The New England Patriots will enter the regular season without starting quarterback Tom Brady, and they are already showing future opponents they will be a team to be reckoned with in the first four games regardless of that fact.
New England backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been solid through the first three exhibition games in preparation to be the starter in Brady's absence following a four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal.
Garoppolo did not have his best game of the preseason in a 19-17 win over the Carolina Panthers last week, but the team's other two signal-callers played well.
Brady saw his first action since last season, making his debut and throwing for 76 yards and one touchdown. Meanwhile, rookie Jacoby Brissett went a perfect 9-of-9 for 85 yards and a score.
Garoppolo was 9-of-15 for 57 yards, his lowest total in the first three games. Brissett, a third-round draft pick from North Carolina State, will likely see most of the snaps against New York, though, as the Patriots try to keep their top players healthy.
The Giants won their third preseason game 21-20 over the Jets, but before that, they had been outscored 48-10 in consecutive losses to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. With quarterback Eli Manning getting the preseason opener off, backup Ryan Nassib struggled in a 27-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins with just 75 yards and two interceptions.
Regardless, they will complete the exhibition slate versus all AFC East teams as small betting favorites and have enjoyed a lot of recent success against New England in particular.
According to the Odds Shark NFL Database, New York has covered the spread in the past five meetings with the Patriots (regular season and playoffs) and in eight of 10 despite winning just five of them straight up.
The under is 7-3 during that stretch and 5-1 in the previous six preseason matchups between the teams. The Giants are 8-3 SU and 6-3-2 ATS in the last 11 preseason games versus New England.