Somebody has to win the NFC East. For now, the New York Giants are on top, but they'll have to beat the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL odds this Monday night.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 13: 18-11 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 12-18 Total
That's a bit more like it. The Philadelphia Eagles didn't exactly soar last week, but they did get off the ground during the second half, eventually beating the hapless New Orleans Saints (yes, it's come to that) 39-17 as 6.5-point home faves. Maybe Philadelphia's top guys should only play the second half, and let the practice squad take care of the first 30 minutes, like a warm-up act.
With the win, the Eagles climb into a three-way tie for second place in the NFC East at 2-3 SU and ATS. And they're only a game behind the leaders, the New York Giants (3-2 SU and ATS). That could all change once the final whistle blows on Monday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Eagles opened as 3.5-point home faves on our NFL odds board and quickly moved to –4, despite 91 percent of early bettors preferring the Giants. Interesting.
The Book of Eli
It's too early in the week to have enough data for our expanded consensus reports, but a quick snoop around the Interwebs seems to confirm that most bettors were on New York at the open. Makes sense to us, although the Giants did fail us in last week's 30-27 win over the San Francisco 49ers (+7.5 away at the close), the worst team in the league according to the DVOA charts at Football Outsiders.
They almost lost the game, too. QB Eli Manning made life difficult for himself again by throwing a goal-line interception at the end of the first half, but he made up for it by leading the New York Giants on an 82-yard TD drive with under two minutes remaining. This was after both WR Odell Beckham Jr. and WR Rueben Randle suffered hamstring injuries late in the game. The Giants won't practice until Thursday for their MNF appearance; for now, both wideouts are listed as questionable.
Strain It Like Beckham
Well, that's kind of important for our NFL picks. Despite their usual laundry list of injuries, the G-Men are ranked No. 8 overall (No. 7 offense, No. 13 defense, No. 7 special teams) at Football Outsiders. Good thing Beckham (31 catches, three TDs) and Randle (19 catches, two TDs) aren't the be-all and end-all of this team. They check in at No. 17 and No. 24 in receiving DYAR; Beckham was sixth overall last year after making his NFL debut in Week 5.
New York still needs both of these guys on Monday. Defense is the best thing going for the Eagles right now; they rank No. 12 overall (No. 22 offense, No. 7 defense, No. 14 special teams) after five games, driving the UNDER to a 4-1 record in the process. This could end up being a good spot to bet the UNDER on the total of 50 points, although 100 percent of early bettors were on the OVER when the total opened at 49.5. Hmmm. Come back later this week and we'll figure it out as best as we can.