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 (especially with Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, two key offensive linemen out with injury), 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