Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM
It’s too early to say that the NFC East is about to become the new NFC South…meaning a division without any good teams that might see its champ finish below .500. But, thus far in 2015, nobody has been able to establish quality and consistency. Dallas was on the verge of doing that before Tony Romo got hurt! The Cowboys two wins this year are over the Giants and Eagles in games Romo started. With him out of the picture for the time being, WHO is going to take this division?
*The New York Giants bring a 3-2 record into Monday’s meeting. But, they were life and death last Monday at home against the San Francisco 49ers. That was a shocker because SF has been so bad on the road this season. No way THAT version of the Giants is good enough to be a division champ.
*Philadelphia has looked AWFUL this season on offense. Their “cutting edge” spread attack hasn’t been fooling anyone but the worst defenses. To this point, the Eagles haven’t looked at all like a playoff caliber team (though their defense should be getting more hype!).
*Washington entered the weekend 2-3 for their road game at the NY Jets on Sunday. There are moments of effectiveness sprinkled through the first six weeks. And, taking Atlanta to overtime on the road was a nice achievement. But, unless Kirk Cousins “arrives” in short order, the Redskins aren’t a playoff caliber team either.
*Dallas obviously IS a playoff caliber team when Tony Romo is healthy, and obviously isn’t when he’s hurt. The fate of the team, and the whole division may depend on when he can return to the lineup at something approaching 100%.
If he can’t do that soon…then Monday’s Giants/Eagles matchup will loom very large over the division race. The Giants could forge a two-game lead over the Eagles with a victory. The Eagles knot up the Giants with a win, owning temporary custody of the tie-breaker.
Let’s run some numbers!
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
NY Giants: 3-2 (#19 schedule according to Sagarin)
Philadelphia: 2-3 (#11 schedule according to Sagarin)
Jeff Sagarin of USA Today shows the Eagles playing the slightly tougher schedule. If you project “league average” into the math…we’re talking about a pair of .500 caliber teams.
NY Giants: 5.7 on offense, 5.7 on defense
Philadelphia: 5.3 on offense, 5.2 on defense
And, that’s largely confirmed here in the YPP data. Though, the Giants would probably drop slightly below equilibrium against an average schedule. Philadelphia would scoot fractionally higher with the same adjustment. Important to note that Philly’s defensive number is terrific. The media pays so much attention to the offense…but the Eagles’ defense is playoff caliber.
NY Giants: +4
Good job from both in terms of the risk/reward equation. Eli Manning isn’t throwing too many bad passes. Philadelphia’s defense has 13 takeaways through five games…which is huge. If you learn nothing else from today’s preview…realize that the Eagles are playing FANTASTIC defense this season as the offense tries to get in synch.
NY Giants: 3-2 ATS
Philadelphia: 2-3 ATS
Small difference that will either equalize if the Eagles cover Monday Night…or more firmly establish “underrated” and “overrated” if the Giants stay close or spring an upset. We can definitely say with certainty that Philly’s offense has been extremely overrated this season. All that preseason hype looks nonsensical in retrospect. The Eagles unrecognized defense is due to get more media love.
Current Line: Philadelphia by 4.5, total of 49.5
It’s hard to say whether that line reflects new respect for Philly’s defense, or lingering stubbornness that the offense is finally going to click. Basically, your thoughts on Sam Bradford and his offensive teammates will determine your side and totals plays. If you believe last week’s win over New Orleans was a sign of things to come….then the Eagles are cheap at this price and you might also want to think about the Over in a shootout. If you think Bradford’s going to be in trouble in a high pressure game, the Under might be a virtual lock at that high total.
JIM HURLEY’s exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach will pin things down to the nth degree. Scouts, sources, statheads, and computer programmers will combine to get the best expectation for how both offenses will move the ball and score (or not) against both defenses. Out of that will pop a very strong play (possibly two!) on the most important betting night of the week in Las Vegas.
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Back with you in short order with our midweek preview of the NFL Thursday nighter. Here’s what’s on tap this week in the NOTEBOOK…
Midweek: NFL TV Preview…Seattle at San Francisco
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview…to be determined
Sunday: NFL TV Preview…Philadelphia at Carolina
Monday: NFL TV Preview…Baltimore at Arizona
What’s already been a very important football weekend culminates Monday in Philadelphia. Make sure you GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
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