EAGLES WILL BEAT GIANTS AND COVER, EVEN NEW YORK TIMES SAYS!

By Max Harper

Like most of the world, we don’t depend on the New York Times for all things sports.

Or anything to do with sports.

Politics, government, op-eds, sure.

But we need to point out that the Grey Lady makes picks on NFL games.

And even the Giants’ hometown paper says the Eagles will win tomorrow night and cover!

No. 6 Giants at No. 1 Eagles, 8:15 p.m., Fox

Line: Eagles -7.5 | Total: 48

All season, the Giants thrived on climbing back into games they trailed, with four fourth-quarter comebacks in the regular season. But Daniel Jones may have given the best performance (301 passing yards and 78 rushing yards) of the wild-card weekend, when the Giants scored four touchdowns and played from ahead most of the way in an upset of the Vikings. The lead owed as much to the team getting back defensive starters from injury and their limiting the Vikings’ big plays.

The defense will have to re-up on that effort against the Eagles and Jalen Hurts, who enter the game rested thanks to last week’s bye. The Eagles beat the Giants in both of their regular-season meetings, but those games are probably not terribly predictive: The Giants had significant offensive-line injuries in the first meeting (Philadelphia won, 48-22), and they rested their starters in a 22-16 loss in Week 18.

Despite Jones’s dual-threat abilities and the re-emergence of running back Saquon Barkley in contract seasons for both, the Giants feasted on a loser’s schedule this season. Against top-10 defenses, the team went 2-4-1. Those games were all within reach: All but one were decided by eight points of fewer.

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Philadelphia ranks sixth in defensive D.V.O.A. and first in passing D.V.O.A., and the Eagles are particularly dangerous pass rushers: They are the N.F.L. sack leaders (70), led by Haason Reddick’s 16 and three other players with double-digit totals.

The line opened at 7, and sharp action on the Eagles quickly moved it to 7.5. Since then, the Giants have taken the vast majority of the money, but the line hasn’t gone back to 7 yet. It’s possible that by kickoff this spread gets even bigger, not smaller.

Pick: Eagles -7.5

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