The New York Giants dismantled Carolina last Thursday 36-7 despite having an injury-depleted offense, and the extra days off serve a dual purpose of allowing some of New York’s walking wounded to heal and giving the Giants extra preparation time for the Philadelphia Eagles in this Sunday night football affair.
The Eagles ran out of luck last week after winning their first two games by one point each, as they were blown out 27-6 at Arizona. In spite of it all, Philadelphia is still a -2 favorite at home with the total set at 47.
1. Why New York will cover the spread: The Giants will cover this spread if they are able to apply pressure on Michael Vick with their great defensive line. The Eagles surrendered five sacks in the blowout loss last week, one of which caused a Vick fumble that was run back 93 yards for a touchdown. Vick has never dealt with edge rushers well, so look for the Giants to bring the heat from that direction. Another key for the Giants is their offensive line playing as well as it did last week, which was a bit surprising with tackle David Diehl being out with a knee injury. With the line clicking, the offense ran so smoothly that you never would have known that running back Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon were also out.
2. Why Philadelphia will cover the spread: The Eagles will cover the spread if they can establish LeSean McCoy and the running game early. McCoy actually ran for 70 yards last week, but he only carried the ball 13 times, which is inexcusable for one of the best running backs in football. If Philadelphia can run early, it would simultaneously slow down the Giants pass rush and keep the New York offense on the sideline, which sounds line a win-win for the Eagles. Philadelphia also needs to get McCoy more involved by throwing to him out of the backfield, as he had just three catches last week for a total of 16 touches in all. Ideally, the Eagles should try and bump his touch total up by at least 10.
3. Total Talk: We like the ‘over’ in this game and a big reason is Andy Reid’s stubbornness when it comes to play-calling. No team has called a lower percentage of running plays than the Eagles have over the past decade, and that has not changed this season. Thus we see lots of passing here from Vick, which should lead to scoring for one team or the other, and we do not expect Philadelphia to incorporate McCoy enough to take more time off the clock, leaving Eli Manning and the New York offense ample time to continue to click as it has the last two weeks. Manning is making all his receivers look good and running back Andre Brown has made Bradshaw’s absence basically go mostly unnoticed.
4. Betting Trends for Giants-Eagles: The road teams have dominated this head-to-head series, going 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings, and the underdogs have gone 13-3 in the last 16 matchups.
New York Giants 28 – Philadelphia 23