Philadelphia Eagles (10-6-1) +4, 40 O/U at New York Giants (12-4)
Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J., 1:00PM Eastern, Sunday
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
The New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles will meet for the 3rd time this season with this game determining who goes on to play in the NFC Championship. The Giants won the first meeting 36-31 while Philadelphia captured the 2nd meeting 20-14. Both of those games were fun to watch and less than a touchdown was the deciding factor in each game. However, the Giants will have the home field advantage in the Meadowlands where they knocked off the Eagles earlier this season. This match-up looks to be another classic grudge match between two NFC East rivals with big implications on the line.
Philadelphias win over the Giants in the start of December was the key victory that got the Eagles rolling in the latter part of the year. The Eagles have played excellent defense down the stretch and that became apparent last week when they held the Minnesota Vikings to only 14 points. The Eagles have not allowed over 14 points in 5 straight games and they will look for defense to once again lead them over the Giants. The Philadelphia defense ranks in the top 4 in every major defensive category. The Eagles have allowed an NFL 4th best 18 points per game and a 3rd best 272 yards per game for the season. The defense will once again need to play a solid ball game for the Eagles to stay hot and grab their 5th win in 6 games.
The Giants ended the year on bad terms losing 3 of their last 4 games.
However, the Giants had already wrapped up home field advantage throughout
the playoffs. The Giants seem to have lost the offensive momentum they had
earlier in the year since the departure of WR Plaxico Burress for off the
field issues. Despite closing out the year poorly, New York still holds
the 3rd best scoring offense in the NFL with 26.7 points per game. The Giants
also sport the number 1 rush offense in the NFL averaging a stout 156 yards
per game on the ground. Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward are the only pair
of running backs to rush for 1,000 yards this season for one team. Both
backs present big play capability and Philadelphia must make shutting down
the running game priority number one.
Intertops has the betting line expecting this to be another great game with the New York Giants being the slight favorite by 4 points. The over/under for the contest has been posted at the 40 point mark. ML numbers have New York listed as the -200 favorites and the Eagles as +165 underdogs.
Philadelphia QB Donovan Mcnabb has closed out the year strong after some mid-season controversy based on his performance. Last week, McNabb threw 23/34 for a strong 300 yards with a touchdown and a pick. Running back Michael Westbrook was shut down for the majority of the game until breaking a 71 yard touchdown off a screen pass. Westbrook is a dual threat running back that can be just as effective catching passes out of the backfield. Westbrook big play capability could very well be the difference maker again this weekend in the Division Playoff Round.
New York will certainly run the ball a lot in this game. The Giants have found a lot of success this season on the ground and they will try to wear down the Philadelphia defense with their two sensational backs. QB Eli Manning is the high profile man behind center for the Giants throwing for 3,238 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. However, Manning has not even thrown for 200 yards in a single game since the last week in December. The passing attack has not been so much of an attack this season and the Giants will look to get things done on the ground. The New York defense has been strong down the stretch as well and it will be interesting to see if the Giants defensive unit can force QB Donovan McNabb to make some turnovers. Every turnover will be huge in this game considering how important every possession will likely be in this anticipated great football game.
New York is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games and also 5-1 ATS in their last 6 at home. The Giants have reached the under total in 5 of their last 6 games as well. The over/under total has also gone on the under side in the Eagles last 5 of 6 games. Philadelphia is 11-4 ATS in their last 15 and also a strong 4-1 ATS in their last 5 outings.
Jays Pick – I like the over 40 in this game. Philadelphia is playing great offense and New York will have success on the ground. Take the over 40.