It’s a short week for the (5-9) Philadelphia Eagles and (10-4) New York Giants as the two NFC East rivals clash at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night (8.25pm ET).
New York leads the NFC wildcard race by two games over the second place (8-6) Green Bay Packers. However, the wildcard isn’t the only possibility for the Giants as they are still alive to win the divisional crown. They’ll need a little help from the (12-2) Dallas Cowboys, but the chance is there.
For the home team however, who were just mathematically eliminated from the playoffs after Sunday’s disappointing road loss to the Baltimore Ravens, they’ll simply be looking to play spoiler. When it comes to the predictions and concluding betting picks that this preview makes, we will have to work out how much impact that fact will have. It always helps to be playing for something more than bragging rights.
The Eagles have had an up-and-down season but there is no doubt the team, who plays much better at home, will want to put on a pre-Christmas show for the Philly faithful. If they can potentially hurt the Giants’ playoff chances in the process, that would certainly be the icing on the proverbial cake.
Both teams are looking to finish strong. For the Giants, its playoff positioning. For the Eagles, it is pride. Either way, when these two divisional rivals go head to head, you can almost always expect there to be some fireworks.
In Defense of Big Blue
When the Eagles first played the Giants this year, the result was 28-23 in favor of New York. It was one of six losses Philly has sustained this year in games decided by seven points or fewer. Though the outcome did not go in the Eagles favor, this week nine meeting may have been the best game of rookie QB Carson Wentz’ career as he threw for a season’s best 364 yards.
It was a great showcase for the young Eagles signal caller but since then, the Giants defense has become one of the best in the league, allowing an NFL-low passer rating of 70 dating back to the first half of the season. Additionally, since week seven, the Giants have been the best scoring defense in the NFL, allowing just under 15 points per game and a third down conversion just under 30 percent of the time.
They will face an Eagles team that is toward the league low in third down conversion percentage and one that has struggled to catch the ball with any consistency this season. In fact, not counting their tight ends, the Eagles have the worst drop rate in the NFL. It has been an issue of contention among the team and fans. It is the reason why the Eagles have just five wins, despite starting the season 3-0.
New York’s defense is good and more than that, they’re playing like the same unit that won the Super Bowl back in 2007. They are getting after the passer and disrupting the offensive rhythm of everyone they’ve faced. It’s why they were able to defeat the NFL-best Cowboys twice this year, something that is certainly not insignificant.
Bringing in Reinforcements
The Eagles have struggled that much is true but they’ll be getting some help on Thursday night in the form of running back Darren Sproles (pictured), who returns to the lineup after missing the last few games due to a concussion sustained on a kick return. Sproles is second on the team in rushing with 366 yards and is one of the more sure-handed pass catchers on the team.
In his absence, the Eagles have turned to Oregon product Kenjon Barner, but he’ll be out as he sustained a hamstring injury against the Ravens. So it is going to be up to Sproles to pick up where he left off and add that much needed boost in the backfield and in the short yardage passing game.
Our Preview’s New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks Verdict
The Eagles have had a recent history of beating the Giants at the Linc and it hasn’t even been close. Philly has outscored New York 54-7 in the last two games and Eli Manning’s five career losses against the Eagles are his most against any opponent. His 26 career interceptions by the Eagles are the most by any team against him too.
But that being said, the Eagles can’t buy a win lately. They basically threw one away against the Ravens. They are three-point favorites in the offshore USA sportsbooks’ betting markets, such is the influence of home advantage on the odds. The Giants are playing well and they will be headed into Philadelphia on a buzz saw. It’s going to be tough for anyone to beat them especially a struggling Eagles team. So you can tell which way this preview’s betting predictions and picks are going to fall.
- Take the Giants -3pts @ +105 with 5Dimes Sportsbook. That same spread is -110 odds with Bovada. You can get -2.5pts with BetOnline, but for -121 odds, which we wouldn’t put you off as an alternative if you prefer the comfort of an extra half point.
- Bet the under 41.5 total points in the game with Bovada or 5Dimes @ -105. It is 41pts and -110 with BetOnline. Given the way both of these teams are defensive minded, this shouldn’t be a scoring blowout.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.