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Mac Jones Won't Play, Giants Listed as Betting Favorites in Preseason Opener

Mac Jones, New England Patriots

With Mac Jones to sit this one out, the New York Giants are a road favorite tonight against the New England Patriots for the first game of Week 1 of the NFL preeason.

The NFL preseason got underway last week with the Hall of Fame Game, though the official “Week 1” of the three-week ramp-up period begins tonight at Gillette Stadium when the Patriots host the Giants.

In typical preseason fashion, ESPN reports that Mac Jones and most of New England’s starters will not play in the game, which kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on the NFL Network. That opens the door for the Patriots’ rookies and backups to see the field against New York, which plans to play all of its healthy players for at least a few series, according to The Athletic.

That helps explain why the Giants are 2.5-point road favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook and -155 on the moneyline to win outright. The Patriots are +135 on the moneyline.

The over/under for the game is set at 34.5. For reference, the over hit in the Hall of Fame Game last week when the Raiders defeated the Jaguars, 27-11, and covered the 2.5-point spread.

Tonight is coach Brian Daboll’s coaching debut with New York. The former Bills offensive coordinator was hired in late January after he oversaw Josh Allen’s turnaround in Buffalo. The hope is that he can do the same for fourth-year quarterback Daniel Jones, who’s reportedly had a rocky training camp so far.

There’s certainly talent in place around Jones in New York, some of which will be on display tonight. Reports out of camp on running camp Saquon Barkley are largely positive after the most inefficient season of his career. All eyes are on New York’s tantalizing, expensive and generally injured receiver corps, which includes Kenny Golladay, second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson and 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney, who’s questionable with a leg issue.

Expectations are also high for the Giants’ pair of top-10 2022 picks: defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and tackle Evan Neal.

New England’s rookies to watch include a surprise first-round offensive lineman Cole Strange, speedy receiver Tyquan Thornton, defensive backs Jack Jones and Marcus Jones and quarterback Bailey Zappe, who’s expected to play a lot behind veteran Bryan Hoyer.

There are no player props available for the contest, but there is a market to be on the winning margin with a 1-6-point Giants win (+260) the most likely outcome.