New York Giants (5-5) at Washington Redskins (4-6)
I’m torn on this one. On one hand, the Giants have always been a very good road team in the Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning era, since 2004, going 60-39 ATS on the road over that time period, including 51-32 ATS as underdogs or favorites of 3 or fewer, as they are here (favorites of 3 points). On top of that, they’re coming off of a bye and road favorites of 3+ are 42-13 ATS coming off of a bye, including 22-5 ATS in a divisional matchup.
However, the Giants are also overrated. This line was a pick ‘em a week ago and has since jumped to a field goal, a significant line movement considering that close to 1 in 4 games are decided by a field goal or less. Despite that, the public is still all over the Giants. I love fading the public whenever it makes sense because they always lose money in the long run and I love fading a significant line movement whenever it makes sense because they tend to be overreactions to a single week of play. By taking Washington here, I’d be able to do both.
The line moved as a result of the Redskins 44-16 loss in Carolina last week. That was bad and the Redskins aren’t a great team or anything, ranking 24th in rate of moving the chains differential, but the Giants rank 23rd, so they’re not any better. They’ve been able to go 5-5 despite that, because they’ve won the turnover battle by 13 on the season (best in the NFL), but turnovers are hard to rely on every week. The correlation between a team’s turnover margin in one game and its turnover margin in the next game is virtually non-existent. There’s a very good argument to be made that the Giants don’t deserve to be 3 point road favorites here, despite how good they typically are on the road, which would nullify the aforementioned trend about significant road favorites off of a bye. I’m still taking the Giants, but I’m not confident at all.
New York Giants 24 Washington Redskins 20
Pick against the spread: NY Giants -3