The New York Giants maintain a one-game lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East despite losing at San Francisco last week, and they now have a chance to put away the “Dream Team” for good here.
The Philadelphia Eagles lost at home to Arizona last week in a game in which Michael Vick continued to play (and miserably at that) after cracking two ribs and not informing anyone of it. He is questionable for this game, but even if he plays, he won’t be as effective as usual.
ODDS: OPEN: NY GIANTS -3.5 | CURRENT: NY GIANTS -4.5 | O/U: 47
1. Why New York will cover the spread: The Giants will cover this spread if they can run the ball effectively. Ahmad Bradshaw is questionable with a foot injury, so Brandon Jacobs may have to carry the load, and he was only mediocre vs. the 49ers. San Francisco leads the NFL in rushing defense though while the Eagles are allowing 4.8 yards per carry, so Jacobs has a good chance of bouncing back well here.
The success of the run would set things up for Eli Manning to continue his fine season that has seen him throw for nearly 2700 yards while completing 63.1 percent of his passes and averaging 8.4 yards per pass attempt.
2. Why Philadelphia will cover the spread: With Vick either out or playing at less than full capacity, Philadelphia will cover the spread if the other skill position players on offense can pick up the slack. That is entirely possible as running back LeSean McCoy is having a career year and will be running against a Giants’ run defense that is allowing 4.6 yards per carry, and top wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be back for this game after he was suspended last week for missing a team meeting.
3. Total Talk: The Giants won the first meeting between these teams 29-16 in Philadelphia, but we actually see the teams scoring more points in this game. The Eagles will be pulling out all stops on offense while in desperation mode, but their run defense will continue to be their Achilles Heel. We don’t think that the Giants will shut down the Philadelphia offense as well as they did in the first meeting, but they should make up for it on the offensive end where their expected success on the ground should allow Manning to put points up through the air later on.
4. Betting Trends for the game: There are a couple of strong head-to-head trends that go against our selection of the Giants here, as the underdogs have incredibly gone 12-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings and the road teams are 7-2 ATS in the last nine matchups. Then again, the Eagles are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss.
Also, the ‘over’ is 21-6 in the last 27 Philadelphia games as an underdog, as well as 12-3-1 in the last 16 Giants’ games after they gained at least 350 yards in their previous game.
5. Giants-Eagles SNF Prediction: New York 31 – Philadelphia 23
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