Good morning, afternoon, and evening. Thursday Night Football is back after a week off. We have a Thursday night game between two division foes. I want to look at this game from the outside, and then dig deeper and look inside the two teams competing. When looking at these primetime games, always remember that the national spotlight affects players and coaches differently.
New York Giants (+4.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (45)
No one would have thought that in week 7, two teams with one win each would be competing to have the most wins in their division. If it were not for how awful the NFC east is, this game would be frowned upon by the masses. Here we are, though with two teams with very live division hopes. The Giants finally got off the snide against Washington. The Eagles fought close and barely lost a game against the mighty Ravens. The Giants must travel to Philadelphia to take on an injury-ravaged Eagles team. The Giants are still without Barkley and they hope to get Shephard back. The Eagles have lost their second tight end. Ertz went down and just added to the list of downed offensive weapons for the Eagles. Desean Jackson is expected to make his return. Alshon Jeffrey may show up also. I do not think he will be much of a factor. Fulgham has really come into his own to secure a strong role with this offense. Let’s take a look at the teams on a deeper level.
Both teams are actually in the top half in the league defensively. You would not believe it by seeing how many points the Eagles give up each game. This stems from their offensive woes. They are not able to keep opposing teams off the field despite their defense playing at a decent clip. The Giants have their offensive struggles as well. Both teams are bottom five in offensive efficiency.
Daniel Jones replaced Eli Manning last year. He has started 18 games and has had at least one turnover in 17 of these games. If we know anything about football, it is that turnovers are the quickest way to lose a game. The Giants have the worst pass blocking the NFL. This spells trouble, because the Eagles have the third best pass rush. As we know, quarterback pressure is crucial in their efficiency and causing turnovers. Each team are bottom five in wide receiver route running. This would normally make their receivers easy to cover. The problem is that both teams also rank in the bottom seven in covering receivers. Overall, it seems like it will still be difficult for the Giants’ receivers to get open due to the heavy pressure Jones should be under.
We already know who these Thursday games affect; the traveling road team. They are usually at a disadvantage. Luckily for the Giants, they did not have to travel far at all. The Eagles are hopefully getting healthier and will look to establish themselves as a force within their division. This game will come down to whether or not the Giants are hungry after their first win, or happy that they got their first win. Either way, I promise that this will be the most watched football game on Thursday night.
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Betting tip of the week: If you like a particular side, that does not necessarily mean you should bet that side for the first half or first quarter. Treat each of these bets separate and analyze accordingly.