The anti-Giants bet that’s winning 88% of the time

It’s widely understood the Giants have been awful on offense. Not much publicity has been given their consistently poor starts.

Does this team even prepare for its opponents? Sharp bettors know the Giants are 1-7 straight up and against the spread in first halves this season. That means betting against the Giants at first-half lines has hit 88 percent to date. This isn’t a team that hangs tough for awhile before fading at the end. The Giants usually dig an early hole and stay there.

Here’s a quick rundown of their halftime scoreboards. Handicappers should focus on the poor scoring totals:

Giants are half-bad

Trailed Jaguars, 13-6
Trailed at Cowboys, 10-0
Led at Texans, 20-6 (only cover)
Trailed Saints, 12-7
Trailed at Panthers, 20-13
Trailed Eagles, 24-6
Trailed at Falcons, 10-3
Trailed Redskins, 7-3

The 20 points scored in Houston seem like a minor miracle in retrospect. The Giants managed only six and zero the two games prior, then a string of 7-13-6-3-3 afterward. Do you know how hard it is to only score three points in a half indoors in Atlanta?! The Falcons’ other opponents there scored 10-16-28-13 in their first halves.

According to teamrankings.com, the five worst first-half offensive averages entering the week were the Bills 4.8, Titans 6.1, Cardinals 6.8, Browns 6.8 and Giants 7.2. The league median was around a dozen. The five best first-half offenses were the Chiefs 19.2, Saints 17.5, Rams 17.2, Chargers 17.1 and Patriots 16.2.

Bad first halves don’t just point to bad talent. They point to bad preparation. Teams have all week to get ready for an opponent, to look for weaknesses to attack, to map out the first few drives, to make sure everyone is on the same page. It’s a horrible indicator for new head coach Pat Shurmur, who was hired because of his offensive credentials.

At least the G-men have maximum preparation time for Monday’s game in San Francisco (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.). They have an extra day after a bye week. If this first half is as awful as the rest, it’s safe to assume the players have thrown in the towel on the season.

San Francisco should come in well-prepared. The 49ers beat the Raiders a week ago Thursday, 34-3 (winning yardage 405-242 on 7.5 to 4.4 in yards-per-play), seemingly rejuvenated under new quarterback Nick Mullens.

Market analysis showed San Francisco receiving smart money at -3 through the week. With home-field advantage counting three points in the NFL (possibly less at this particular site), the most informed market influences now see the 49ers as the slightly superior neutral-field team.

How far the Giants have fallen. They were +3 at Dallas with Dak Prescott in Week 2, +4 at Atlanta with Matt Ryan in Week 7 … now +3 at San Francisco with Nick Mullens in Week 10.