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The NFL's Week 8 slate wraps up in the Big Apple on Monday night as the 5-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will battle the 1-6 New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants lead the all-time series, 16-7 (which includes one postseason meeting), including seven out of the last eight and a thrilling one-point win in Week 3 last year.
That win marked the beginning of the Daniel Jones era in New York. The then-rookie quarterback took over for Eli Manning in his first career start, engineering a comeback victory that ended with a missed Bucs field goal to end the game.
This Is 40
Tom Brady and the Bucs have reeled off two straight wins to climb to the top of the NFC South, winning by a combined 53 points in blowouts of the Packers and Raiders. A potent offense will get even more dangerous soon, but Antonio Brown's Tampa Bay debut will have to wait one more week when they host the Saints in primetime on Sunday night in Week 9.
The Bucs will be without Chris Godwin against the Giants after he broke a finger on a touchdown reception against Las Vegas. He's the only Tampa Bay player with an injury designation and is expected back next week to give Brady his full arsenal in that key divisional game against New Orleans.
Not The Same Giants
Sure, the last two times Brady has faced the Giants, his teams (the Patriots) came out on the winning end, but Super Bowls XLII and XLVI will always be part of the narrative when he faces New York.
This year's iteration lost Saquon Barkley to an ACL injury early on in the season. The Giants' lone win so far came by the slimmest of margins when Washington decided to go for a two-point conversion (which failed) instead of the tie at the end of the game in Week 6.
The Giants will be without Devonta Freeman, who leads the team in rushing now with Barkley out, but wideout Sterling Shepard will battle through a turf toe injury to give it a go.
Betting Line and Pick
Tampa Bay is a heavy favorite in this one, laying 12.5 points on the road, the biggest road favorites of the card this week. The over/under Monday night is 45.
The Giants are 4-3 ATS this season, including a cover last Thursday against the Eagles (a game they should have won), but they are 0-3 against the number at MetLife.
The Bucs rank third in the NFL in scoring at 31.7 points per game, and the Giants have allowed 37 and 36 points to the Cowboys and 49ers, respectively, Expect more of the same in a blowout.
There is look-ahead potential in this one for Tampa Bay, with the Saints looming next week coupled with the fanfare that will surround the debut of Brown, but the fact that this one is on Monday night benefits the Bucs.
Pick: Tampa Bay -12.5