Monday Night Football features a divisional battle as the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants.
The Giants have lost eight games in a row but, for the first time since September 15, Eli Manning will start at quarterback.
The 16-year-veteran, and the only guy that can say he’s got Tom Brady’s number, was unceremoniously benched after Week 2 to give more reps to Giants first rounder Daniel Jones. After Jones won in his debut, Manning’s fate looked sealed but with the rookie injured, Eli returns to the field.
The Eagles are on a three game losing streak and are coming off an embarrassing defeat to the Dolphins. Despite sitting at 5-7 they still have a shot at making the playoffs because they play in the worst division in the NFL.
From the opening snap to final whistle we break down the odds and give you our best bets and predictions for this matchup between NFC East rivals. **video
NEW YORK GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-9.5, 45)
Eli might be everyone’s favorite pariah in New York (besides Adam Gase and James Dolan) but the Giants might actually be better with him slinging in the ball. Manning had an effective game against the Cowboys in Week 1 and although he struggled in Week 2 vs the Bills, it turns out that Buffalo is actually one of the best defenses in the league against the pass.
With Manning the G-Men averaged 6.4 yards per play (seventh in the league) and under Jones they’ve averaged just 4.7 yards per play…which is what the Bengals average.
The Eagles defense isn’t great in the opening quarter allowing 5.4 points per game (22nd in the league), and there is value in taking Eli and the Giants to get on the scoreboard first.
PICK: First team to score – New York Giants (+130)
FIRST HALF BET
These squads are two of the worst defenses in the league in the early going. The Giants defense allows a league-high 16.1 ppg in the first half while the Eagles surrender 13.4 ppg in the first 30 minutes.
With the 1H total set at just 22.5, hit the Over.
PICK: First Half Over 22.5
Carson Wentz has struggled this season but is coming off a 310 passing yard performance against the Dolphins and this could be a get right spot for him. The Giants have a terrible pass defense, ranking 30th in the league in defensive passing DVOA according to Football Outsiders and they give up a whopping 312.8 passing yards per game on the road.
Wentz finally has close to a fully healthy offensive line and receiving corps and should be able to inflict some damage downfield against the Giants porous secondary. Take the Over on his passing yards.
PICK: Carson Wentz Over 254.5 passing yards
FULL GAME TOTAL
The Eagles offense has gone through some droughts this season, most noticably in losses against the Patriots, Cowboys and Seahawks. But the Patriots have one of the best defenses in the league and Philly’s offense struggled against Dallas and Seattle mostly due to sloppy play, turning the ball over a total of nine times in those two contests.
The Giants stop-unit doesn’t cause many turnovers (just 1.2 takeaways per game) or pressure opposing QBs (27th in the league in pressures). Expect Philly to put up some points against the G-Men.
On the other side of the ball, Manning should provide some veteran stability under center. Tight end Evan Engram is out with an injury but considering the amount of injuries that the Giants have dealt with this year, that’s far from the end of the world.
Saquon Barkley seems to be inching closer to 100 percent (his 83 rushing yards last week were the most he’s had since suffering an ankle injury in Week 3), rookie speedster Darius Slayton is improving each week and Golden Tate is finally healthy.
With the O/U set at a modest 45 the Giants playmakers should be able to do enough to push this total Over.
PICK: Over 45
FULL GAME SIDE
While Manning might be able to move the chains more consistently than Jones, the 38-year-old still isn’t going to set the world on fire with his check down throws. The Eagles rank a respectable 15th in defensive passing DVOA, and are one of the better teams against the run allowing just 69 rushing yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry to opposing running backs.
Wentz, Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz should be able to shred a Giants defense that gives up 404 yards and 30.8 points per game on the road. With a win the Eagles will tie the Cowboys for the best record in the NFC East, so expect them to be fired up and eager to put this one out of reach in front of their home crowd. Back the Eagles to win and cover.
PICK: Philadelphia -9.5