Believe it or not, bettors, the Thursday Night Football game between the York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles has significant relevance.
Both teams are entering the game with one win apiece. Yes, we are in NFL Week Seven. However, with the Dallas Cowboys losing 38-10 to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, all four teams are in the thick of the NFC East race.
It’s like a fresh poker hand, with first place not far away from either the 1-4-1 Eagles, the 1-5 Giants or the 1-5 Washington Football Team. The Cowboys, at 2-4, are sitting “atop” the division.
All humor aside, the Giants-Eagles is essentially opening night in late October. This is an important game, as the winner will have the same number of victories as Dallas — that is, until Sunday’s game against Washington.
Now that the storyline is set, let’s look at the game from an NJ sports betting angle.
Jumping on the early bird special
The Giants’ odds opened at +6 on Monday morning. This is about where one might expect this line after the Eagles stormed back and nearly upended the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday (they ended up losing 30-28 after trailing 17-0). Giants backers made that line last as long as a 100-yard dash.
By Monday afternoon, the line dropped to Philadelphia -3.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook and -4 at FanDuel Sportsbook. One reason: injury news.
Tuesday Injury Report pic.twitter.com/QDzMRLHtA2
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 20, 2020
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz will miss several weeks with an ankle injury. Fleet running back Miles Sanders is also out for Thursday night after suffering a knee injury. Then there is Dallas Goedert, who is on injured reserve due to an ankle fracture.
The Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are the most injury-riddled teams in the league.
Eagles bettors: Shop on the drop
For those who believe in Philly anyway, the new Eagles odds are good news. This might be the best deal they receive all week.
It would take something extraordinary to move that line under 3. Eagles backers may want some economic powder in the gun at 3.5 or if it slides below -3. Should the line slip below that, Eagles bettors will resemble Giants backers from early Monday.
Here is something to consider.
The Giants make a major mistake nearly every week that costs them a touchdown. Sunday, they made two, worth at least 10 points.
When they led 13-3, the Giants forced a last-minute first-half punt by Washington. Then they ran into the kicker for a 5-yard penalty, coaxing Washington to gamble for the first down. It was successful, and Washington later scored a TD with seconds to go in the half. The Giants only had a 13-10 halftime margin when they should have been up 13-3.
In the third quarter, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones tried to heave a pass out of the end zone with the Giants at the six-yard line. He didn’t throw it far enough, and it was picked. At least three points, possibly six, disappeared. Although they have their moments, the Eagles tend to make fewer mistakes than the Giants.
Giants moneyline or Eagles first-half spread?
DraftKings Sportsbook had the Giants moneyline at +195, and it was +194 at FanDuel. So for bettors who like Big Blue, this is an easy selection. FanDuel also had the Giants at +4.5 early Wednesday morning.
Eagles bettors may want to look at the first-half spread of Philadelphia -2.5. The Eagles haven’t led at halftime in the last two weeks, so they are due. This is a bit of a misdirection play, because the Eagles rarely come out firing.
NJ sportsbook apps + player props menu
Time to look at the to-score props.
Wide receiver Travis Fulgham will be targeted heavily by Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Fulgham is capable of gaining separation, and he’s a respectable deep threat. Fulgham is +140 as an anytime scorer at Fox Bet. This seems like a worthwhile shot. He’s also +900 to be the first touchdown scorer, a tough call with high upside.
The Giants showed against the Washington Football Team that they can be beaten deep, especially late in the game. The Giants may try to double team Fulgham, so looking at Greg Ward (+187) or John Hightower (+320) as anytime TD scorers is a backup option.
The key is getting value for the props. Running back Boston Scott had two excellent games against the Giants last year, probably the best two of his career. Some players constantly enjoy success against certain teams, so there is the possibility that he may have another strong game Thursday night.
But Fox Bet is on it already, as Scott was a -125 anytime touchdown scorer. That’s not enticing now, but it probably is fair value.
As the game gets closer, watch for some odds boosts from NJ sportsbook apps.
Wild-card angles on Eagles defense + Darius Slayton
Jones makes at least one major mistake each game. Any prop allowing for a defensive score is worth consideration. The Eagles will need a big play and may get one from a possible defensive score or a razzle-dazzle offensive play.
Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton has a foot injury and was about 60% healthy in their win over Washington. He may be the best offensive weapon on the field at 100%, but he won’t be at that level here. He scored Sunday and made a big catch that put the Giants in position to score, but Jones then threw the end-zone pick. Slayton will probably play but will not be full steam.
So whether you’re playing the Eagles or Giants side, bettors will not have trouble finding ways to bet Thursday night’s game.
However, here’s the bigger question:
Will it be the Eagles or Giants with two wins and all alone in second place when time expires?