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Bet on the NFL The Giants will have to go on with out Steve Smith.

When sports betting it's good to know that Smith is one of the NFL's best third-down receivers with 11 of his 47 catches.  But he was officially ruled out of Sunday's game vs. Dallas (1-7), with what coach Tom Coughlin described as a partially torn pectoral muscle. Mario Manningham, sporting the Giants' biggest per-catch average at 15.4 yards, will replace Smith at the split end. Second-year, big-play star Hakeem Nicks, the NFL's top-scoring wide receiver with nine touchdowns, will remain at flanker. Second-year player Ramses Barden and undrafted rookie Duke Calhoun will see time in the multiple-receiver sets.

Coughlin said Smith will be on a week to week status, but indicated he won't plot a definitive timetable for his return until he begins rehabilitation, so when betting on sports you should monitor the latest updates. Coughlin said no surgery will be necessary.  The injury occurred during drills Thursday when Smith was reaching for a pass. Moving Manningham into Smith's spot could lead to more double-coverage for Nicks, an athletic and shifty weapon in the open field. But adjusting to defenses won't be the only pressure the 2009 first-round draft choice will have felt this week.

University of North Carolina, where Nicks received his degree, is under NCAA investigation, and the school listed his name among five former Tar Heels who may have given some of the 13 currrent players under scrutiny $3,300 worth of "impermissible gifts of cash and jewelry and impermissible assistance" with transportation after the 2008 season.

Nicks isn’t angry about North Carolina bringing his name into the investigation.

The investigation also involves improper conduct from a tutor and improper relationships with agents. But the school has stated that Nicks is not suspected of having any inappropriate relationships with agents, prospective agents, or runners.  Manningham, third on the team with 25 catches for 385 yards and three touchdowns, said he looked forward to an increased role. The Giants might be using that starting group for a while. At least two weeks, according to Coughlin.


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