The New York Giants visit the Arizona Cardinals in a 4:05pm ET game on Sunday (9/17/23) in week 2 of the 2023 NFL season. Both teams lost in week 1 and are looking to avoid an 0-2 hole.
The Giants are the betting favorites at -4 against the spread while the over/under is set at 40 points. This article provides Giants vs. Cardinals analysis, predictions and best bets and recommends the best bet in this game as Giants -4.
Giants vs. Cardinals Prediction & Best Bet
No team was more disappointing or suffered a more embarrassing defeat in week 1 than the New York Giants, who were dominated at home by the division rival Cowboys in a 40-0 loss on Sunday Night Football.
Many experts are expecting the Giants to regress in 2023 after exceeding expectations last year, and that game did little to change those opinions. A loss like that undoubtedly rang some alarm bells for the Giants, but it’s a bit too soon to panic after just 1 game. Crazy things can happen in week 1 that do not portend the outlook for the rest of the season.
Remember when Aaron Rodgers’ Packers lost 38-3 in week 1 of the 2021 season? They finished that season 13-4 and Rodgers won his second consecutive MVP. Last year the 49ers looked horrendous in week 1 when they lost to the lowly Bears, but they too finished 13-4 and won 2 playoff games before bowing out in the NFC Championship Game.
Each of those teams not only bounced back the following week, but did so with victories of 18 and 20 points, respectively. Daniel Jones is certainly no Aaron Rodgers, and the Giants do not have a defense like the 49ers had last year, but we expect them to bounce back and get a solid win this week over a Cardinals team that has one of the worst rosters in the NFL.
Arizona looked better than many expected in week 1, managing to play a close game on the road against Washington and cover the 7-point spread. Could they be like last year’s Falcons, a weak team with a bad record that manages to keep games close and cover a lot of spreads? Maybe, but we need to see more before we start labeling Jonathan Gannon’s squad as a weak but scrappy bunch.
Lost in the narrative of the Giants’ blowout loss was that their defense didn’t look terrible. The Cowboys scored 14 of their points on defensive and special teams touchdowns, and two of their offensive touchdowns came after the Giants turned it over on their own side of the field. The Giants ultimately allowed just 265 yards of offense (though that low number can also be attributed to game script), and only 1 touchdown drive longer than 50 yards.
Expect the Giants to lean on their defense and on Saquon Barkley in the ground game to control the pace of this game and limit the turnovers that plagued them in week 1. Against a much easier opponent than the Cowboys, they will look much more like the team that won a playoff game last year.
By playing solid defense and slowing things down with their rushing attack, the Giants will also limit the number of possessions in this game and keep the scoring down. That is going to be a recipe for the Giants to cover the -4 spread and keep the total under 40 points.
Giants vs. Cardinals Prediction & Best Bet: Giants win 24-13, Giants cover -4, under 40 total points
Giants vs. Cardinals Betting Odds
The betting odds in this game have not moved much off their opening lines. Some sportsbooks have briefly had the Giants as high as -6 but the odds have settled in at -4 across the board. It’s worth noting that the line has not dipped below -4 to approach the key number of 3, and we don’t expect that it will.
The over/under has been as low as 37.5 but is likely to close at 39.5 or 40 depending on the sportsbook.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Giants winning 22-18.
Giants vs. Cardinals Key Injuries
Adding injury to the insult of their week 1 loss, the Giants sustained quite a few injuries to key players in that game. All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas is trending towards missing this game with a hamstring, while star tight end Darren Waller remains questionable but is expected to play. Two other starters on defense – EDGE Azeez Ojulari and CB Deonte Banks – are also questionable and their status is worth monitoring.
The Cardinals also have three starters on defense on the injury report in L.J. Collier, Josh Woods and Leki Fotu. After missing Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, Collier and Woods are trending towards being out for this game.
Giants vs. Cardinals Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Giants vs. Cardinals below.
Giants’ offensive line vs. Cardinals’ defensive front
The Giants’ offensive line is the key to a bounce-back performance this week, especially if they’re going to lean on Barkley in the ground game. The status of Andrew Thomas is important to monitor here, as losing him for a week would be a big blow to both the run game and pass protection.
The Cardinals had a whopping six sacks on Sam Howell last week, but generated only 7 total pressures and a 17.9% pressure rate. Those numbers were in the bottom third of the league. The six sacks were a bit of a fluke, and a result of a young quarterback holding onto the ball too long.
Even if Andrew Thomas misses the game, the Giants should have the edge here, and if Thomas suits up then New York should be able to control the line of scrimmage on offense.
Marquise Brown vs. Deonte Banks
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is easily the Cardinals’ best weapon offensively and a threat to break the game open with a big play every time he touches the ball. New York remains weak in the secondary, especially if first-round pick Deonte Banks ends up missing this game.
Banks was the Giants’ highest graded cornerback in week 1 by a wide margin, and if he suits up he will likely draw the primary assignment on Brown. That is a tough assignment for a rookie corner, even a talented one like Banks.
If Josh Dobbs can connect with Brown on a big play at some point in this game, that could completely flip the script and give the Cardinals a much better chance to cover the spread.