Playoff plans play a big role in Week 15’s Sunday Night Football showdown between the New York Giants and Washington Commanders.
These teams played to a 20-20 stalemate just two weeks ago and NFL odds are giving Washington the inside track, with the Commanders coming off a bye last weekend and hosting their NFC East rivals for this primetime game.
Powering this point spread is the contrast in recent success for these squads, with Washington undefeated in its last four games (3-0-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) and New York’s wheels wobbling for a 1-3-1 SU mark and 3-2 ATS count in its last five.
I run down the spread and Over/Under total for Sunday Night Football and give my best NFL picks and predictions for Giants at Commanders on December 18. For more on this rivalry match, check out Josh Inglis' NFL player prop picks for Sunday Night Football.
Giants vs Commanders best odds
Giants vs Commanders picks and predictions
Washington settled for a 20-20 tie game in East Rutherford on December 4 — a game in which the Commanders dominated the football and outgained the Giants by 95 yards. Despite those edges, Washington couldn’t come away with the win and sets up a high-pressure primetime showdown in Week 15.
Head coach Ron Rivera told the media that this NFC East encounter will have a playoff atmosphere and a win would give the Commanders the inside track to the tournament. A loss will all but doom their postseason plans.
The week off has not only allowed Washington to heal up key contributors on both sides of the ball, but Rivera and his staff have carefully dissected the Week 13 meeting, pinpointing careless mistakes and sloppy play from their club while also watching the Giants in action versus Philadelphia in Week 14 — a 48-22 drubbing at the hands of the Eagles.
New York has come back to earth after such a strong start to the Brian Daboll era in East Rutherford. The Giants are 1-4-1 SU in their last six outings heading into Sunday night, with both sides of the ball falling flat during this skid.
New York’s stop unit continues to struggle to slow down the rushing attack, ranked out 30th in EPA allowed per handoff since Week 8. Washington was able to ground and pound the G-Men for 165 yards on 36 carries in their last meeting, helping the Commanders control pace and clock with 41:11 of possession.
The Commanders do have some injury concerns in the rushing corps coming into this matchup, but it sounds as if Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson will be good to go after limiting their work in practice this week. A strong dose of the run game will take the sting out of a blitz-happy G-Men attack and open up some deeper shots off play action versus man coverage.
Controlling the football and limiting the Giants’ possessions will put New York behind the eight ball and force the offense to pass more. Rivera put an emphasis on containing dual-threat QB Daniel Jones during his Week 15 prep, after Jones broke free for 71 yards on 12 carries in Week 13. Keeping Jones in the pocket will allow this defense to go to work. Washington sits No. 4 in EPA allowed per dropback since Week 7, with opponents owning a slim 41.8% success rate.
On top of being among the stingiest stop units in the NFL (No. 1 in yards per play allowed the last three games), the Commanders have a terrific pass rush that generates one of the highest pressure rates in the league. Washington has been able to do so without needing extra bodies, which allows it to assign linebackers in coverage or spy on Jones for potential scrambles.
Jones faced a similarly strong front four in the Eagles last weekend and was blasted for four sacks (Giants gave up seven total) and rushed for just 26 yards (though he did run for a TD) while amassing a mere 169 yards on 18-for-37 passing.
Jones has been solid versus blitz-heavy defenses but has a tough time under pressure from the front four, watching his completion percentage slip to less than 57% and with just 6.4 yards per attempt. He’ll have to settle for quick short passes again against a Commanders defense among the best tackling teams in the NFL.
The spread has jumped from Washington -4 to -5, a justified move as I believe the Commanders are in a far better spot with the rest and preparation advantage on top of playing at home in primetime. However, I’m always wary of favorites in that spread range (faves of -4/-4.5 are 7-14 ATS in 2022 and just 42% winners since 2016).
The Commanders’ moneyline can be had as low as -210, which is pretty good considering the advantages and that the outright price is as big as -250 at some other books. And while those faves of -4/-4.5 have been a bust against the spread this season, they’re 12-9 SU overall and 9-5 SU at home.
My best bet: Commanders moneyline (-210 at SportsInteraction)
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Giants vs Commanders spread analysis
Bookies have plenty of fresh metrics to go on when building out this spread, as the Giants and Commanders played to a 20-20 tie game in Week 13.
