More wrong than I've been on any game this year. I'm still in a bit of shock, though big favorites do lose fairly often in the NFL and when they do its usually due to penalties, turnovers, and missed FGs (also known as unforced errors). Of course, with Dallas winning the loss doesn't hurt quite as bad. However, it ruined my chances of finishing with a semi-resepctable record this year.
This week's game:
Due to the holidays and my general hangover from last week, I'm late putting this together (just 2 hrs to game time). So we'll do a shorter analysis. Of course, this game is really hard to breakdown anyway. Neither team has much incentive to win, other than the individual players trying to earn jobs next year. In general, I think that favors the Giants, since they have had relatively low expectations for a while. The Eagles, obviously, had high expectations (reasonable or not) until just last week.
The Eagles are now scoring 29.3 ppg and allowing 24.9 ppg.
The Giants are scoring 23.6 ppg and allowing 24.4 ppg. The Giants are just 6-9 on the season, but have won 3 straight, over Tennessee, Washington, and St. Louis.
By DVOA, the Giants rank 21st. The Eagles, despite poor recent performance, still rank 7th overall. That's a big gap, especially considering the spread is just 1.5 points. However, the Eagles just blew a game against the worst DVOA team in the league (at the time).
By common opponents, the Eagles also have the advantage, and they won the head-to-head battle 27-0. They are absolutely the better team.
That really brings us to just one question: Can you trust the Eagles to play hard today?
If you trust them, the 1.5 point spread is really attractive. The Giants have Odell Beckham, but not much else. Basically, I see two potential outcomes: (1) the Eagles come out andy from last week and beat up on an inferior team, easily covering the 1.5 or (2) the Eagles are already on vacation mentally and just try to get through the game without getting injured. If the second one happens, the Eagles won't win.
I'm banking on #1, and taking the Eagles. I'm hoping the fact that its a division game provides some extra motivation. Also, I'm guessing the team would really like to avoid losing 4 straight to end the season. In reality, I wouldn't touch this game at any line, precisely because motivation is such a tough thing to get a read on.
Continuing the trend, I'm also taking the over. With little to play for, defense seems the more likely side to let down. Since the Eagles have been nailing the Over anyway (6 of last 8), there's little reason to deviate from trend.