Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) at New York Giants (6-9)
This line has flipped from Philadelphia being favored by 3 to New York being favored by 3 over the course of the past week, a huge line movement. I love fading huge line movements whenever it makes sense and it does here. Would this line have moved 6 points if Cody Parkey, who had missed 2 field goals all year coming in, didn’t miss 2 makeable field goals last week in Washington and the Eagles had won? Probably not.
The Eagles moved the chains at a 82.50% rate last week, as opposed to 77.42% for Washington, and could have won easily if not for those 2 missed field goals and a couple of 50/50 balls to DeSean Jackson going the Eagles way. Teams tend to cover off of huge upset losses anyway, going 88-61 ATS since 1989 off of a los as 6+ point road favorites. That’s largely because those upsets are often fluky, yet still precede huge line movements, as is the case here.
After last week’s 30 first down performance, the Eagles now move the chains at a 72.29% rate on the season, as opposed to 71.46% for their opponents, a differential of 0.83% that ranks 14th in the NFL. They now have a very similar rate of moving the chains in games started by Nick Foles (72.34%), as compared to games started by Mark Sanchez (72.22%), though Sanchez has faced an easier schedule and had a healthier offensive line in front of him.
The Eagles weren’t the type of team that deserved to be 8 point favorites in Washington last week, nor were they the type of team that deserved to be 3 point favorites in New York this week, but this line has shifted too much the other way. The Giants rank 17th in the NFL, moving the chains at a 72.60% rate, as opposed to 72.65% for their opponents, a differential of -0.05%. This line suggests these two teams are even and that not quite the case, even before you get in to the fact that the Giants have historically not had the same type of homefield advantage that the average team has, at least not in the last decade in the Eli Manning/Tom Coughlin era.
Since 2004, the Giants are 53-42 on the road, getting outscored by an average of 0.09 points per game, as opposed to 51-40 at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 2.74 points per game. The Giants seem to only be marginally better at home (about 3 points), but the line has never really adapted to compensate. This isn’t unique to the Giants, as the whole NFC East recently has had less homefield advantage than average recently. At home, the NFC East is 76-86 since 2010, outscoring opponents by an average of 0.89 points per game and going 62-97 ATS. On the road, they are 79-82, getting outscored by an average of 1.91 points per game and going 85-74 ATS. As you can imagine, road teams in NFC East divisional games tend to do well, going 26-15 ATS over that time period as divisional road underdogs. The Eagles should be the right side here.
Philadelphia Eagles 23 New York Giants 20 Upset Pick +130
Pick against the spread: Philadelphia +3