Sportsbooks will be tossing and turning in their beds this playoff weekend if the city that never sleeps covers the spread against their NFC East rivals. A whopping 90% of the money wagered by BetMGM bettors on the Giants-Eagles game is counting on New York to cover +7.5.
One Giant leap
Several factors could be contributing to the lopsided betting action pouring in on Big Blue. Chief among them is recency bias. While top-seeded Philadelphia’s bye kept them off our television screens, Daniel Jones and the Giants offense ran roughshod over the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round, racking up 431 yards and 28 first downs en route to a 31-24 upset.
There’s also the question of how effective QB Jalen Hurts and right tackle Lane Johnson will be as they play through injuries. Hurts returned from a shoulder sprain in Philadelphia’s regular season finale versus the Giants and didn’t look like the MVP candidate he was before suffering the injury, completing just 57.1% of his pass attempts, throwing a pick, and rushing for 13 yards on nine attempts against a defense resting several key starters. Johnson has missed nearly a month with a torn adductor but believes he’ll play in Saturday’s game, stating, “I’ll make it work.”
On paper, it’s easy to see why Philadelphia is favored by more than a touchdown. They swept the season series, outscoring New York 70-38. The Eagles offense ranks fourth in DVOA. New York’s defense ranks fourth-worst. Brian Daboll’s team also owns the fourth-worst Pass Block Win Rate, while Philly’s defense tops the league in Pass Rush Win Rate. Finding a metric or category in which the Giants hold any kind of advantage — much less a significant advantage — is about as rare as a Kayvon Thibodeaux apology. History shows, however, that it’s a losing proposition to back top seeds in the divisional round. Giants bettors are certainly hoping that holds true this weekend.
Stats provided by Pro Football Reference, ESPN, Football Outsiders and rbsdm.com (garbage time removed).