Given the contrast in momentum, home field and Washington having two weeks to prep (effectively three weeks when you consider game prep for Week 13), the Commanders opened as 4-point home chalk and quickly jumped to -4.5. As we close in on the weekend, some books are as high as -5 on the home side.
Washington turned heads by handing the Eagles their first loss of the season back in Week 10 but have since cruised to wins over weaker opponents in Atlanta and Houston then drew against the Giants in East Rutherford two weeks ago.
Since having to turn to Taylor Heinicke under center, Washington has been able to complement one of the best defenses in the NFL with some offense. While not blowing the doors off rivals, the Commanders' uptick in offense has helped the team go 5-1-1 SU in the past seven games since Week 7.
Washington outgained the Giants 411 yards to 316 in their Week 13 matchup and dominated the time of possession, holding on to the ball for more than 41 minutes. However, turnovers, penalties, and some missed opportunities on first downs and inside the red zone led to the 20-20 lock.
The Giants’ recent slump can be blamed on regression after such a strong start to 2022 but also a tough slate of opponents, including matchups with the Eagles and Cowboys (the two favorites to win the NFC) and the red-hot Detroit Lions.
New York’s offense has sputtered just enough to expose a soft stop unit that has been plagued by injuries all season. The G-Men rank 31st in EPA allowed per play since they started to stumble with a loss to Seattle in Week 8.
According to PointsBet, the bulk of the early action has been on the visiting Giants. New York has drawn 73% of ticket count and 77% of the handle. WynnBet is also extremely heavy on the Giants, with more than 93% of the money banking on Big Blue. Covers Consensus shows 63% of picks on the G-Men as well.
Giants vs Commanders Over/Under analysis
This Over/Under didn’t require rocket surgery to come together, opening at 40 points after these division rivals ground to a halt for a 20-20 final score just two weeks ago that pushed with the closing total of 40 points. Books have ticked this number up to 40.5 points, despite more money on the Under.
PointsBet is reporting 60% of bets on the Under which has also drawn 86% of the handle. WynnBet has taken 69% of ticket count on the Over but is heavy on Under money, with 73% of handle calling for a low-scoring finish.
The Commanders are among the defensive elite, ranked out No. 9 in DVOA and No. 7 in EPA allowed per play. Washington is fantastic at slowing down the running game and has also been able to generate the third-highest pressure rate per dropback on rival QBs, picking up 34 sacks while blitzing less than 22% of the time.
New York’s offensive line has been a mess all season with injuries adding to those woes in recent weeks. The Giants have allowed QB Daniel Jones to feel pressure at the second-highest rate in the league, allowing him to get sacked 41 times — also second highest. Against the Commanders in Week 13, Jones was sacked four times and completed 25 of 31 passes for just 200 yards.
In terms of offensive tempo, the Giants rank out middle of the pack in terms of seconds per play and plays per game while Washington runs the 24th fastest pace but gets to call the fourth most plays per game (67.8), thanks in large part to their defense getting foes off the field.
These NFC East members rank among the best Under teams in the NFL, with New York at 4-7-2 O/U and Washington owning a 4-8-1 O/U count heading into Sunday Night Football.
Giants vs Commanders same-game parlay
Commanders ML (-210) + Hodgins Over 3.5 receptions (+144) + McLaurin 50+ receiving yards (-190)
Washington is the right side, given it has the rest, momentum, preparation, and home edge in this important game. The Commanders' pass rush will force Jones to get rid of the ball quickly and Isaiah Hodgins has been a popular target for him recently, with nine catches on 12 targets in the last two games. Terry McLaurin will get scary against man coverage from Wink’s defense and hit the 50-yard mark for the 11th time this season.
SNF SGP odds: +320 at bet365
Giants vs Commanders betting trend to know
Divisional matchups have gone 26-39-2 O/U (60% Unders) so far in 2022, including divisional games with totals of 41 points or less boasting a 6-9-1 O/U record. Find more NFL betting trends for Giants vs. Commanders.
Giants vs Commanders game info
|Location:||FedExField, Landover, MD|
|Date:||Sunday, December 18, 2022|
|Kickoff:||8:20 p.m. ET|
|Opening odds:||Commanders -4, 40|