Eli Manning returns to the playing field for the first time since early September, as he leads the New York Giants on the road for Monday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 38-year-old quarterback, who guided the Giants to two Super Bowl victories, was benched after the Giants 0-2 start in favor of 2019 first-round draft pick Daniel Jones. However, Manning was summoned once again after Jones suffered a high ankle sprain after Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith landed on his right leg. While Jones completed the game, he was in a walking boot in the days after the game.
The Giants expect Jones to miss between two to four weeks, which means Manning could get to finish the season as the starter.
He looks good,” Giants offensive coordinator Mike Shula said about Manning during a Friday media avail. “He’s had a good week. He always has a good look in his eye. He’s been great for me as a coach to be around. I’ve learned a lot from him. I look forward to watching him on Monday night.”
After Jones won his first two starts, the (2-10) Giants have since struggled, losing eight in a row. They have been eliminated from the playoffs and have a chance for the top pick in next year’s NFL Draft, as they’re just a game ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals, who own the league’s worst record.
Money on the Favorite
The Eagles opened as 8.5-point favorites after the lines were released last week. While many sportsbooks bumped up the line by a half-point or full point, FanDuel kept the line at the original spread.
While FanDuel has written slightly more tickets – 51 to 49 – on the Giants, more money has been bet on the Eagles giving the points. Betting on the favorites represents 61 percent of the FanDuel handle.
Straight-up, FanDuel offers the Eagles at -420 and the Giants at +340. Like the point spread market, FanDuel has taken more bets on the Giants. New York backers account for 68 percent of the moneyline bets, but more money – 54 percent – has been bet on Philadelphia.
While the announcement of Manning getting the start didn’t trigger much change in the point spread, It did bring the over/under down. It started at 47 and dropped to 45 before bumping back up slightly to 45.5 at FanDuel. Most other sportsbooks have the total at 45.
At FanDuel, 52 percent of the total score bets are on the over. Those bets account for 64 percent of the money.
Eagles Still in Playoff Race
Somewhat surprisingly, the 5-7 Eagles still find themselves in the middle of the NFC East title race. despite the fact that they’ve lost three straight. That’s because the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys (6-8) have also lost three straight.
While a win over the Giants Monday would put the Eagles in a tie for first with the Cowboys, Dallas – by virtue of its 37-10 Week 7 win – currently hold the tiebreaker. Philadelphia hosts Dallas on Dec. 22.
The Eagles also have a couple of key offensive players questionable ,with injuries. Wide Receiver Nelson Agholor, the team’s third-leading receiver with 39 catches for 363 yards, did not practice because of a knee injury, and is listed as questionable on Monday.
Running back Jordan Howard, who leads the team with 525 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, is also questionable with an injured shoulder and has missed the last two games. Miles Sanders, who trails Howard by just five rushing yards, may continue to see more of the workload, even if Howard returns.