It’s definitely been an up-and-down start to the season for Geno Smith and his Seattle Seahawks after a surprisingly competitive 2022 campaign. After a middling performance against an equally middling Panthers defense, Smith will be looking to bounce back in week four on Monday Night Football as the Seahawks take a trip across the country to face the New York Giants. With the opportunity looming for the Seahawks to launch themselves into a stretch of wins, let’s take a look at some Geno Smith player props for this week’s edition of Monday Night Football.
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The Giants defense has had a rough start to the year, but having played top opponents like the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, it’s hard to say how bad the unit really is. That being said, Joshua Dobbs and the Arizona Cardinals also had a nice day against the Giants, so let’s see if Smith can have a big performance too.
Geno Smith Over 247.5 Passing Yards (-115)
As much as this has to do with believing in Smith and his ability to get the ball downfield, it’s also about game flow. We’ve seen the Giants offense look completely lost in two of their three games this season, but those were of course against the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, two of the best defenses in the entire league. Against the Arizona Cardinals, they were productive for a solid chunk of the game and staged an impressive comeback.
As it turns out, the Cardinals are a semi-competitive club, as they’ve even won a game, and fought hard almost every time out. Their per-play expected points added (EPA) against the pass is pretty much the same as the Seahawks, a little better even. The point here is that the Giants will be able to stay in this game, meaning that the Seahawks will need to continue scoring, and will keep going back to the pass all game long. The Seahawks also run the 10th-fastest offense in the league by seconds per snap, while the Giants are about average, so there should be plenty of snaps, drives, and opportunities for Smith to accumulate yardage.
New York’s own pass defense is pretty dismal, so when Smith does go to the air, they will give him the opportunity to have a lot of success. They’re third from the bottom in terms of per-snap EPA allowed against the pass, ahead of only the Broncos and Bears, and well below the next couple of worst teams, which is a group that includes Seattle themselves.
On top of it all, Smith is working with one of the better receiving groups in the league, ranked fourth by PFF, headlined by veteran stars DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, with high-upside rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba waiting to break out. If Seattle ends up locked in a shootout with one of the softest past defenses in the league, that could be exactly what happens, and Smith has a great chance to go off as well.
Geno Smith Longest Completion Over 36.5 Yards (-110)
Smith’s duo of star receivers isn’t just an excellent one, they’re specifically geared towards making big plays. Metcalf is currently 13th in the NFL in average depth of target with a figure of 14.7, while the speedy Lockett is in 32nd with an even 13.0, tied with fellow speed demons Jaylen Waddle and Tutu Atwell.
Geno is also very well equipped to make these downfield throws, as he accumulated the fourth best big time throw rate of any qualified passer in the league last season He hasn’t been in the same category this season, but he has completed passes of 28 and 34 yards to Metcalf already, and a few 30+ yard bombs to less-expected threats.
The one game where Smith didn’t hit Metcalf for a big gain was the one against the Rams, one of the most zone-reliant teams in the league. This makes them perfect to handle the highly physical Metcalf, who crushes man coverage; he’ll love facing Wink Martindale’s Giants defense, one of the highest users man-to-man defense in the league.
With the depth of routes that these two receivers have been running, there’s no question that their big play numbers should pick up soon, and a date with this Giants defense is a perfect opportunity for just that
Geno Smith Over 0.5 Interceptions (+135)
Very simply put, when you’re throwing often and deep, as we’ve established that Smith and the Seahawks should be doing, you’re opening yourself up to the risk of interceptions unless you do so with incredible precision every single time. It also helps to have a stout offensive line to help alleviate pressure, which forces mistakes, and the Seahawks’ banged-up unit is not exactly sturdy.
Last season, Smith had the highest turnover worthy play rate when blitzed, which could be an issue this week. The Giants are the second-most blitz-heavy team in the league with a 53.1% blitz rate this year after leading the league in that category with a figure below 40%, and Martindale is sure to know Smith’s tendencies, so you can imagine that they’ll ratchet up the pressure even more this week.
Smith has also been graded with four turnover worthy plays so far this season, but has only thrown a single interception. He’s definitely due for regression; he threw 11 picks last year, and will not keep up this pace, especially in an air-heavy game against the Giants’ makeshift secondary. At +135 odds, this wager is simply too much value to ignore, and should be on your ticket for this Monday Night Football matchup.