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By Tom Wilkinson

NFL Preview – Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

Through the first five weeks of the NFL season, the NFC East is a mess. The Washington Redskins lead the division at 2-2, while the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for second place at 2-2.

The New York Giants are still in the race even though they are just 1-4. The Eagles visit the Giants on Thursday night in a game that can be seen on FOX and NFL Network. Let’s look at the contest and NFL picks.

Date and Time: Thursday, October 11, 2018, 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
NFL Odds at BetDSI: Eagles -2.5, O/U 44
Eagles vs. Giants TV Coverage: FOX/NFL Network

The Eagles were thought to be the best team in the NFC East but through their first five games they don’t look like a defending Super Bowl champion. Now they have to face a New York team that appears to be inspired after losing by two points last week to Carolina. "I think that showed what we're capable of doing," running back Saquon Barkley said to the media.

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz said to the media that Thursday’s game is huge because it is a division game. "It's the next opponent, but it's a divisional game and we know where the division is sitting right now and it's really wide open. We really want to get off on the right foot in our division." Lane Johnson said to the media that this is a must-win game for the Eagles "We got a big one against the Giants," Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson said. "As early as it is, we must win against the Giants."

The Giants offense had been stuck in the mud for a long time, but last week they scored 31 points in Carolina. It broke a streak of 37 games in which New York had not scored at least 30 points. "Even though it was in a losing effort, it was obviously our best performance in terms of scoring points," New York head coach Pat Shurmur said to the media. "Obviously, the quarterback is a big piece to that."

Injury to Note

The Eagles placed running back Jay Ajayi on injured reserve Monday with a torn ACL in his left knee. The Eagles will be counting on Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood Jr. to carry the load. 35-year-old Darren Sproles has been in an out of the lineup because of injury and he is questionable. Sproles has not played since the season opener, but he could return for this game on Thursday.

Key Stats

The Giants lead the all-time series 83-81-2, but the Eagles have won seven of the last eight including the last three. The Eagles are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings in New York. The Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in October. The Eagles are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 vs. the NFC. The Giants are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games in October. The Giants are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.

Looking at the total, the Over is 11-4 in the Eagles last 15 vs. the NFC East. The Over is 19-7 in the Eagles last 26 road games. The Under is 5-1 in the Giants last 6 home games. The Over is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings in New York.

Eagles vs. Giants Picks

The Eagles are below .500, but all three of their losses have been by less than a TD. Do you really have confidence that Eli Manning and the dysfunctional Giants can put it all together and beat the Eagles in a prime time game? I just can’t see Manning outplaying Wentz in this one. I will take the Eagles minus the points. I also think the total is worth playing, as neither of these defenses has been anything special this season. I will also play Thursday night’s game over the total.

Eagles vs. Giants Pick: Eagles -2.5 and Over 44 at BetDSI
Eagles vs. Giants Score Prediction: Eagles 27, Giants 20

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