Giants schedule, 2021 NFL odds: New York opens vs. Broncos ... who might have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback

The New York Giants have one of the easier schedules in the NFL this season as they look to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
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The New York Giants' opener on Sept. 12 at home vs. the Denver Broncos doesn't look all that appealing on paper as the teams combined for just 11 wins last year, but it could immediately become must-see TV if the Broncos' starting quarterback is Aaron Rodgers. Many around the NFL believe Rodgers will force a trade to Denver at some point this summer. New York opened as a 1-point dog on the NFL odds. 

Giants owner John Mara is clearly a glass half-full kind of guy. After all, he said this offseason that he could see quarterback Daniel Jones winning multiple Super Bowls in his career – even though Jones has been a turnover-machine in his two seasons and has an 8-18 record as a starter. Big Blue did go out and get Jones some help in former Pro Bowl receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph in free agency, and New York has one of the easier schedules (on paper) in the NFL. The team is given an Over/Under win total of 7.

Asked if Jones can win multiple Super Bowls as Eli Manning did with the Giants, Mara said, "I don't see why not, if we put the right pieces around him. … Every single one of our coaches loves the kid, and believes he has the talent to win a championship. He really wants to be great, you can see that. ... I believe the sky's the limit with him."

Jones hasn't truly had a No. 1 receiver in his short NFL career, and Golladay is that if healthy – although the Giants might have overpaid ($18 million per season) to get the former Detroit Lions wideout. Golladay played 16 games just once in his four seasons with the Lions, but he did have a pair of 1,000-yard seasons and a league-best 11 touchdown grabs in 2019. The Giants haven't had a true No. 1 receiver since trading Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland.

The Giants also took a shot on former Bengals first-round receiver John Ross, who could be the fastest player in the league (but can't stay healthy) and the two-time Vikings Pro Bowler Rudolph. That two-year deal was almost torpedoed because Rudolph likely needs offseason foot surgery, but he's expected ready for Week 1.

The 31-year-old Rudolph has 453 receptions for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns, the latter figure the Vikings' tight ends record. From 2015-19, Rudolph started all 65 of the Vikings' regular-season and postseason games.

Don't forget that New York's 31st-rated offense from 2020 also welcomes back one of the league's top all-around running backs in Saquon Barkley. He was limited to two games in 2020 before a season-ending injury. In the first round of the draft, the G-Men added Florida speedster wideout Kadarius Toney after trading back. 

Defensively, GM Dave Gettleman re-signed defensive end Leonard Williams and added Titans cornerback Adoree Jackson in free agency. Last year, Jackson missed the first 13 games with a knee injury he suffered in training camp. The 25-year-old has two interceptions and 33 passes defended in 41 career starts.

The Giants' 2021 schedule is ranked as the 25th-easiest in the league as their 17 opponents – visiting the Dolphins is the 17th game – were a combined 128-142-2 last season.

New York Giants trends/William Hill Sportsbook odds

  • 2020 record: 6-10 (9-7 against the spread, 3-12-1 Over/Under)
  • 2021 strength of schedule rank: 25th (opponents' combined winning percentage of .474)
  • 2021 Over/Under win total: 7
  • SportsLine Projection Model forecasted wins: 6.5
  • Odds to win Super Bowl 56: +8000
  • To win NFC: +4000
  • To win NFC East: +475
  • To make playoffs: No -350, yes +280
  • NFL MVP odds: Daniel Jones +8000, Saquon Barkley +10000

New York Giants Schedule

Week 1 vs. Denver Broncos: Giants have covered spread in just one of past four at home in series

Week 2 at Washington Football Team (TNF): New York is on a three-game SU & ATS road winning streak vs. WFT

Week 3 vs. Atlanta Falcons: Falcons' first visit to New Jersey since 24-20 upset victory in 2015

Week 4 at New Orleans Saints: Giants 0-3 SU & 0-2-1 ATS in past three trips to Big Easy – last in 2015

Week 5 at Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys' only home loss in past eight meetings was in 2016

Week 6 vs. Los Angeles Rams: Giants were crushed 51-17 in 2017 last time Rams were in town

Week 7 vs. Carolina Panthers: Carolina last was at Giants in 2015 and won 38-35

Week 8 at Kansas City Chiefs (MNF): K.C. hosts Big Blue for first time since 31-7 Chiefs win in 2013

Week 9 vs. Las Vegas Raiders: New York has won back-to-back at home in the series, last in 2013

Week 10 BYE

Week 11 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (MNF): New York has covered its past four in Tampa, but the Bucs didn't have Tom Brady

Week 12 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: New York ended a three-game home skid in series last year with 27-17 upset

Week 13 at Miami Dolphins: Added 17th opponent; Giants are 3-0 SU & ATS in past three at Miami

Week 14 at Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers have won and covered past two at home in series, both in San Diego

Week 15 vs. Dallas Cowboys: Giants ended a three-game home skid in series in 2020 with 23-19 upset

Week 16 at Philadelphia Eagles: Giants have covered past four in Philly but not won there since 2013

Week 17 at Chicago Bears: New York has covered its past seven in Chicago, including close loss last year

Week 18 vs. Washington Football Team: New York failed to cover ATS at home last year in a 20-19 victory

Where does every player appear in our 2021 Fantasy football rankings? And which rookie quarterback will provide shocking value? Join SportsLine right now to get 2021 Fantasy football rankings, all from the model that simulated the entire season 10,000 times.

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