New York Giants (7-5-1) at Washington Commanders (7-5-1)
These two teams have the same record, but the Commanders have a significantly better point differential. The Commanders’ -3 point differential is worse than you would expect given their record, but the Giants are even worse at -33, as their seven wins have come by an average of 5 points per game, as opposed to 13.6 points per game in their five losses. The gap is even more pronounced when you look at schedule adjusted efficiency, as the Commanders rank 15th and the Giants rank 27th, about 4.5 points behind Washington.
The Giants have also especially struggled in recent weeks as injury absences have effected them significantly, especially on their struggling defense, most notably the absence of starting cornerbacks Adoree Jackson and Aaron Robinson, talented safety Xavier McKinney, and stud interior defender Leonard Williams. Williams could return for this game, but the Giants’ defense is still in significantly worse shape now that it was earlier in the season, particularly in the secondary.
Despite that, the Commanders are just 4.5-point favorites at home. That is a relatively high number, with about 30% of games being decided by four points or fewer, but with the Commanders being at home, being significantly healthier than the Giants, and having a 4.5-point edge in schedule adjusted efficiency, the Commanders should be favored by at least a touchdown. I might need Leonard Williams to miss this game for the Commanders to be worth betting, but they should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes either way and I might still end up deciding to bet on Washington even if Williams plays. This is low confidence for now, but I may update this.
Update: Some -4s have started showing up this morning and I think the Commanders are worth a small bet at that number.
Washington Commanders 24 New York Giants 17
Pick against the spread: Washington -4