New York Giants (10-4 SU, 8-5-1 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-9 SU, 6-8 ATS)
Week 16 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, December 22. 2016 at 8:25PM EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: NYG -3/PHI +3
Over/Under Total: 42
The New York Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants had a good result last Sunday, with a 17-6 win over a good Detroit team. The Giants now have ten wins on the season and though they need Dallas to lose their last two and they win out to take the division, they are solidly in the wild card picture. The Eagles have seen a promising start to the season evaporate, as they've lost 5 straight and 7 out of 8 games. They lost to the Ravens, 28-27, on Sunday, at least showing they still have some fight in them. In the first game between these two teams on November 6, the Giants won at home, 28-23. The Giants led the whole way and held off a plucky Eagles bunch. Eli Manning threw 4 TDs, but Carson Wentz threw for 364 yards, though with no TDs and two picks. It was a competitive game, but a lot has changed since early-November.
New York's 17-6 win over Detroit was similar to a lot Giants' wins this season. In recent years, you wouldn't see the Giants winning those types of grinding games. But with more emphasis on defense, we see a different team and a successful one this season. In consecutive games against the Cowboys and the Lions, they've allowed 13 combined points. Eli Manning isn't operating with a high-flying offense, but with a more conservative approach. Whatever the case, he's been doing enough to get this team to 10-4. For a team coming off consecutive 6-win seasons, that's not too bad.
One of Manning's two TD passes on Sunday came on another incredible catch from Odell Beckham, Jr. The young receiver is really a transcendent playmaker who has overcome some of his early-season struggles to forge a really positive season. He excels in the clutch. Also stepping up on Sunday was rookie Sterling Shepard, who had a TD pass. Both Beckham, Jr. and Shepard also thrived in the first game of the season between these two teams. The Giants have been trying to forge a run-game, with mixed results. Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings can be useful in spots, though, and it's a part of the game that's showing minor signs of life—something that could pay off later. Still, the Giants offense is a pretty low-profile group this season. Manning is near 3500 yards, but they're averaging fewer than 20 points a game and they are the 27th-ranked offense in the league.
Credit goes to the Giants' front office for procuring so much defensive talent and to the coaching for helping it all come together. The Giants' defense has been good and looks to be getting better. No team has even scored in the 30's against this defense. The most points an opponent has scored on the Giants since September was 24 points. The pass-rush has been good, led by first year Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon. The front has been excellent against the run this season, which is bad news for the Eagles' offense. And the secondary, while not always robust, is a playmaking group, led by Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Eli Apple. Only two teams in the league have given up less points than the Giants.
The Eagles looked good early this season with a 3-0 start and then never looked the same after returning from a week four bye. Since, they've gone 2-9. They've lost five straight. Anything that looked good to open the season has soured. And that goes for both sides of the ball. They covered the spread in a one-point road loss to Baltimore in their last game and showed that they haven't packed it in this season at least. It was a painful defeat, however, as a two-point conversion failed when they went for the win after a last-second Carson Wentz TD run. Against a Ravens team fighting for a playoff spot, that wasn't half-bad for a team that had covered a measly two spreads since September.
Wentz is a rookie, so some leash is extended for what has been an up-and-down season. The players on offense at his disposal are a pretty uninspiring group of role players and youngsters who for the most part haven't lived up to their potential. RB Ryan Mathews was big with 128 yards and a TD on Sunday. Darren Sproles is still a factor on the ground and aerially. TE Zach Ertz has been really delivering in his last three games. But the receiving crew underachieved to a flagrant degree this season. You'd think with Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham, Nelson Agholor, and a pair of good tight ends like Ertz and Trey Burton, they'd be able to come up with something better than the league's 24th-ranked passing offense. Since week three, the Eagles haven't surpassed 26 points of scoring.
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The Philly defense isn't awful. They are actually strangely consistent, as they've allowed exactly 27 points in three of their last 4 games. Since week three, they have allowed between 24 and 32 points all but twice. Seven times in the last 11 games, they've given up between 24 and 28. Not great, but reliable. Their pass-rush can be pretty good still and they've secured 24 turnovers on the season, while scoring a few times on defense. They may have been a big letdown after starting the season looking like a great "D," but they've held it together somewhat even as the season crumbled around them.
Both teams experienced some offensive success in the first game, with Manning throwing for four TDs and Wentz spraying the ball around to the tune of 364 yards. And that was an Eagles team on the road that had already started to wane. Things are more urgent for the Giants this time around with the playoff element at play, but they look to be in the driver's seat as far as a wild card spot goes with 10 wins. Though still in with a shot at the NFC East, they're likely not banking on Dallas dropping both of their last two games. There's just this voice from within or more of a feeling that this game is going to be a grind where having the points is the right move.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Philadelphia Eagles plus 3 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Giants vs. Eagles game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!