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Giants-Eagles divisional round best bets: New York's tough turnaround

Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The betting market didn't like either the Giants or Vikings all season long, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that the team that regularly covered as an underdog beat the team whose metrics never added up to its 13-4 record. However, New York has its work cut out for itself in Philadelphia this week.

The Eagles were the last team to lose a game this season, but that undefeated run put their rating on a pedestal that was hard to live up to as they finished 3-7 against the spread. Week 18's home game with the Giants isn't going to tell anyone much given all the key players New York rested. If anything, the close score might give the underdog some confidence, particularly defensively.

Giants @ Eagles (-7.5, 48.5)

There's some confusion about the point spread in this game. On the one hand, the Eagles closed -7 in the one legitimate matchup these two teams played this season in Week 14 at MetLife Stadium. Assuming the same rating for both teams, that would result in the Eagles being approximately 11-point favorites at home, especially since Philadelphia won at New York 48-22.

On the other hand, the Giants finished the season with a key prime-time road win over the Commanders, handled the Colts with ease to clinch a playoff berth, and racked up 431 total yards while going up and down the field in Minnesota last week. On top of that, the betting market is often inherently attracted to an underdog of over a touchdown the further along we go in the playoffs. Plus, the Giants had the best record ATS this season.

In Week 14, the Eagles took a 21-0 lead that would be insurmountable for almost any Philadelphia opponent, let alone the Giants. However, how they accumulated that lead is worth investigating.

After a 14-play opening-drive touchdown, the Eagles went for it on fourth-and-7 from no man's land on their second drive. What should've been a relatively simple pass breakup was botched by backup safety Julian Love, resulting in a touchdown instead of good field position for the Giants. Then a botched New York punt led to an immediate one-play Eagles touchdown drive. That forced Daniel Jones into a pass-heavy game script and allowed Philadelphia to grind out 253 rushing yards on the way to almost 50 points.

In the season finale, facing Eagles starters who played their usual number of snaps, the Giants' steadily improving defense slowed Philadelphia, and there were far fewer misplays in high-leverage situations. Run-stopping anchor Leonard Williams missed the first meeting, so there's reason to believe that New York is worth a look at covering +7.5 as the team can have success minimizing the Eagles' big-play-centric offense.

Saquon Barkley played just 20 snaps in the first meeting and sat out the second game entirely. However, the Giants go from facing arguably the worst defense in the league - the Vikings allow 5.9 yards per play - to an Eagles defense that gave up a league-best 4.8 yards per play.

If the Giants don't cover, it'll likely be because of their offense. So, instead of taking a side, we'll bet that both offenses will have a tougher time than expected and that this game will stay under an above-average total.

Pick: Under 48.5 points

Daniel Jones under 223.5 passing yards

Like Barkley, Jones has had minimal reps against the Eagles. He was taken out early in the Week 14 blowout, managing just 169 passing yards through 80% of the snaps of a pass-heavy game state.

The Eagles' defense allowed just 5.5 yards per pass attempt, a league-best mark. So, Jones will see a polar-opposite opponent coming off his 300-yard game against Minnesota. Two of his three 300-plus-yard games this season came against the Vikings. Aside from those three contests, his next highest yardage output was 228 at Dallas, where 50 of those yards came in a late garbage-time touchdown drive.

Hopefully, a low-scoring, competitive game will allow the Giants to rely more on Barkley's and Jones' legs.

Jalen Hurts under 50.5 rushing yards

Jalen Hurts' first game back saw him run nine times for just 13 yards. Was that just a function of Hurts not trying to do too much because of his lingering shoulder injury? Or was it because of better preparation from the Giants the second time around?

It's hard to tell, but given pre-injury Hurts averaged only three more rushing yards per game than this total, there are enough variables to take a shot on the under here. That's especially true since the Eagles may save potential heavy-contact play calls for short-yardage and red-zone situations.

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

Giants-Eagles divisional round best bets: New York's tough turnaround
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