The New York Giants open up their preseason schedule as they host the Carolina Panthers on Monday in a game televised by ESPN.
The Giants are three-point NFL betting favorites with a total of 32.5. Monday’s game is a rematch of last season’s regular season contest that determined the #1 seed in the NFC. Both teams are coming off disappointing playoff results from last year but they enter the 2009 NFL season as two of the favorites to win the Super Bowl in online football betting.
Carolina has won six of the all-time preseason meetings against the Giants. The teams have met five times in the preseason in the last seven years. They did not meet last year in the preseason but two years ago it was Carolina winning 24-21. New York is 32-24-3 in preseason openers since 1950. Last season the Giants won both of their preseason home games in NFL betting.
The Giants are led by quarterback Eli Manning who threw for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns last year. He became the first Giants quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards and 20 TD’s in four straight seasons. New York returns running back Brandon Jacobs but they will have to do without Derrick Ward who left for Tampa Bay. Look for Ahmad Bradshaw to get a lot of work in the preseason. On defense, New York will welcome back defensive end Osi Umenyiora this season. He should greatly improve a pass rush that was sixth in the league a year ago. Some of the focus for the Giants in the NFL betting preseason will be on the receiving corps as they look to replace Plaxico Burress. First round pick Hakeem Nicks and Derek Hagan are the two leading contenders. Quarterback Eli Manning won’t play long on Monday so look for a lot of second string quarterback David Carr, third stringer Andre Woodson and rookie Rhett Bomar.
The Panthers are hoping that quarterback Jake Delhomme can bounce back from last year’s playoff implosion against Arizona when he threw six interceptions. Delhomme should play a few series on Monday followed by Josh McCown and Matt Moore. Wide receiver Steve Smith probably won’t play in this NFL betting matchup due to injury but he is recovering quicker than expected and it now looks like he will be ready for the regular season opener.