Sportsbooks will be tossing and turning in their beds this playoff weekend as 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 expects New York to cover +7.5.
A giant leap
Several factors could contribute to the one-sided betting action at Big Blue. The most important of them is the recency bias. While top seed Philadelphia’s bye kept them off our television screens, Daniel Jones and the Giants offense ran recklessly over the Minnesota Vikings in the wild card round, piling up 431 yards and 28 first downs en route to a 31-24 excitement.
It also begs the question of how effective QB Jalen Hurts and right tackle Lane Johnson will be as they play through injuries. Hurts was returning from a shoulder sprain in the Philadelphia regular season finale against the Giants and didn’t look like the MVP nominee he was before he suffered the injury. He completed just 57.1% of his pass attempts, threw a pick and rushed 13 yards on nine attempts against a defense resting several key starters. Johnson has been out for almost a month with a torn adductor but believes he will play on Saturday, saying: “I’ll make it work.”
On paper, it’s easy to see why Philadelphia is favored by more than one touchdown. They swept the season series, surpassing New York 70-38. The Eagles offense ranks fourth in the DVOA. New York’s defense is fourth worst. Brian Daboll’s team also possesses the fourth-worst pass block win rate, while Philly’s defense leads the league in pass rush win rate. Finding a metric or category where the Giants have an advantage — let alone a significant advantage — is about as rare as an apology from Kayvon Thibodeaux. However, history shows that betting on top seeds in the division round is a losing proposition. Giants bettors are certainly hoping that’s the case this weekend.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – JANUARY 15: New York Giants’ Daniel Jones #8 aims for a first half win against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wildcard Playoff game at US Bank Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Stats from Pro Football Reference, ESPN, Football Outsiders and rbsdm.com (garbage time removed).