This week’s Thursday Night Football game pits a pair of 1-win clubs against one another as the New York Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love. Despite their poor records, this NFC East battle carries major postseason implications for both teams. The NFC East has quickly become one of the most compelling division races in the NFL this season, albeit for the wrong reasons. All four teams sit below .500 and all are separated by a single game in the standings. It may not be the prettiest football, but it should be a fun one on Thursday night.
- Opening Lines: Eagles -5.5; O/U 45
- Current ATS Line: Eagles -4.5
- Current Over/Under: 44.5
- Location: Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA
- Start Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
- Television: FOX, NFL Network
- Last Meeting: December 29, 2019 – The Eagles defeated the Giants 34-17 in East Rutherford.
- Attendance: Up to 7,500 fans will be allowed to attend.
As incompetent as both teams have looked at various times this season, everything remains out in front of both the Giants and Eagles in terms of their postseason destinies heading into Thursday’s contest. The Giants come in fresh off their first win of the season last week and will look to bring their divisional record to 2-1 with a win over Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the Eagles are the only winless team in division play, sitting at 0-1. ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) predicted a 28% chance that the eventual NFC East champion has 6 or fewer wins. It even offered a .06% chance that the 2020 NFC East champ could finish with only 4 wins. How crazy is that?
New York’s first win of the season over the Washington Football Team last week wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done. Daniel Jones was far from spectacular with just 112 yards passing and yet another interception, but he did pile up 74 yards rushing to lead the team. His 49-yard sprint in the second quarter to set up a score was in fact the longest Giants rushing play of the season. The Giants defense played opportunistic football, forcing a pair of turnovers including a scoop and score by Tae Crowder. Despite having significant deficits in total yards, first downs, and time of possession, New York’s underrated defensive front managed to get the job done in key situations.
After earning their first win over the 49ers, the Eagles have been up against it with matchups against two of the best teams in the NFL in the Steelers and Ravens the last two weeks. To Philadelphia’s credit, they were able to mount a rally in both contests to at least make things interesting after falling down big early. Carson Wentz avoided turning the ball over against Baltimore last week and now will look to improve his completion percentage going forward. With so many unfamiliar names at the wide receiver position, that may be a task easier said than done. His rapport with Travis Fulgham has been a pleasant surprise though. The Eagles rank 12th in adjusted defensive efficiency against the run (Football Outsiders). This leads one to believe the Giants could be very one-dimensional offensively Thursday night.
- Giants 2020 Betting Trends: 3-3 ATS; 2-4 to the Over
- Eagles 2020 Betting Trends: 2-4 ATS; 4-2 to the Over
- The Eagles are 7-0 straight up in their last seven head-to-head meetings against the Giants.
- The Eagles are 11-1 straight up and 7-5 ATS in their last 12 head-to-head meetings against the Giants.
- The total has gone over in seven of the last nine head-to-head meetings between the Giants and Eagles.
Anytime Touchdown Scorer: Boston Scott (+130 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
Despite the injuries along the offensive line, the Eagles have still been able to find success running the football in the red zone. The team’s 7 rushing touchdowns on the season tie for the ninth-most among all teams, and their 734 rushing yards surprisingly rank 10th overall despite poor run blocking efficiency numbers. With Miles Sanders having been ruled out of Thursday’s contest due to injury, Boston Scott will be in line to shoulder most of the load. Scott has proven capable both as a runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield, suggesting that there are multiple ways in which he could find paydirt. +130 odds on Philadelphia’s lead back in this game are too good to pass up. The Eagles should be able to wear down a Giants defensive front that has looked sharp at times and get Scott into the end zone.
After the Eagles opened as 5.5-point favorites, we saw this line get bet down quickly earlier in the week when news broke that Philadelphia would be without both running back Miles Sanders and tight end Zach Ertz for this contest. Those are perhaps the biggest names on an eternally lengthy Eagles injury report.
Given the line movement in favor of the Giants, I have come to look at this as a buy-low opportunity on Philadelphia. Yes, a pair of Eagles offensive stars will be unavailable, but the losses may not be quite as significant as originally projected. Boston Scott is plenty capable of handling the backfield duties, and the Eagles could also get Dallas Goedert back at tight end just in time to fill the void left by Ertz.
On the other side of the ball, it’s hard to envision the Giants offensive line standing much of a chance against Fletcher Cox and the rest of the Eagles defensive front. Forcing the Giants to be one-dimensional means forcing the ball into Daniel Jones’ hands. As we all know by now, that typically leads to turnovers. In a game that the Eagles absolutely have to have in terms of the NFC East outlook, Philly should be able to win by at least a touchdown.
Pick: Eagles -4.5 (-110 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
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