Eagles Injuries Open Up Value on Giants for Week 6 NFL Picks

Jason Lake

Thursday, October 9, 2014 6:25 PM GMT

The New York Giants were one of the early NFL picks for the sharps this week, but the consensus has leveled off for their Sunday nighter against the Philadelphia Eagles. So how much do you wanna bet on Big Blue?

Jason’s Record After Week 5: 19-16 ATS, 5-7-1 Totals

Profit: plus-0.1 units

 

Everything is back to normal in the NFC East. The league’s marquee division is back in business, with three winning teams (and Washington) sporting healthy point differentials as we head into the second trimester of the 2014 regular season. We’ll see two of those teams lock horns on Sunday Night Football when the Philadelphia Eagles (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS, plus-24 differential) host the New York Giants (3-2 SU and ATS, plus-22) in what should be a solid football game. The Week 6 NFL odds board shows Philadelphia laying 2.5 points (–125) as we go to press.

 

New York Flies
We hope you had the chance to read our opening odds report for this matchup. Here’s the gist: The Giants rank higher than the Eagles in Simple Rating System over at Pro Football Reference, and for the most part, they’re getting healthier while Philadelphia’s offensive line is losing players. So we’re going to add the G-Men to our NFL picks this week. Pretty simple.

It’s the bet size that has us a little bit nervous. When you factor in the NFL betting public’s current preference for the Eagles, and the fact that you can get the Giants at +3 if you shop around, that really opens up the potential profit margin on this game. But is it really worth throwing down a few extra betting units on what feels like it should be a close rivalry game?

That depends on how you evaluate the other key handicapping factors. For example, do you prefer hotshot head coach Chip Kelly and his Oregon-tested option offense? Or do you go with the proven veteran leadership of Tom Coughlin? Just as importantly, how do you think the betting public views these two coaches and their respective staffs, if at all? We’re calling it a wash in this case.

 

If There Is Hope, It Lies In Sproles
Then you have those overlooked defensive and special teams units. There’s plenty of profit margin to be had in these categories, with casual fans generally fixated on offense. That should be to New York’s overall benefit, but the while the Giants have the No. 7-ranked defense in the league according to the efficiency charts at Football Outsiders, their special teams check in at No. 23. The Eagles rank No. 16 in defensive efficiency and No. 1 in special teams.

Oh well. That’s what we get for lumping defense and special teams together as one of our Five Stars for betting on the NFL. We’re going to call that category even, too, but not without digging a little deeper into those special teams. Philadelphia is creating a lot of short fields for Nick Foles and the offense; Darren Sproles has been terrific returning punts, and Chris Polk has done very well on kick-offs. Sproles and Polk have each scored a return touchdown for the Eagles this year.

Those are the obvious points that Philly’s special teams have scored. Those short fields are also worth something: a league-best 12.5 “hidden” points according to Football Outsiders. The Giants, on the other hand, have gotten substandard production from their return game, resulting in only 1.6 hidden points. Is it enough difference to completely cancel out the advantage the G-Men own on defense? Danged if we know. We’re just trying to get a ballpark idea here about how many betting units to invest in Big Blue. Feel free to stick with a single unit if you’re not into the whole Kelly criterion thing. We’ll still respect you in the morning.

 

The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: NYG
Defense/Special Teams: EVEN
Coaching: EVEN
Market Bias: NYG
Betting Line Value: NYG

Verdict: 3-star pick on NYG

Free NFL Pick: Bet 5.5 units on the Giants +3 at Bodog

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