When the New York Giants and Washington Commanders met in the Big Apple two weeks ago, 70 minutes of action was unable to separate the two teams. The Giants and Commanders played to the second tie of the 2022 season, throwing a kink into the NFC playoff picture. New York and Washington would currently be the last two Wild Card teams in the playoffs at 7-5-1 each, ensuring that every NFC East team made it to the postseason. That makes a win here especially important for either team as the victor on Sunday Night Football will have the head-to-head tiebreaker in the playoff race.
NFC East rivals will square off with their sights set on a Wild Card berth when the Washington Commanders host the New York Giants at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on Sunday, December 18, 2022, at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
NFL Week 15 Betting Odds
New York Giants +4.5
Washington Commanders -4.5
Money Line: Giants +184, Commanders -220
We haven’t seen much line movement in the run-up to this game. Initially, the Washington Commanders were 4.5-point favorites by the opening NFL betting odds, and the total in this game was set at 40. The spread has remained constant, while the total has risen by a half-point.
New York Giants
Brian Daboll was the frontrunner to be named NFL Coach of the Year after the Giants got off to a 7-2 start this season. The Giants hadn’t won seven games in a season since 2016, and they were odds-on favorites to make the playoffs. However, the G Men are 0-3-1 in their last three games and their last win came against the 1-11-1 Houston Texans. It appears that other teams have figured out this offense and have exposed a subpar defense, and that’s a major problem with road trips to Minnesota and Philadelphia left in their last three games.
Daniel Jones has performed better than expected this season, especially considering the state of the receiving corps. Sterling Shepard suffered a season-ending injury early in the year, exciting rookie Wan’Dale Robinson tore his ACL after a 100-yard game against Detroit last month, and expensive free agent Kenny Golladay was not willing to put in the work to be a true No. 1 receiver. Jones isn’t a great passer, but he is completing 66% of his passes for 2,534 yards (6.8 YPA) with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has had to make do with Darius Slayton and Richie James as his top targets, so it’s no surprise that the Giants’ strength is in the ground game.
Saquon Barkley reminded everyone of the running back we saw in his first two seasons in the NFL early this year. Barkley leads the NFC with 1,083 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, but opponents have figured out they can shut down this offense if they stop him. In his last four games, Barkley has run for less than 40 yards on three occasions. In that stretch, he has just 53 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
While the New York Giants have fallen off over the last month, the Washington Commanders have bee heating up after a slow start. They lost four straight games after a season-opening win against Jacksonville, but they are since 6-1-1 in the last two months. Washington is coming off a bye week, so the Commanders have an additional edge over the Giants this week.
Washington isn’t great on offense. The Commanders rank outside the top 20 in scoring offense, total offense, and yards per play. The ground game has really struggled with Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson each averaging under 4.0 YPC, and both running backs are questionable to take the field on Sunday night. Taylor Heinicke has been asked to be a game manager, but he does have an elite receiver that can stretch the field in Terry McLaurin.
The strength of the Commanders is along the defensive line. Even though Chase Young has yet to see action this season, Washington has one of the most intimidating defensive lines in the NFL with Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne in the middle and Montez Sweat on the edge. Allen and Payne have combined for 16 sacks and 30 tackles for loss, while Sweat has seven sacks and 12 TFL. Sweat is questionable to play this week, while Young may finally be able to return to the field.
Giants at Commanders Free Pick
The Under might be the best bet in this game given the familiarity between these two teams, while Washington should be the play on the side given the team’s superb defensive line and extra time to prepare.
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