NFC Semifinals: New York Giants at Philadelphia

In a 48-22 win at New York, Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts completed 21-of-31 passes for 217 yards and two TDs without an interception. He also had 77 rushing yards and one TD on seven attempts.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

Line: Philadelphia -7.5

Total: 48

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When: Saturday, 1/21 at 8:15 p.m. ET

TV: FOX

Philadelphia will face New York for the third time since Dec. 11 on Saturday night, but this meeting will determine a spot in the NFC title game.

The Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference when they beat the Giants in Week 18, sweeping the season series. However, New York rested its starters in the second matchup, as it was already locked into the No. 6 seed in the NFC.

“Every game’s a new game,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said. “One week really has nothing to do with the next week or one game has nothing to do with the next game, other than you take things from it. You learn from it. You try to grow from it. But it’s going to be how we execute on Saturday and how we prepare throughout the week.”

Philadelphia cruised to a 48-22 win at New York on Dec. 11, easily covering the spread as a 7-point road favorite. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, helping hand the Giants their worst loss under their first-year head coach.  

Oddsmakers opened Philadelphia as a 7-point favorite, but the early betting action has driven the line up by a crucial half-point to 7.5. Saturday night’s total opened at 47 and has been bet up to 48 as of Wednesday afternoon.

New York’s trend as a dangerous underdog continued during Super Wild Card Weekend, taking down Minnesota as a 2.5-point underdog. The Giants have now covered the spread in 11 of their last 13 games when catching points. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games after picking up the franchise’s first playoff win in 11 years.

Quarterback Daniel Jones threw for more than 300 yards against the Vikings while adding 78 rushing yards, which set a team record for rushing yards by a quarterback in the playoffs. He also became the first player in league history to have 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and 70 rushing yards in a playoff game.

Jones has cleaned up his turnover issues as well, throwing just one interception in his last 226 attempts since Nov. 20. Running back Saquon Barkley added 53 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go along with five receptions for 56 yards.

The Giants were a middle of the road team offensively this season, ranked No. 18 in the NFL in yards per game (333.9). They are facing a Philadelphia defense that finished second in the league, allowing 301.5 yards per contest.

The Eagles were also one of the top offensive teams, ranked third in yards per game (389.1). Quarterback Jalen Hurts returned from a two-week absence (shoulder) in the Week 18 game against New York. He did not have his best performance, completing 20 of 35 passes for 229 yards and an interception.

Hurts completed 66.5% of his passes for 3,701 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions overall in the regular season. He was also the team’s second-leading rusher, racking up 760 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Miles Sanders, who had 17 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting with New York, is Philadelphia’s leading rusher.

The Eagles will be hoping for a fully healthy Hurts on Saturday, as they failed to cover the spread in each of their last four games. He is facing a New York defense that was No. 25 in the regular season (358.2). Defensive tackle Leonard Willims and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson were both sidelined in the first two meetings with Philadelphia, but they are both expected to play on Saturday.

New York has gone ‘over’ in six of its last nine games, while Philadelphia has gone ‘over’ in eight of its last 12 games. The Eagles have cashed the ‘over’ in 11 of their last 14 home games, but they have gone ‘under’ in six of their last nine games against New York.

The pick: Eagles -7.5

I am finding some definitive value on Philadelphia at this price, even after the half-point line move early in the week. The Eagles were 7-point road favorites in their 26-point win at New York one month ago, so an almost identical line at home does not add up. New York is 2-4 in its last six road games and is 2-11 in its last 13 games against Philadelphia. Hurts has had two weeks to recover from his shoulder injury due to the bye week, and the Giants do not have the firepower to keep pace in this matchup when both teams are healthy. I don’t mind backing the Eagles up to -9.5, although 7.5 is obviously preferred.

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