Philadelphia Eagles (6-9 SU, 6-9 ATS) vs. New York Giants (6-9 SU, 8-6 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: 01/03/16 1:00 PM ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
by Keith, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PHI +3.5/NYG -3.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Giants regain the services of Odell Beckham Jr. after serving a one-game suspension for his tiff with Carolina cornerback Josh Norman. Beckham, Jr. will likely feast on a very porous Philadelphia defense that gave up 38 points to Washington last week at home. If Kurt Cousins can look like a Pro Bowl quarterback against the Eagles secondary, we are sure a gamer like Eli Manning will have a field day with the weapons in the Giants arsenal at his disposal.
The Giants are a resilient football team and they often respond to adversity. We can toss aside last weeks result at Minnesota as a very rare and poor performance. This is the same Giants football that orchestrated a 28-point comeback against the leagues best team just two weeks ago. Sadly, the Giants lost by just three points on a game-winning field goal after rallying back and perhaps that result may have taken the sails out of the Giants as they traveled to Minnesota. However, as mentioned this is a team that does not stay on the ropes and will certainly need no spark to come out swinging against their arch rival the Philadelphia Eagles. With Tom Coughlin as the head coach of the New York Giants, the Giants are never a bad bet in any match-up. Coughlins leadership and experience have been instrumental in helping New York execute and we think he is certainly at a higher level than Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly, who has proven to be a disappointment since captaining the Eagles. The Blur Offense experiment was an utter failure and we think Philadelphias motivation will be in question after being eliminated from the post-season at home, last week by Washington. Giants signal caller Eli Manning has the full potential to put up elite numbers. Manning has dissected week defensive backfields all year. Against Carolina, Manning made the Panthers secondary look weak, tossing four touchdowns and just one interception for 247 yards. In his moments of brilliance, Manning is a truly efficient quarterback and he can be a very difficult problem to solve, especially when the Eagles rank 26th against the pass.
Manning leads an offense that accounts for the seventh ranked passing attack in the NFL that scores 27.1 points per game. The Giants have a talented crop of receivers that includes Reuben Randle, Hakeem Nicks and emerging tight end Will Tye. We already mentioned the beast that is Odell Beckham, Jr. The Eagles have no answer for the air raid that will be launched upon them and we think this game can potentially get out of hand.
The Giants rank among the bottom of the barrel in pass defense, but they nevertheless showcase a truly talented defensive front that has been playing at a much higher level since the return of freak defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP is an absolute monster and he has the athletic prowess to create mismatches and upset the alchemy of an already out-of-sync Philadelphia offense. While we have seen the Giants get lit up by both Carolina and Minnesota through the air, we are firm that Sam Bradford may have documented struggles in such hostile confines. MetLife Stadium is one of the most brutal places to play and the Giants often play a higher level when at the Meadowlands. The receiving corps and rushing attack of Philadelphia has been inconsistent all season, due their lack of ability up front. This mismatch can foster disastrous results for the Eagles and we like that scenario.
The Giants are going to miss the Playoffs but they are not a team that is likely to fold up their tents. To salvage their season, a win against their biggest rival would be a fair consolation prize. The Giants are seething from their loss to the Eagles earlier in the season and while there will be no next week after this contest, we suspect they will enter this game with reckless abandon. We are not the least bit concerned by last weeks loss in Minnesota and given the reasons mentioned, we are delighted to take the Giants at home as a solid favorite against a hated foe.
Keiths Pick to Cover the Point Spread: New York Giants -3.5
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