* NBC Sports Washington editor Prince J. Grimes picks his favorite prop bet from today's action.
Spread: New York +3.5 (-110) | Washington -3.5 (-110)
Total: 40.5 Over (-115) | Under (-105)
Moneyline: New York (+165) | Washington (-196)
Prince’s Prop: Terry McLaurin Over 70.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet
The Washington Football Team only mustered up one touchdown in their season-opening loss to the Chargers on Sunday. But the one thing that was obvious from that third-quarter drive was that good things happen when they get Terry McLaurin involved in the offense.
They didn’t do that enough against LA, but it should be a primary goal of offensive coordinator Scott Turner for Thursday's game against the Giants. In their opener, the Giants were sliced by Teddy Bridgewater and a Broncos passing game not expected to be among the league’s elite in 2021. Bridgewater finished with a 115.7 quarterback rating, passing for 264 yards and two touchdowns. His leading receiver was Jerry Jeudy, who recorded 72 yards on six catches and didn’t even play the entire game after suffering a high-ankle sprain.
I like the value of McLaurin’s chances to put together a similar performance against this secondary. PointsBet Sportsbook is giving -115 odds on an over/under of 70.5 receiving yards, and I love the over.
It’s no secret that putting the ball in the hands of your best players gives your team the best chance to win, but for whatever reason, Washington wasn’t able to do that enough against the Chargers. In the four drives led by Ryan Fitzpatrick - before the hit that knocked him out of the game - McLaurin didn’t see a single target.
But after Taylor Heinicke took over, McLaurin saw the third pass attempt from his backup QB. The two failed to connect on the play, but a roughing penalty on Joey Bosa moved the team up 15 yards and Washington was eventually able to connect on a field goal just before halftime. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Heinicke connected with McLaurin on a 34-yard gain along the sideline where the receiver made an unbelievable falling grab. One play later, the team scored on a touchdown to Logan Thomas. The following drive, which ended in a missed field goal, McLaurin made a 17-yard reception. The team had a scoring chance on every drive it got him involved. Still, he finished the game with just four targets, catching each for a total of 62 yards.
I expect Washington to work harder to get him the ball against the Giants, who probably trust their corners enough to leave him single-covered a lot. They’ll likely be scheming for not just McLaurin but Thomas as well, after Broncos tight end Noah Fant received a team-high eight targets in Week 1 and caught six balls for 62 yards. Antonio Gibson will also be a factor.
The most talented of that bunch is McLaurin and Washington should be able to find ways to let him make plays, as he has in the past against the Giants. McLaurin has seven receptions in each of his three career games against New York, with totals of 74, 86 and 115 yards. The NBC Sports Edge model gives him a projection of 4.9 receptions for 71.5 yards.