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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Giants Can Pretend Nobody is Giving Them a Shot, But It’s Not True at All

Everyone in sports loves to be the underdog. It takes the pressure off. Technically, the underdog is not supposed to win. If you are the underdog and you lose, you fulfilled expectations. If you win, you exceeded them. When you’re the favorite, there is no way to exceed expectations. That is why the Giants are doing their best to pretend they are a major underdog in Super Bowl 46. If playing the role of underdog gives New York a better shot at winning, then they are doing what’s necessary. We should not, however, take the Las Vegas spread to heart.

“It’s still us against the world,” Tom Coughlin said Thursday. “Talk is cheap, play the game.”

“We have something to prove,” Eli Manning added. “No one giving us a whole lot of chances. It’s brought out the best (of) our ability.”

While some Giants have taken the time to guarantee a victory on Sunday, this has been the mindset all along.  The Giants are no less than a 2.5 point underdog at most Las Vegas sports books.  Earlier in the week, Justin Tuck compared the way people were talking about the Giants at Super Bowl 42 to the way they have been talking this week.

We knew it was there, and we knew nobody was giving us a shot,” he recalled. “But we always believed in ourselves.”

Tuck said that “it’s still the same here,” even if the disses are disappearing.

Oddsmakers have a job to do. The goal is to get an equal amount of money on both teams so that the house wins no matter what because of the juice.  For those of you who are not gamblers, the juice is the added money you have to bet to equal your investment.  For example, with standard odds you would have to be $110 to win $100 regardless of the team you are picking, rather than risking the same amount you can earn.

Vegas oddsmakers rely on a number of factors, one of which is the tendencies of the gambling public.  People love betting on the Patriots.  If the oddsmakers set the Patriots as an underdog, everyone would be putting their money on Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  That could either result in a feast or a disaster for the sports books depending on Sunday’s outcome, and the idea is to eliminate that risk.  That is why — despite the Patriots being overmatched in many areas of Sunday’s game — the Giants are the “underdog.”

If you really think nobody is giving New York a shot to win, turn on the TV or open a newspaper.  For every person who is talking about the legacy of Brady and Belichick, there are three more talking about Rob Gronkowski’s ankle being a huge concern, the Patriots’ defense being vulnerable, and the Giants’ defensive line being unstoppable.  If the Giants can successfully pretend they are a major underdog and it helps them win, more power to them.  Out here in the real world, that’s just not the case.

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