ propensity for giving up receiving yardage to running backs a year ago. Gibson saw a hefty 20 carries versus the Chargers in the opener, and he also recorded three grabs after notching 36 catches during his rookie season. Meanwhile, New York allowed the fourth-most receptions to running backs (92) last season, including seven to Gibson in the two games between the division rivals.

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How to watch Thursday Night Football

The Thursday Night Football schedule is the most complex of the primetime NFL spots.

The first Thursday season opener doesn’t fall under the TNF title. Cowboys vs. Buccaneers in Week 1 was broadcast on NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET. And, the three-game Thanksgiving slate is carried by three different networks.

NFL Network broadcast the games in Weeks 2, 3 and 4. Then, starting in Week 5 with the matchup of the Rams vs. Seahawks, FOX NFL Network, and Amazon will simulcast the game.

Still with us? Each Thursday night game will begin at 8:20 p.m. Eastern, regardless of the network.

Games can be streamed on NFL Network, FOX Sports Go, Amazon Prime and Twitch. Additionally, NFL Network and FOX can be streamed on services such as Roku, PS4 and Xbox One.

Thursday Night Football betting tips

How to bet TNF like a sharp

Thursday Night Football condenses the practice week for coaches, decreases recovery time for players and limits opportunities for media members to uncover stories and create narratives. This unpredictability factor can help to level the sports-betting playing field.

Taking the most rested team is never a bad idea. You want the healthiest squad with the longest amount of preparation time since its last game.

Siding with the home team in what would otherwise be a pick’em doesn’t hurt, either. You want the team that’s spent the longest amount of time preparing in the proper city, not wasting what can be the better of a day traveling.

You want the healthiest side, as simple as that. Without a proper injury report, it can be tough to tell what level of health players will be at when gearing up to play in a big primetime spot. Don’t expect a player who left a game Sunday to return in elite form by Thursday. He’ll more than likely be a decoy.

Don’t fall into the public opinion trap of TNF always being a lousy game. It’s still one of only 16 games those two teams will play all year and most of them generally need to win. Coaches will do the best with what they have, and plenty of players (Hello, Nick Mullens!) have burst onto the scene with strong games while filling in for an injured starter.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does Thursday Night Football start?

The true 2021 Thursday Night Football will start with the New York Giants taking on the Washington Football Team.

How to stream Thursday Night Football?

TNF can be streamed live on NFL Network, FOX Sports Go, Amazon Prime and Twitch. NFL Network and FOX can also be streamed through services such as Roku, PS4 and Xbox One.

What is the highest-scoring Thursday Night Football game ever?

The Los Angeles Rams defeated the San Francisco 49ers 41-39 in Week 3 of the 2017 campaign in the highest-scoring TNF game of all time.

Who are the TNF announcers?

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will return to broadcast TNF. Mike Pereira serves as the rules analyst with Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink working the sidelines. The same broadcast airs on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon.

Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer made history in 2018 as the first all-woman NFL broadcast team as an alternate stream for Amazon Prime viewers.

Who was the original Thursday Night Football broadcast crew?

The original TNF broadcast crew for NFL Network in 2006 was Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth.

Retired Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo memorably joined Jim Nantz for CBS’ final year of TNF coverage in 2017.

Who sings the Thursday Night Football theme song?

FOX and NFL Network air their own instrumental themes to begin the coverage, unlike the SNF and MNF primetime spots.