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‘Thursday Night Football’ picks and open thread: Giants at 49ers

The Giants look overmatched on the road against a fearsome 49ers squad.

San Francisco 49ers v New York Giants Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

One well known and undisputed fact in NFL circles is that everybody loves the short turnaround following Sunday, especially the road team. Which is probably why the New York Giants are excited to head to Levi’s Stadium to face the San Francisco 49ers, four days after playing a road game in Arizona on Sunday. I’m. So. Sure.

The Giants open as the second biggest underdogs of the week. DraftKings Sportsbook has them listed as 10.5-point favorites over the visitors. And is the really surprising to anyone? It shouldn’t, and neither should my picks.

Giants @ 49ers — 5:15pm — Prime Video — O/U 44.5

Through two weeks, the San Francisco 49ers look to once again be one of the top teams in the league. Their defense didn’t totally shut down the LA Rams in Week 2, but they did force two second-half Matthew Stafford picks, the first of which led to the go-ahead score late in the third quarter. This gave the 49ers the lead, which they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. Their offense under Brock Purdy is continuing to function much like it did late last season: utilizing their array of playmakers — led by Christian McCaffrey — to stress defenses at all levels. The Giants, meanwhile, climbed to 1-1 with a late go-ahead field goal to break the tie. This was one week after getting humiliated by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. As a result, their point differential this season is an abysmal 31-68. San Francisco, on the other hand, has outscored their opponents 60-30. Essentially, we are seeing two 2022 playoff franchise that have taken very divergent paths in the early goings of the 2023 season.

I don’t know if the 49ers are better than or equal to the Cowboys, but I would argue that in either case, both are among the NFL elite at this moment, and I expect a similar outcome for the Giants. San Francisco hit the under in Week 1 and the over in Week 2; getting to 45 points this week might be a tall order on a short turnaround, especially facing a Giants offense that is missing its biggest weapon in Saquon Barkley.

The Pick: Under 45 points, San Francisco wins straight up and covers the spread.