Football Five: Could Improving Giants Make Late NFC East Run?

The New York Giants are enjoying their NFL Week 11 bye week as a reborn team.

The Philadelphia Eagles are leading the NFC East with 3-5-1 but seem to be scuffling.

Then there are the New York Jets, who are looking for their third cover in four weeks when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers.

Here is the weekly Football Five, starting with teams in the NJ sports betting spotlight.

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Giants are interested Week 11 spectators

Remember the FanDuel Sportsbook prop listed in August for the Giants to win their first game in Week Six?

Sure enough, that’s the week Big Blue defeated the Washington Football Team, 20-19. It paid + 850.

Suddenly, the now 3-7 Giants are playing much better. They are 7-3 against the spread. Plus, New York has won three of their last five.

If the Cleveland Browns defeat the Eagles as slight favorites on Sunday, the G-Men will be just out of first place with six games remaining.

The Eagles got good news during their Week Nine bye week when the Giants beat Washington and provided Philly a bulging division lead. One week later, the Giants kept the Eagles from putting a lock on the NFC Least, and for the moment, they are playing the best ball in the division.

The Giants are hoping for an Eagles loss on their break and feel good about the direction of their team. Daniel Jones has played two straight games without a turnover. The running game is starting to gel, and the team plays tough every time out.

NFL Week 11: the luxury Saints can afford

Quarterback alert: When the New Orleans Saints play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, look for more of Jameis Winston. New Orleans’s off-season insurance policy replaced injured Drew Brees in Sunday’s 27-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers. This would be a good time for Winston to become familiar with the Saints offense, just as Teddy Bridgewater did in Brees’ absence last year.

Brees took himself out of Sunday’s game because of what was later diagnosed as multiple fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. New Orleans has the ability to let him rest completely and probably will.

By putting good players around Brees, New Orleans continues to preserve him, a masterstroke by coach Sean Payton. Winston makes sense as a logical drop-back passer as opposed to Taysom Hill, who is more of a razzle-dazzle gadget-play threat and a tremendous runner.

Payton may wish for Atlanta to prepare for both Winston and Hill, so he may be conservative with his comments this week.

But the Saints signed Winston for a reason. This gives the former Tampa Bay signal caller, who set a league record with more than 30 TDs and interceptions last year, a chance to redefine his career.

Quarterback injuries continue cropping up around the league. Bridgewater is uncertain for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday against the visiting Detroit Lions. And running back Christian McCaffrey, perhaps the game’s most impactful player, may be out for several weeks.

Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles was carted off in the final minute of his team’s 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. If Foles had to play this week, he couldn’t. The good news is his team is on a bye.

Why bad teams burn bettors

Washington and Detroit showed Sunday why spread bettors have difficulty relying upon them. However, over-under players may want to take note.

Detroit was up 24-3 late in the third quarter, ready to put the clamps upon a nice victory. At least that was the plan.

With 6:09 remaining in the game, the Lions saw their three-touchdown advantage completely vanish. And just like that, the two teams were tied, 24-24. Detroit did kick a go-ahead field goal with 2:37 remaining. However, this one was far from over.

Washington kicked the tying field goal with 16 seconds left.

Overtime, right?

You would think so, but first-round draft pick Chase Young was called for a roughing-the-passer call on Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford. It kept the Lions alive, and Matt Prater drilled the game-winner from 59 yards as time expired.

These are the types of things that don’t happen to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and other Super Bowl contenders.

Washington will try to right itself against the Cincinnati Bengals while the Lions visit the Panthers.

Hand it to Bill Belichick and the Pats

The New England Patriots are reborn. After the Jets handed them a stolen-victory chance, which they took, in Week Nine, the Patriots gained a well-played 23-17 triumph over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.

Head coach Bill Belichick pulled a gadget play out of the playbook. And it was a goodie.

High school quarterback Jakobi Meyers, who now plays wide receiver, completed a TD pass to Rex Burkhead. More importantly, it helped the 4-5 Patriots secure a win they sorely needed.

This is a redefined team now.

And Belichick, who has coached six Super Bowl champions, has found a groove. The gambling public at large may not have picked up on it yet. However, after a convincing road win over the Houston Texans this week, bettors may start taking New England more seriously.

The Patriots enter NFL Week 11 with a head of steam. They are slightly favored against Houston, who always seem to play close to the spread. However, at 2-7, this could be a lost season.

Titans and the meltdown of meltdowns

The Tennessee Titans spun into a funk last week. After stuffing the Indianapolis Colts at the goal line while leading 17-13 late in the third quarter, they allowed a quarterback sack to force a punt. They had the kick go 17 yards, got stuffed on the next series and had a punt blocked for a touchdown. In one minute, they went from being up four to down 10. They were done.

Now they visit the Ravens, who have a double dose of revenge on their minds. First, they were beaten by the Patriots in a Sunday night downpour.

Second, the Titans beat them 28-12 in the playoffs last year to ruin their Cinderella season. In recent games, the Titans have not been able to pressure the quarterbacks. Big matchups will be the Baltimore defense against Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown, along with Baltimore’s running game against the porous Titans D.

There are no fans allowed in Baltimore based on recent COVID-19 concerns, so the small home-field edge has been removed.

NFL Week 11 extra points

Arizona, in the wake of Kyler Murray’s incredible Hail Mary game-winner to DeAndre Hopkins, visits the Seattle Seahawks to open the Week 11 schedule.

The Kansas City Chiefs face the only team to defeat them this season, the Las Vegas Raiders. Early Vegas money pushed this line under 7 at DraftKings Sportsbook.


About the Author

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.