The 49ers moved to 2-0 with a road win over the Rams in Week 2, while the Giants rallied from 21 points down to knock off the Cardinals.
So what can we expect from a betting standpoint for Thursday night's game?
Betting analysts Tyler Fulghum, Erin Dolan, Eric Moody and Seth Walder are here to provide their thoughts.
Note: Lines from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise indicated.
Given the Giants' epic comeback win last week, how much do you think the emotion of that game and the short week plays into what we see on Thursday night?
Fulghum: Very little of it will carry over due to the short week and travel to Santa Clara to play what I believe is the best team in the NFL. It was an incredible comeback by the Giants (which salvaged my Eliminator entry), but Arizona is maybe the worst team in the league. To even need that comeback is somewhat embarrassing for the Giants. San Francisco is far more similar to the Dallas team that New York played in Week 1, and we all know what happened there. This could be a sobering experience for the Giants after their incredible Week 2 win.
Moody: Those emotions will carry over to the next game because a comeback like that helps build team culture, chemistry and mental toughness. That said, the 49ers are not the Cardinals, it's a short week, Barkley will not play and the Giants are on the road. San Francisco undoubtedly has one of the best defenses in the league and is capable of stopping the run. It has a ferocious pass rush, and bettors haven't forgotten what the Cowboys' defense did to New York in Week 1. My recommendation is to back the 49ers to cover the spread. At plus odds, I was intrigued by the Giants to score under 16.5 total points. Five of nine losses for New York dating back to last season have been by 16 points or fewer.
With Barkley sidelined for this one, do you think the Giants will be able to move the ball on the road against one of the NFL's premier defenses?
Fulghum: That is a big concern for me. I think Daniel Jones will be able to make a few plays with his legs, and maybe have a passing TD, but that's about it. The 49ers' defensive line is relentless, and the Giants have surrendered 10 sacks! Nick Bosa & Co. should be licking their chops. This could be a very rough day for the Giants' offense again, just like Week 1.
Walder: I just think it could get rough out there for Jones: He's taken sacks on 12% of his dropbacks this year -- high even for him -- and while one of those games was against the Cowboys, the 49ers also have a pretty great defense. I like Bosa's chances to get his first sack of the year.
The 49ers enter Week 3 as the Super Bowl favorites at +650. Through two weeks, have you seen enough to call the 49ers the team to beat in the NFL this season?
Fulghum: I was calling the 49ers the best team in the NFL (and my Super Bowl pick) before the season even started, so I didn't need to see anything. All they've done so far is validate my belief. When considering all elements of a football team (QB, coaching, offense, defense, special teams, etc.), the San Francisco 49ers rate as the best team in the NFL, in my opinion.
Moody: Yes. To be candid, this situation is fluid, but as Jerry Glanville once famously said, "NFL means 'not for long.'" San Francisco has opened the season with two impressive wins, while some of the other Super Bowl contenders have struggled. The 49ers have a very favorable upcoming schedule, this week against the Giants and then the Cardinals in Week 4, but the matchup in Week 5 (Dallas Cowboys) will tell us a lot about this team.
Christian McCaffrey's total rushing yards prop bet (79.5 yards) is intriguing, particularly after he ran for 152 yards against the Steelers and 116 against the Rams. Is this one appealing to you?
Fulghum: It is appealing on the surface, not only because McCaffrey has easily eclipsed this mark in both games and is one of the best talents in the league, but so far this season he's handled 42 out of 47 rushing attempts by 49ers RBs (89.3%)! Kyle Shanahan is using CMC as a true 3-down back so far. That being said, this is a Thursday night game on short rest after a very physical and tight division game against the Rams on Sunday. We have to consider, given those circumstances and the large spread, that Shanahan works Elijah Mitchell into the game plan more on Thursday night. So be careful.
Moody: It's very appealing. Dating back to last season, McCaffrey has averaged 78.0 rushing yards per game for the 49ers during the regular season. This includes five games with 100+ rushing yards. There's no doubt McCaffrey is a legitimate contender for Offensive Player of the Year, and he's running behind one of the league's best offensive lines. The Giants' defense just gave up 106 rushing yards to Cardinals running back James Conner.
Is there anything else you are playing on Thursday?
Moody: Daniel Jones over 214.5 passing yards. Jones' number seems low considering Matthew Stafford threw for 307 yards against the 49ers last week. Due to Barkley's absence, the Giants will have to rely more on Jones and the passing game to remain competitive. Jones has averaged 215 passing yards per game during his career. He'll meet his career average even against the 49ers' elite defense.
Dolan: 49ers first half (-7). San Francisco will jump out at home on this team. Purdy has been solid to start the season with wins over the Steelers and Rams. San Francisco has a +30 point differential (second-best mark in the league) compared to the Giants -37 point differential (worst mark in the league). This is a short week for both teams, but I am factoring in the Giants trying to win its second straight on the road. The Giants just had to rally from a 21-point deficit against arguably the worst team in the league. I would rather play the first half than worry about a backdoor cover.
Walder: Brock Purdy over 0.5 interceptions (+190). Purdy has basically everything going for him to not throw an interception on Thursday night. He has a low rate of interceptions in the past. His team is the heavy favorite. And he's probably not going to throw the ball a ton anyway. All of that, however, adds up to why Purdy's over should be, according to my numbers, +150. Still high! But not as high as what's available at Caesars. We're betting the number, and +190 is a value.