Bet Giants ATS To Be Safe But G-Men Will Beat Eagles Saturday

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The New York Giants meet long-time NFC East rival, and 1-seed, Philadelphia Eagles Saturday in the NFC Division round for an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field.

Philly beat the brakes off the NYG 48-22 in New York Week 14. The Eagles clinched a first-round bye and home-field advantage for the playoffs with an unimpressive 22-16 Week 18 win over the Giants’ practice squad.

NYG beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 last week in perhaps Giants QB Daniel Jones’ finest game for Big Blue. Jones completed 24-of-35 passes for 301 yards with a 2/0 TD/INT ratio, adding 78 rushing yards on 17 carries.

New York Giants QB Daniel Jones celebrates with teammates after a TD against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
New York Giants QB Daniel Jones celebrates with teammates after a TD against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The Eagles are the superior team and the spread backs that up. But, the Giants are the healthiest they’ve been all season, the Eagles peaked too early and NYG has edges in two important matchups: Quarterback and coach.

(Full disclosure: I am a Giants fan. Yet my profession takes priority and I’m handicapping this game objectively. The NYG don’t matchup well with either the Cowboys or Niners but they can handle the Eagles).

Giants-Eagles Betting Board (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: GIANTS (+290), Eagles (-350)
  • Against the spread (ATS): GIANTS +7.5 (-110), Eagles -7.5 (-110)
  • Total — 48 — Over: -110, Under: -110

Philly had an easy path to the 1-seed and the easiest strength of schedule this season, per Football Outsiders. The Eagles limped across the finish line and lost four straight ATS to end the regular season.

A shoulder injury sidelined Eagles QB Jalen Hurts for Weeks 16 and 17 and he didn’t look like himself in the season finale. Hurts was a legit MVP contender up until his injury.

That said, if Hurts is compromised by the injury and fearful of running, I’d argue he goes from a top-tier QB to league-average.

Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts runs the ball against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts runs the ball against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

In fact, if Philadelphia and NYG swapped quarterbacks, could Hurts do what Jones did vs. the Vikings last week? Hurts hasn’t proven he can put a team on his back and carry them to victory.

Also, Eagles All-Pro RT Lane Johnson and sack-leader DE Josh Sweat both missed time at the end of the season. Hurts, Johnson and Sweat will play in the NFC divisional round but none are 100%.

These injuries just further expand …

NYG’s edge in high-leverage situations

NFL playoff games are generally tighter contests, which elevates the importance of converting on third- and fourth-down-and-short and inside the red zone.

This is an area the Giants have excelled in all season under first-year head coach Brian Daboll. Earlier this season, NYG’s success in coin-flip scenarios were brushed off as “flukey”.

The Giants are fourth in offensive opponent-adjusted efficiency (DVOA) on third and fourth-and-shorts and fifth in defensive DVOA, per Football Outsiders. Philly is fifth in offensive DVOA in these spots and 24th defensively.

New York Giants coach Brian Daboll on the sideline against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
New York Giants coach Brian Daboll on the sideline against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (David Berding/Getty Images)

At this point, it’s clear that NYG is more button-up in these spots because of Daboll. We’ve seen Bills QB Josh Allen make more mistakes this season and Jones clean up his mistakes.

The only way to explain that is Daboll. Over the course of the season, New York has won close games because of Daboll’s magic in key spots. This is part of the reason …

The Giants are barking ‘dogs

The narrative of “it’s tough to beat the same team three times in one season” is played out. But, since 2010, favorites vs. divisional foes in the playoffs are 7-12 ATS and 2-4 ATS as 7-point favorites or greater.

More importantly, the Giants are phenomenal ATS as road underdogs since drafting Jones. Per A.J. Hoffman of Pregame.com, Jones is 27-15 ATS as a ‘dog, 18-7 ATS on the road, and 17-5 ATS as a road ‘dog.

Furthermore, NYG can cash as a road ‘dog Saturday by …

Learning from Philadelphia’s loss to Washington earlier this season

The Commanders ended the Eagles’ undefeated season with a 32-21 win on Monday Night Football in Philly in Week 10. They beat Philadelphia by limiting the possessions and establishing the run.

Washington played keep-away by running the ball 49 time in that game for 152 yards and 2 TDs and converted 12-of-21 third-down attempts.

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley runs the ball against Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley runs the ball against Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

The reason this worked for the Commanders is because the Eagles struggle to stop the run at times. Philadelphia is 23rd in rushing defensive EPA/play and allows the 24th-most yards per rush.

It would be wise for the Giants to replicate this formula because NYG cannot afford to get into a shootout with the Eagles.

Shortening the game is the Giants’ best chance to advance to the NFC championship. Between Jones’ mobility, Daboll’s creativity and Philadelphia’s suspect run defense, NYG is a live ‘dog here.

BET: Giants +7.5 (-110) and ‘sprinkle’ on NYG’s ML (+295) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The New York Giants' odds at the Philadelphia Eagles for their NFC Divisional Round game from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 5 p.m. ET.
The New York Giants’ odds at the Philadelphia Eagles for their NFC Divisional Round game from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 5 p.m. ET.

PS Player Prop: Giants RB Saquon Barkley OVER 15.5 rushing attempts (-130)

Giants-Vikings in the NFC Wild Card round was a Daniel Jones Game. NYG was willing to trade punches with the Vikings because of their soft defense.

On the other hand, Giants-Eagles should be a Saquon Barkley Game. Barkley is well-rested, only rushing for 18 carries once in the past five games.

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley rushes for a TD against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley rushes for a TD against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

However, when the Giants increase Barkley’s usage they play better. NYG is 7-1-1 in games where Barkley gets at least 18 carries. My read is Daboll saved Barkley for this game.

Lastly, the first-string running back of the three teams that beat the Eagles during the regular season all ran the ball at least 16 times.

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley's rushing attempt prop from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 5 p.m. ET.
New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley’s rushing attempt prop from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 5 p.m. ET.

Follow or fade my picks here, for not just the NFL but the NBA, NHL, PGA Tour, college football, and college hoops as well!

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Written by Geoff Clark

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