NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Preview

LeSean McCoyWith at least a share of the NFC East lead on the line, the (3-2) New York Giants travel to Lincoln Financial Field for a Sunday night showdown with the (4-1) Philadelphia Eagles (8:30pm EST on NBC).

With just a field goal of a spread, two teams on the rise and no-love lost between the teams or the fans, there is no doubt this match-up will live up to expectations.

It is that age old saying: “It’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish.” Well for both the Eagles and the Giants, it is a good thing that they have been able to finish.

For the Giants, finishing has been the recent three game winning streak. After the first two games, it looked like Giants’ fans were in for a long season. The team averaged just 14 points a game while their defense allowed an average of 30. Needless to say, things didn’t look good in the Meadowlands.

But staying true to the adage, it wasn’t about how New York started. Since those two losses, New York has managed to turn it around in a big way. The team is 3-0 and is averaging 35 points a game in that span. Their defense has clamped down as well with opponents averaging just 17 points a game. Those numbers are playoff numbers and New York would like nothing better to turn what could have been a lost season into another run at a Super Bowl.

For the Eagles, finishing has been what the team has done in the second half of games. Philadelphia entered the season as the surefire favorite to win the NFC East. In fact, some pundits were even predicting the team, under the second year of the Chip Kelly experiment, would have the division locked up by October. Well, such has not been the case and things haven’t been as easy for the Eagles as preseason rankings had suspected.

It all began in the team’s first game against the (0-5) Jacksonville Jaguars. Philadelphia through a slow start had gone into the second half trailing by 17 points. People in the city were ready to hit the panic button on the season and call for both Kelly and Nick Foles’ heads on platters. But then the Eagles scored 34 unanswered points en route to what turned out to be a blowout victory.

In the second game, the same thing happened. The Eagles once again failed to score in the first half and once again came back with a second half for the ages, enabling them to just get past the (4-2) Indianapolis Colts. It wasn’t until game three against the (1-4) Washington Redskins that Philly got its first first-half touchdown.

So it wasn’t about how the Giants started the season or how the Eagles started games. All that matters is that both of these teams are on the right track and headed in the right direction.

By the Numbers

As much as the Eagles and Giants have taken to winning games this year, neither have done so with better than average stats. In fact, both teams have been pretty pedestrian, winning games more through clutch big plays than overall dominance.

Let’s take a look how the teams stack up.

  • Eagles: 9th in passing yards, 23rd in rushing yards, 29th in opponents passing yards, 24th in opponents rushing yards

When you look at the stats, the glaring thing is the defensive numbers. The Eagles have struggled mightily this year in that department especially with regards to the secondary. A lot of missed coverage opportunities have almost doomed Philadelphia. To the defense’s credit however, the Eagles have made the big plays when needed. One such play came against the Colts in which the Eagles stopped Andrew Luck with a turnover in the midst of what would have been the game-winning drive.

Offensively, the rushing rank is also very surprising. Last year, the Eagles had the second best runningback in the league and one of the top three rushing attacks in the league as well. But this year, LeSean McCoy (pictured) has failed to capture that greatness. Even with the addition of Darren Sproles in the backfield, Philadelphia’s running game still hasn’t gotten off the ground. Of course this is in large part due to the patchwork offensive line which is hurting both the rushing and passing game.

  • Giants: 17th in passing yards, 15th in rushing yards, 25th in opponents passing yards, 10th in opponents rushing yards

They are just about average in every category. For the Giants, this isn’t anything new. Eli Manning throughout his career has been an average quarterback and with the exception of two great Super Bowl runs, the Giants have been an average team. So it is not that surprising that this year is more of the same.

To New York’s credit they have overcome their average offense and below average defense, and have managed to turn it into three straight wins. Rashad Jennings and the running game has improved big time and Manning is keeping the interceptions at close to a season-low so far. Behind good performances from these two facets of the game as well as Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and Prince Amukamara in the secondary, the Giants are no joke.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks

The Giants and the Eagles have a storied rivalry that in recent years has been reignited thanks to the second miracle of the Meadowlands. It didn’t occur the last time these teams met, in fact it happened four years ago, but when it comes to Philly-NY, this is the only thing on both teams’ minds.

The Giants have a new kicker and they know the Eagles don’t have Desean Jackson in the return game. A third miracle, the type that canonizes sainthood, should be avoided. But that is not to say that both of these teams don’t have issues because they do. The Eagles are still without most of their offensive line and the Giants are banged up in their secondary as well. Both teams have yet to really establish a running game and both have quarterbacks who really are hit or miss.

That said, the Eagles are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 including 4-1 this year. The spread is just under three points however and each of Philly’s last five were decided by less than a touchdown.

  • It should be a close game but the value betting pick has to be to bet on the Giants +2.5pts on the spread at best odds of +105 with 5Dimes Sportsbook. You can get +3pts with Bovada, but the odds slip to -115 for the extra half point cushion.
  • Additionally, take the over on 50 total points as the safe bet on this one as both teams are averaging over 30 points a game in their last few contests. Best odds for that wager are -110 with BetOnline or 5Dimes.