Free Sunday NFL betting tips as the New York Giants take on the Oakland Raiders

NFL
Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo
Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo

David John is ready to take the New York Giants in turmoil with a handy start when they face Oakland on Sunday.

New York Giants at Oakland (2125 GMT)

We are heading down the closing stretch of the regular season and every head coach or player will tell you December is the month to put up or shut up.

In a break from the norm, I am focusing on a game not televised live on Sky Sports but you will be able to keep up with all that is going on via Red Zone as the Giants travel to the Raiders.

On paper, it hardly screams compelling viewing with the visitors long gone from the play-off picture and the Raiders teetering on the brink but also still in with a real shout of winning the AFC West despite a moderate 5-6 record.

The game follows hot on the heels of the Giants reaching the most shocking decision of the season with dual Super Bowl-winning quarterback Eli Manning benched by head coach Ben McAdoo in favour of Geno Smith.

They are unlikely to be the last team at 2-9 to make a change under centre but a visibly shaken Manning, who spoke to the media earlier in the week, suddenly seems to be the fall guy for what was already an utter train-wreck of a campaign.

A good part of the issue is Smith’s suitability after a rocky four years with the Jets but has reportedly had a very good week of practice and does have the additional bonus of getting receiver Sterling Shepard back in the ranks.

McAdoo has come under fire from all quarters for his crass handling of the whole situation but feels the time is right to give Smith a chance to show what he has with five weeks left as they start what looks like being a lengthy rebuilding process.

Manning will serve as his back up on the west coast but could well have started his last game for Big Blue, rightly refusing the chance to extend a streak of games that stands at 210 in the knowledge he would have been replaced at half-time.

The Giants are nine-point underdogs as a result to emerge from this mess with a win and there is a chance we could witness open player revolt in defiance of McAdoo’s radical move.

However, I envisage this being more about making a statement in the absence of their fallen leader and not the sort of lame display the Buffalo Bills produced against San Diego when they tanked following Tyrod Taylor's replacement at quarterback by a rookie.

The Giants certainly need to draw on some sort of mental edge to find improvement and it might be enough to give Oakland a close game.

The Raiders have hardly been tearing up any trees in what was expected to be a strong year with quarterback Derek Carr healthy again but their current record is indicative of a team unlikely to make a great deal of impact.

They look miles off the pace in the AFC judged on a Mexico mauling handed out to them by New England and are now missing their top two receivers after an injured Amari Cooper joined the suspended Michael Crabtree on the sidelines.

They may well feel this is a ripe opportunity with their rivals in such turmoil but I expect the Giants to show some pride and ensure McAdoo does not have to resort to the doomsday scenario of sheepishly turning back to Manning if Smith falls flat on his face.

Prediction: New York Giants 17-19 Oakland

Recommended bets: Sunday NFL

2pts New York Giants (+9) to beat Oakland at 5/6

Click here for our transparent tipping record.

Posted at 0935 GMT on 02/12/17.

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