Week 6 kicks off with an intriguing NFC East matchup as the New York Giants play host to the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. Fresh off of a heartbreaking loss to the Panthers, the Giants head into this one 1-4 and last place in the division. Similarly, after losing at home to the Vikings last week, the Eagles enter this one at an unconvincing 2-3. Both teams will be desperately seeking a win here to put their currently disappointing seasons back on track. As such, I expect a hard fought and competitive game where both teams play with a sense of urgency.
Where to Watch: ESPN, 7 Mate or NFL Game Pass Friday 11:20am
New York Giants
The Giants offense put up one of their best offensive performances of the season last week. QB Eli Manning bounced back to the tune of 326 yards and 2 touchdowns, whilst Odell Beckham Junior got in on the act with a 57-yard touchdown throw of his own. Beckham was also dynamite as a receiver, hauling in 8 catches for 131 yards. Despite 2 touchdowns through the air, rookie RB Saquon Barkley struggled running the ball, managing just 48 yards on 15 carries.
Statistically, the Giants defence wasn’t as bad as the score would suggest. They did a great job containing the usually potent Panthers rushing offense to just 3.8 yards per carry. Similarly, Cornerback duo Janoris Jenkins and Curtis Riley both made nice plays to intercept Panthers QB Cam Newton. Against an Eagles offense that has been underwhelming so far this season, I expect a unit led by Landon Collins and Alec Ogletree to perform well this week.
After last year’s breakout campaign, the Eagles offense has been rather underwhelming so far in the 2018 season. QB Carson Wentz was a bright spot last week, throwing for 311 yards and 2 touchdowns in a home loss to the Vikings. Tight End Zach Ertz was the primary beneficiary, hauling in 110 yards and a score. The Eagles running game has struggled all year and won’t benefit from the news that starting RB Jay Ajayi is out for the season with a torn ACL.
The usually stout Eagles defence somewhat struggled to contain an explosive Vikings passing game last week. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed over 80% of his passes to the tune of 300 yards and a touchdown. Adam Thielen gave the Eagles secondary fits all afternoon, managing 7 catches for 116 yards and a score. The run defence, however, stepped up for the Eagles and allowed just 3.3 yards per carry last week. Holding Saquon Barkley and Co this week could be the catalyst to a strong overall performance.
With everyone seemingly on the Eagles here, I’m going to show the Giants some love. None of the Eagles performances this season suggest that they should be a 3.5-point favourite on the road coming off of a short week. The Eagles are winless on the road this season, putting in subpar performances in disappointing losses to the Buccaneers and Titans. Still coming back from his injury, I believe too much is falling onto the shoulders of QB Carson Wentz.
Going through the key number of 3, this represents very good line value for the Giants in my opinion. Road division games are never easy to win, especially coming off of a short week and a high-profile loss last week. I’m expecting a strong performance from the Giants defence here, whilst Beckham and Barkley do enough to keep them in it on offense. The Giants are a very live underdog here, but I’ll stick with the 3.5 points.
Over 4.5 touchdowns
A game total of 44 suggests to me that the bookies are expecting 5-6 touchdowns. As such, I believe over 4.5 touchdowns in this one represents good value. Both of these offenses have the talent necessary to put up points, whilst the defences have shown their vulnerabilities at times this season. In the 10 combined matches that these two teams have played so far, this over has hit 6 of those times. With both sides fresh off offensive minded games last week, this is a trend that I see continuing.
In the modern NFL, 5 touchdowns really aren’t all that difficult to obtain. Rules are constantly changing to benefit offensive players, with more points improving ratings from an NFL perspective. Especially on a primetime game, I expect to see somewhere in the vicinity of 5-6 touchdowns. I believe the passing offenses of both teams are primed to break out as the opposing defences key in on the run.
4th Quarter Total Over 12.5
Tying in with my above two predictions, I’m expecting a competitive game with some scoring opportunities late. Below the key number of 13, all we require here is two touchdowns or one touchdown and two field goals, both of which are very realistic. In a frantic 4th quarter where both teams are playing to win, I expect to see between 13-20 points, making this an easy over for me to bet. By this stage, defences are typically fatigued off of a long game and a short week. This represents a great opportunity for one of the offensive weapons here to win the game for either side.
Best Bet: Giants +3.5
Out of the above bets, this is definitely the one I’ve got the best read on. I’m fading the public here and backing a Giants team that appears quite undervalued to me. After last week’s offensive resurgence, I’m expecting another strong outing from Eli, Saquon, Odell and Co. This ends up as either a close loss or outright win for the G-Men.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 24-23 New York Giants