(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
The first quarter of the NFL season wraps up when the New York Giants play host to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
It's a big game for the injury-riddled Giants (1-2), who face road games at Miami and Buffalo the next two weeks. For the Seahawks (2-1), it's an opportunity to continue to build momentum with a third consecutive victory after dropping their season opener.
Seattle opened as a 1.5-point favorite and the line had moved to 2.5 by Monday afternoon with the Seahawks backed by 79 percent of the spread-line bets and 75 percent of the money at BetMGM. Their -125 moneyline has also been popular, drawing 61 and 70 percent of the action, respectively.
The same line at BetRivers has seen Seattle supported by 75 percent of the spread-line bets and 61 percent of the money.
This is almost a must-win game for the Giants considering their record and upcoming schedule. It's also a tough matchup minus arguably their best two offensive players in running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring).
The Seahawks have their own injury concerns along the offensive line, which could leave them exposed in pass protection, but look for the backfield duo of Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet to help control field position.
Prediction: Seahawks 23, Giants 20
Walker scoring a touchdown at any point during Monday night's game (-110) has been the most popular player prop at BetMGM, behind only Walker at 600 to score the first touchdown. The second-year back has reached the end zone twice in consecutive games.
The Giants' ground game has been gashed for an average of 138 yards per game on 4.2 yards per carry, with opponents already racking up six rushing touchdowns.
The Giants have had 10 days off following a 30-12 loss at San Francisco in which they had just 150 yards of total offense.
The Seahawks have won their past two games, including a 37-27 decision against visiting Carolina last week. Walker III was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns and adding 59 yards on three receptions.
"Ken is out there just juking guys and making guys miss left and right," Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith said.
The Seahawks are 28-12 on Monday nights, the highest winning percentage (.700) in the league. They're 33-14-1 in prime-time games under coach Pete Carroll and also 5-0 at MetLife Stadium, including their only Super Bowl title in franchise history a decade ago.
The Seahawks and Giants met last season, with Seattle winning 27-13 at home on Oct. 30.
The Giants have yet to score a touchdown in the first half this season and have been outscored 63-6 before the intermission.
"I'd say we have a lot of improvement to do and that's what we're going to do. Try to improve," Giants coach Brian Daboll said.
In addition to Barkley (doubtful) and Thomas (out), Giants left guard Ben Bredeson (concussion) was cleared from the league's protocol. Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (hamstring), tight end Daniel Bellinger (neck) and defensive tackle D.J. Davidson (elbow) are also expected to play.
The Seahawks could get a boost from the return of safety Jamal Adams, who hasn't played since tearing his quadriceps in the 2022 season opener. It seems appropriate Adams would make his comeback in New York, where he started his career with the Jets.
"Judging from the practices that he's had the last couple of weeks, he's ready to go," Carroll said.
Seahawks cornerbacks Artie Burns (hamstring) and Tre Brown (concussion) were ruled out. Fellow corner Coby Bryant (toe) and tackle Charles Cross (toe) were listed as doubtful, but cornerback Riq Woolen (chest) is off the injury report after missing Week 3.
Tight ends Will Dissly (shoulder) and Noah Fant (knee) were among those listed as questionable.
Daboll said Barkley was expected to be a game-time decision, but he was officially listed as doubtful Saturday. Should Barkley sit, the Giants will lean on running backs Matt Brieda and Gary Brightwell.
Meanwhile, Thomas will miss his third straight game due to a hamstring injury and will be replaced by Josh Ezeudu.
Daboll said left guard Ben Bredeson (concussion) is in the final stages of the league's protocol. Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (hamstring), tight end Daniel Bellinger (neck) and defensive tackle D.J. Davidson (elbow) have been limited in practice.
THEY SAID IT
"I think it's just locking in from the get-go. It's not as easy as just getting points on the board as quickly as the other team does. We want to do that, we want to get that quick start, but even when we don't, it's like what we've been talking about, just staying the course and believing in the next play and taking advantage of every opportunity." - Giants inside linebacker Micah McFadden on what the Giants need to do differently.
--Field Level Media