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NFL-Week 16-Thursday night football-Giants at Eagles game preview

There is no denying that the Giants have been one of the better teams in football over the past few months as at 10-4 straight up they are in great shape to get into the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl.

The Giants are 8-1 SU (7-2 ATS) over their past nine games, but despite that have yet to clinch their spot in the postseason tournament and will need one win over these final two games to get there. It’s been the spectacular play of the Giants defense that has propelled this run (six straight ‘unders’) and New York fans are hoping that the old adage of “defense wins championships” holds true for their team this season.

But after three tough games against division leaders (Pittsburgh, Dallas, Detroit), this week’s game in Philadelphia on short rest has the potential to be one of those dreaded “trap” games that could really put a bit more pressure on the Giants to perform in Week 17 that they definitely would love to avoid.

Philadelphia and New York played their first meeting seven weeks ago and that game got closer than expected. New York entered the 4th quarter with a 28-17 win, only to rely heavily on that stout defense of theirs to preserve the win. That W was the Giants third in a row at the time and helped propel them to three more victories before they fell to the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

However, it was also the last time the Giants cashed an ‘over’ ticket for total bettors and with nothing left to play for other then improvement from an Eagles perspective, don’t be surprised to see Philly pull out all the stops this week.

While we could very well see an ultra-aggressive offensive approach from the Eagles, and the trap game narrative in their favor against the spread, this line is a point or two too short to seriously consider backing the Eagles. That’s not to say there is tremendous value on the Giants because their isn’t, but trusting the Eagles to keep this game within a FG is tough simply because of how bad their defense has been down the stretch.

Philly has allowed 27 or more points in four straight games and have given up 26 or more in eight of their past 10. With numbers like that it’s no surprise that they are 2-8 SU during that span with all eight losses coming in those contests of giving up 26+ points. For a Giants offense that hasn’t exactly been good during this winning run, facing this porous Eagles defense is exactly what the Giants need at this time of the year to get off the slide and pull their own weight.

Everyone knows how dangerous New York’s defense can be, but if Eli Manning and company can get on a roll heading into January, the Giants might be the team in the NFC to watch out for.

Secondly, that same Giants defense that has been dominant is long overdue for a sub-par performance by their standards. That side of the ball has carried New York to their 10-4 SU record, but in a division game against an opponent that knows them well, has nothing to lose, and actually had quite a bit of success against them before (23 points scored), this sets up as a great spot for that sub-par performance to occur.

TNF games have been an ‘under’ bettor’s dream for the bulk of the season – seven straight have stayed low – but that should change this week.

Philadelphia is 7-0 O/U in their last seven division gmaes and have seen 22 of their past 30 games in December sail ‘over’ the posted total. They are also one of the few organizations who buck the league-wide trend of playing ‘under’ the total on TNF as they are 5-2 O/U in their last seven appearances, and have a 44-21 O/U run going when coming off a loss.

It’s been a while since New York has seen a losing opponent, but their 5-2 O/U mark on the road against a team with a losing record at home suggests that things will open up more than people expect this week, and thanks to their stellar defensive play for weeks, the number of 41.5 is more than a FG too low for an Eagles game when 30 points is always threatened by a Philly opponent.

Best Bet: Take Over 41.5 points

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