(9-4, 6-7 ATS)
New York Giants
(9-4, 7-6 ATS)
The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles really can’t be separated right now. The two teams are both 9-4 and both have a number of strengths and weaknesses. However, when this one is over with, one team will probably have the division title wrapped up, while the other is most likely going to be in a tie for the final playoff spot and be in really, really dire straits for the rest of the season. This NFL betting battle is one on Sunday that you certainly will not want to miss.
The Eagles do have one tremendous X-Factor on their side in the form of QB Michael Vick. Though Vick’s numbers are decaying just a bit, the offense just isn’t taking any steps backwards this year as everyone really thought would be the case. Vick has thrown for 2,513 yards and rushed for 483 more, and he has a total of 24 TDs against just four picks. We also have to remember that Vick only played in ten games this year, and he only really played through about nine in total. If you prorated his numbers for a 16 game season, he’d have just under 4,500 yards passing and over 850 rushing. On the ground, RB LeSean McCoy is doing a little bit of everything. He has 972 yards as a rusher and 538 more as a receiver, and he easily leads the team in receptions. However, both WR DeSean Jackson and WR Jeremy Maclin are probably 1,000 yard receivers this year, as they are both within striking distance. Jackson leads the league in yards per reception with 23.1 after his 210 yard performance on just four catches last week. These two have combined for 14 TD receptions.
The Giants are hurting right now, as their injury list is eight miles long. The big loss right now to note is that WR Steve Smith has been downed for the rest of the season. That really just leaves WR Hakeem Nicks and WR Mario Manningham to do the damage. They are the two leading receivers on the team, but Manningham will be making just his sixth start of the season on Sunday and is far better used as a third receiver in the slot. On the ground, RB Ahmad Bradshaw might be limited thanks to his forearm injury suffered at the end of the duel against the Minnesota Vikings, but RB Brandon Jacobs is ready to pick up the slack. Jacobs needs 307 yards in these final three games of the season to give both runners 1,000 yards on the year, a feat pulled off last year by Carolina Panthers RBs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Be careful with QB Eli Manning, though. The younger Manning brother might have 24 TD passes and he might be one of the few with over 3,000 yards passing already on the year, but he also leads the league in INTs with 19.
Common logic suggests that you should be going with the Giants in this one at home, but the Eagles have won and covered five in a row against the NFL odds in this series. It’s going to be tough for the G-Men to win by more than a field goal, and knowing that a push very well could be in play, we’d rather be taking the points and hoping for the upset than laying them.
Week 15 Free Pick: Philadelphia Eagles +3