Note: For the 2013 Week 13
game between these two teams, please go here: New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins Pick.
Washington Redskins (4-9 SU, 6-7 ATS) vs. New York Giants (7-6 SU, 6-6-1 ATS), 1:00 p.m. EST, Week 15 NFL, Sunday, December 18, 2011, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., TV: FOX
by Badger, Pro Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Wash. +7/NYG -7
Over/Under Total: 45.5
Bet the Skins/Gmen game using your credit card at an online sportsbook that WILL get your Visa to work for deposits: BetOnline.
One week after saving their season with another fourth-quarter comeback the New York Giants will look to try and keep the pressure on when they host the NFC East rival Washington Redskins in MetLife Stadium Sunday on Fox.
The Gmen were down 12 points and were a few minutes away from falling in a two-game hole behind the Dallas Cowboys and essentially out of the NFC East title race when quarterback Eli Manning rallied the offense on two late fourth quarter scoring drives to snatch victory from defeat and keep the Giants playoff hopes alive.
The second of the two Giants scoring drives came with 46 seconds remaining on the clock, which gave the Cowboys enough time to get in long field goal range. But after a late timeout to ice the kicker Dan Bailey stopped the game-tying field goal, Giants end Jason Pierre-Paul made the score stand by blocking the Cowboys second attempt to force overtime and may have saved the Giants season in the process.
With the emotional high still lingering following their backs-to-the-wall win, now the Giants must stay focused and beat the Redskins, the same team that beat them in the regular season opener back in September, 28-14.
Washington is coming off of a tough loss at home last weekend to the New England Patriots, 34-27. The Redskins hung with Tom Brady and the Pats for 45 minutes on Sunday, matching the Pats score for score until a late third quarter pass from Brady to Wes Welker proved to be the nail in the Skins coffin.
The loss was especially hard to take for the Redskins since they outgained the Patriots, had more first downs, held New England to a 1-for-4 mark in the red zone and kept Brady and the offense in limbo on the sidelines by holding a 13-minute advantage in time of possession in the game.
All of that was still not enough to get the Redskins in the win column, as their season has morphed into the role of spoiler this week against the Giants in their last meaningful game of the regular season.
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The oddsmakers out in Las Vegas are back on the Giants bandwagon too, setting the opening point spread for this NFC East rivalry game with New York as full touchdown 7-point favorites. Theres even one offshore sportsbook (5Dimes.com) that lists the Giants as 8-point favorites, so most of the early action appears to be coming in on the G-men in their quest to stay alive in the NFC East race.
The over/under total opened at 45.5 and it has also not moved at all since the initial number was put on the board.
Offensively this game will be interesting because both teams utilize similar styles of attack, force-feeding the run to try and get over the top of the linebackers in play action. Well also see which team has made more progress since their matchup in the opener, where both teams had almost identical offensive numbers in a game that turned on Skins rookie defensive end Ryan Kerrigans interception return for a touchdown.
Much has been made about the play of the Giants Manning in recent weeks, since his 4,105 yards, 62 percent completion percentage and 25 touchdowns are either all career highs or quickly approaching career highs. But hes had to be that good this season because the once powerful Giants running game is still non-existent (85.8 ypg -32nd) and doesnt look like it will get better in the final weeks.
Which sets up an interesting game plan for the Giants and coordinator Kevin Gilbride this week, since the Redskins are strong in the secondary (220 ypg 13th) with corners DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson able to limit the damage on the perimeter. Overall the Giants would be better suited to attack the heart of the Redskins defense running the ball (allow 114 ypg 17th), but it may be a situation of too little too late.
Did I mention that these offenses are similar? Well, the Redskins and their running game has also been a struggle all season long (94 ypg -31st) and it has forced quarterback Rex Grossman (and John Buck) to play above and beyond what they are really capable of in the passing game. Grossman has responded with more picks (16) than touchdowns (12), which also explains why the Skins are 4-9 and playing out the last few games before setting tee times in January.
Washington did look more like a typical Mike Shannahan team last week (170 yards rushing) and it helped to open things up in the passing game for Grossman (293 yards, 2 TD), but it all came against the Patriots defense which is one of the worst in the league. Although, the Giants defense has taken its lumps in recent weeks against three of the best offenses in the NFL (NO, GB, Dal.), so the Redskins might be able to take advantage of a Giants defense that will be short-handed (Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck both doubtful, Kenny Phillips and Mark Herzlich both questionable) and still reeling from over use.
When Washington won the season opener back in September it snapped a six-game winning streak the Giants had over the Skins. In fact, the Giants have been a huge thorn in the side of the Redskins lately, going 8-2 SU on them (3-1 SU in N.Y.) since the 2006 season.
The Redskins have covered the spread in two straight games, including the opener as 2.5-point home dogs, but the Giants also hold an advantage over them at the betting window going 6-3-1 ATS over the same 10-game span (5-1-1 ATS in L7 in N.Y.).
The under looks like it might be the best betting trend wager in this game, since it is 7-1 in the last eight games of the head-to-head series played in New York (technically N.J.). The under is also 5-2 in the Redskins last seven road games, and 5-1-1 in the Giants last seven games as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Giants seemed to get a huge boost of energy by winning on the road last week to save their season, but after five straight weeks of emotionally draining games I just dont know if they have enough left in the tank. I also expect the Redskins to play a strong game with the motivation of spoiling the Giants season driving them. The Giants will win, but I dont think they and their defense cover the full seven points. Im taking Washington plus the points.
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