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Giants-Eagles Thursday Night Football Betting Preview: Odds, trends, pick

In a Thursday Night Football clash of two down-and-out division rivals, the Eagles (1-4-1) host the Giants (1-5) tonight at 8:20 p.m ET. The Eagles are -4.5 home favorites and -245 on the moneyline, and the over/under is listed at 45. Regardless of how much of a dumpster fire these teams have been, the BetQL Best Bet Model has all the top picks for this matchup, and every other game on the 2020 NFL schedule.

Despite their atrocious starts, both Philly and New York would vault to the top of the historically bad NFC East with a win tonight. The entire division has only five wins, exactly half of the total wins of the next-worst division. Six individual teams have as many wins as the entire NFC East, and with 2-4 Dallas losing franchise QB Dak Prescott in Week 5, there’s never been a better time for the Eagles or Giants to make history as the first playoff team with a 6-10 record.

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Countless big-name injuries, questionable play calls, and unparalleled lapses in execution have contributed to these teams’ struggles. The Giants have scored the second-fewest points in the league, and the Eagles have thrown nine interceptions and allowed a whopping 25 sacks. Of quarterbacks who have started every game for their respective team, only the Jets’ Sam Darnold has a lower QB rating (70.7) than the Giants’ Daniel Jones (71) and Philly’s Carson Wentz (71.2).

If both these teams could lose in front of the nation tonight, they would probably find a way. Perhaps the Eagles will end up with their second tie of the season, their first coming in a Week 3 stalemate at home with the Bengals. But the odds are that a winner will prevail, and BetQL’s NFL Best Bet Model projects one team as the obvious pick. Keep reading to see our best bets for this Thursday Night slopfest.

All data presented is as of Thursday afternoon. You can track all NFL line movement on BetQL’s Line Movement Dashboard.

WEEK 7 FANTASY RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Giants Outlook

The Giants went from bad to terrible when franchise running back Saquon Barkley tore his ACL in New York’s Week 2 loss to the Bears. Daniel Jones has dealt with an abysmal offensive line, a thrown-together backfield rotation, and a corps of injury-depleted wide receivers. Aside from brief glimpses of decency against the Cowboys’ NFL-worst defense two weeks ago and a win over lowly Washington last week, Jones has looked pretty putrid himself.

Jones completes just 20.5 passes per game (26th in the NFL), good for a paltry 61.2 completion percentage (27th). He gets sacked on 7.8 percent of offensive snaps, ninth most in the league. Only the Ravens and Jets average fewer passing yards per game than the Giants’ 187.5. They are dead last in passing touchdowns (just three in six games) and total yards per game (275.3), and, if not for the dreadful Jets, the Giants would also be the worst-scoring team in the NFL with just 16.8 points per game.

But let’s look at the bright side. The Giants have looked better on third downs in recent weeks, and even if Jones has to tuck the ball and run, he has been moving the ball more effectively. The second-year QB has also developed good chemistry with wideout Darius Slayton, who has caught all three of Jones’ touchdown passes and has exceeded his 2019 yards per game average by nearly 15 yards this season. Devonta Freeman, Wayne Gallman, and Dion Lewis have been serviceable out of the backfield in Barkley’s absence. If Jones and tight end Evan Engram can continue to improve together and Golden Tate can stay healthy and get separation, more wins could be on the horizon. They will be even better off if receiver Sterling Shepard (turf toe) returns from a four-game stint on the IR.

The Giants’ defensive unit has easily been the strongest feature of this team. Linebacker Blake Martinez has been electric, leading the team with 38 solo tackles and 64 combined. Defensive tackle Leonard Williams and linebacker Kyler Fackrell have combined for six sacks and 11 tackles for loss, and the Giants have 15 sacks as a team. Cornerback James Bradberry and safety Jabrill Peppers have also had moments of brilliance in the first half of the season. New York has forced eight turnovers, held three opponents to 93 or fewer rushing yards, and kept three different opponents under 20 points. However, they do have multiple defenders on the IR, including linebackers Oshane Ximines, Lorenzo Carter, and Tae Crowder, the last of which had the game-winning scoop-and-score last week.

Eagles Outlook

While the Giants have been bit by the injury bug, the Eagles have been stung. In Philly’s 30-28 loss to the Ravens last week, only two projected offensive starters from the season-opener—quarterback Carson Wentz and his center, Jason Kelce—finished the game.

Philadelphia had already been without veteran wideouts DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot), as well as tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle). And four of its five offensive linemen have been banged up. Things got even worse in Week 6, when the Eagles lost their top two skill-position players. Tight end Zach Ertz suffered an ankle injury that landed him on the IR and second-year running back Miles Sanders, the best playmaker on Philly’s roster, sustained a minor knee injury on a 74-yard run, forcing him to miss at least tonight’s game.

Despite battling all the adversity, the Eagles offense has managed to put up a total of 57 points and stay in their last two games until the very end.  That’s pretty remarkable, considering they were playing two elite defenses ranked first and third in points allowed (Baltimore allows 17.3 points per game, Pittsburgh 18.8).

Leading the charge for Philly has been breakout wide receiver Travis Fulgham, who has risen from relative obscurity to fantasy football stardom. In the past two games, the 25-year old Old Dominion product has caught 16-of-23 targets for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He will have his hands full if he draws Bradberry in coverage, but if Jackson returns, Fulgham might continue to see a high volume of looks from Wentz. D-Jax has 69 catches for 1,109 yards in 18 career games against the Giants, averaging over 16 yards per catch. He also has eight total touchdowns against the G-Men, including two as a punt returner.

Meanwhile, stout 5-6 RB Boston Scott will step into Sanders’ role, hoping to duplicate the success he enjoyed against New York in 2019. Scott had 128 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 23-17 overtime win over the Giants in Week 14 and 138 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in their NFC East-clinching 34-17 win over them three weeks later.

As the offense struggles to stay healthy, Philadelphia’s defense has struggled to stay off the field, allowing opponents an average total time of possession of 31.35. The Eagles have surrendered 29.2 points per game (23rd in the NFL), and yielded a 72.7 touchdown percentage while only averaging 0.8 takeaways (26th). They also have the 27th-ranked red zone defense, allowing foes to score 72.7 percent of the time they reach the Eagles’ 20-yard line. They have given up eight passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns through six games, on pace for the most red-zone touchdowns allowed in franchise history. 

Injuries to multiple members of its secondary have not helped matters for Philadelphia, leading to lots of blown coverages. The front seven has also struggled with tackling, especially against the run in the red zone. The Eagles have not received the productivity they are used to from defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, once a superstar in this league. The 29-year-old who had 10.5 sacks just two seasons ago has just 1.5 after six games this season.

Prediction

Philly has won seven consecutive games against the Giants and 11 of their last 12 meetings. The Eagles are also 5-0 in Thursday Night Football games since Doug Pederson became head coach. With the way Wentz and the Eagles have battled superior foes the past two weeks, the smart money is on them continuing their good fortune against the Giants.

The BetQL Best Bet Model puts a three-star rating on the Eagles on both the moneyline (-245) and against the spread (-4.5). The model also projects the UNDER on the total (45), projecting with three-star confidence an implied final score of 25-18. Eagles fans, rejoice: you will more than likely wake up tomorrow with your team in first place with two wins!

 

You can find all updated lines, odds, spreads, and NFL picks at BetQL!

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