Frank Sinatra may have liked New York in June, but we personally prefer it in November, when the action on the gridiron and the courts truly begins to get interesting. In the last week alone, we’ve seen the Giants pull off a miraculous win over the Chiefs, and the Knicks and Nets have both sprung back to life and are suddenly relevant again. It’s a surprising turn of events, and we aren’t taking a moment of it for granted.
We’re also enjoying the afterglow of the Yankees’ deep post season run and the promising rookie campaigns of Aaron Judge and Luis Severino, both of whom are primed for even bigger things in 2018.
We recently looked at the odds for New York’s eight major-league franchises, and we’re back again with odds and props for the Baby Bombers, Giants, Knicks, and Nets. We like New York in November. How about you?
A GIANT WIN
Odds Ben McAdoo is fired before …
- Black Monday: 19/1
- 2018 season: 8/9
The Giants 12-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 likely just ensured McAdoo will have at least the rest of the 2017 season to prove himself. If owner John Mara was willing to publicly support the second-year head coach after an embarrassing loss to the then-winless San Francisco 49ers, it’s hard to imagine anything happening over the final six weeks to alter that feeling.
Dating back to 1931, Ben McAdoo is only the 13th head coach of the Giants franchise, and only one of those coaches was fired after just two seasons — Ray Handley in 1991-92. So even though firing McAdoo seems like the obvious move, keep in mind that this is an extremely loyal franchise that doesn’t make knee-jerk reactions very often.
Odds Eli Manning starts Week 1 of 2018: 4/5
Considering his offensive line is awful, he’s only had a healthy Odell Beckham Jr for about two games, and he’s also been without Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard for most of the season, Eli Manning is actually having a pretty decent year. Manning’s 87.0 passer rating is higher than his career rating (83.9), and he’s on pace to set a new career-low for interceptions with just six picks through ten games. Though the 36-year-old’s severe lack of mobility can hold the Giants’ offense back at times, he’s able to make pre-snap reads and adjustments that the other QBs on their roster cannot.
Manning is still on the books next season for a $22.2 million cap hit, and cutting the pivot would save them less than $10 million in cap space. As long as Manning doesn’t retire, he’s the most-likely starter for Week 1, 2018.
Odds the Giants draft a QB in the first-round of the 2018 draft: 1/1
While the Giants drafted Davis Webb in the third-round of the 2017 draft, and the franchise would be well served by investing an early pick in their offensive line, the talent possessed by a Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold may be too difficult to pass on. Whatever Manning’s chances are to start Week 1 next season, it’s clear that his career is nearing its end and provisions must be made.
JUST IN THE KNICK OF TIME
Odds to make the playoffs first
- New York Knicks: 1/5
- Brooklyn Nets: 5/1
The Knicks and Nets may have similar records, but their short-term outlooks couldn’t be more different. New York appears to be getting stronger as the season progresses, as evidenced by their recent 6-1 streak and their impressive victories over the Cavs and the Clippers. The Nets, meanwhile, are falling apart like a house of cards. Brooklyn is playing without Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell, and they’ve lost three of their past four games. Neither team is assured of a playoff appearance in 2018, but the way things are going, the Knicks definitely have the best shot.
Odds to win an NBA title first
- New York Knicks: 1/3
- Brooklyn Nets: 3/1
It might be a while before the Knicks and Nets are playing anything other than golf in June. With that said, New York appears to have the inside track for winning a championship first thanks to their promising young core. Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr., Doug McDermott, and Willy Hernangomez are all 25 or younger, and should be able to grow together for the next three to four years. New York will also have $11.8 million in cap space next season, and could have considerably more cash to spend if they’re able to unload Joakim Noah’s loathsome contract.
Odds to have an NBA MVP-winner first
- New York Knicks: 1/4
- Brooklyn Nets: 4/1
This is an easy one, since the Knicks already have an MVP-calibre player in Porzingis. The 7’3” unicorn is presently averaging 27.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game, and is shooting 47-percent from the field and 40-percent from deep. Porzingis always had the talent and touch to be one of the best offensive players in the league, but he now has the bulk too thanks to the muscle he added to his lanky frame in the offseason. Get used to seeing him a lot, as the 21-year-old Latvian is set to join Giannis Antetokounmpo as the face of the NBA for the next decade.
Odds to get fired first
- Jeff Hornacek (Knicks): 2/3
- Kenny Atkinson (Nets): 3/2
Jeff Hornacek has done a phenomenal job in his second season with the Knicks, but the problem with winning in New York is that it creates unreasonable expectations. Fans now expect the Knicks to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, and anything short of that will be considered a letdown.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, meanwhile, is completely unburdened by expectations. His two best players are sidelined, his remaining players enjoy more anonymity than members of the witness protection program, and his franchise has never won an NBA championship. It may not sound like a good thing, but the 50-year-old is shrouded in so many layers of mediocrity that he’s essentially untouchable.
TIME TO JUDGE THE YANKEES
Odds Aaron Judge wins the AL MVP in 2018: 5/2
Aaron Judge entered the 2017 season as something of a curiosity. He’ll enter 2018 as a bona fide superstar. That’s what happens when you lead the league in runs, home runs, and walks, and become the first rookie in Major League history to win the Home Run Derby.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Judge’s rookie campaign was the way he responded to adversity. The 6’7” behemoth broke out of a historic mid-season slump by hitting .311 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs in September. After a small blip, his hot streak continued in the postseason as he led the Yankees to wins over the Twins and Indians, and hit three round trippers against the Astros in the ALCS.
Judge came up “short” to Jose Altuve in the 2017 MVP race, but he should continue to build upon his impressive start and may even be the MVP favorite heading into 2018.
Odds Luis Severino will win the AL Cy Young Award in 2018: 4/1
Few young pitchers have a higher ceiling than Luis Severino, who went 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA while holding opponents to a .208 batting average during his rookie season. The 23-year-old Dominican ultimately finished third in AL Cy Young voting behind Corey Kluber and Chris Sale, but there are reasons to believe he’ll do even better next year.
For starters, Severino gained invaluable experience in the playoffs, where he held his own against the Indians in the ALDS, and started a pair of games against the eventual world champs in the ALCS. (We’ll disregard the Wild Card game.) He’s also years away from entering his prime, while aces (and fellow Cy Young finalists) like Kluber (31), Sale (28), Carlos Carrasco (30), Justin Verlander (34), and Ervin Santana (34) are all at an age when pitchers typically begin breaking down.
Expect youth to be served next year as Severino enters 2018 as our prohibitive favorite to win his first Cy Young award.