Giants vs Eagles Week 18 Picks and Predictions: Opportunity Arises for Gainwell

Kenneth Gainwell has seen limited action this season for Philadelphia, but he could see an uptick in usage on Sunday with lead running back Miles Sanders still not at 100%. Read more in our Giants vs. Eagles betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2023 8:27 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kenneth Gainwell Philadelphia Eagles NFL
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The New York Giants will wrap up their surprisingly strong regular season when they take on the current class of the NFC in the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon.

The Giants are locked into the playoffs as the sixth seed in their conference, so head coach Brian Daboll could choose to rest the majority of his starters, including quarterback Daniel Jones and tailback Saquon Barkley. However, the first-year boss has been tight-lipped as to what Big Blue’s game plan is as of Saturday afternoon. 

The Eagles would clinch both the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the conference with a win, and they could be getting Jalen Hurts back under center. Not surprisingly, they’re one of the biggest favorites on the board in Week 18

Is Philadelphia worth the investment for chalk-players? Find out in our free NFL picks and predictions for Giants vs. Eagles on January 8.

Giants vs Eagles best odds

Giants vs Eagles picks and predictions

The motivations for both the Giants and the Eagles are unclear this Sunday, paving the way for second and third-stringers to take on an expanded role. That includes Philadelphia running back Kenneth Gainwell, who is listed at some very juicy odds to score a touchdown in this one. 

Gainwell has seen his usage slip this season due to Miles Sanders taking on a workhorse role for the Eagles. He’s rushed only 48 times compared to 68 attempts in his rookie campaign, but Sanders sustained a knee injury in Week 16 and has been listed on the injury report for the last two weeks.

Though Sanders carries no official injury designation ahead of this contest, it stands to reason that head coach Nick Sirianni might not want to push his star tailback too hard ahead of the postseason.

Gainwell has effectively shared the role of backup running back with Boston Scott, who has carried the ball 45 times this year. However, Gainwell has been targeted 28 times in the passing game, compared to just six targets for Scott. With Jalen Hurts seemingly getting the starting nod with a banged-up shoulder, Philly running backs could see an uptick in passes headed their way due to injury management, as well as an increase in carries. 

When Gainwell rushes, he’ll be facing a Giants defense lacking defensive tackle Leonard Williams (neck) and outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (ankle). Big Blue could sit more starters as the game progresses, as head coach Brian Daboll seems to be playing it close to the vest in Week 18.  

Three of the four touchdowns Gainwell has scored this year have been from inside the five-yard line. This is a good place to potentially sit Sanders and not have him endure a huge hit or a pile-up from a defense trying to make a goal-line stand. 

My best bet: Kenneth Gainwell anytime touchdown (+330 at DraftKings)

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Giants vs Eagles spread analysis

This renewal of the Giants-Eagles rivalry might be the trickiest game to get a read on in Week 18. New York has no incentive to try and win this one other than pride, and it also has a playoff game to prepare for next weekend. The Eagles could fall from the No. 1 seed to the No. 5 seed with a loss, but injuries to Hurts and Sanders could have Philly thinking twice about emptying the bucket in Week 18.

However, oddsmakers appear to have simplified the decision when it comes to the point spread, hanging a gigantic -14 on the Eagles. Philadelphia may be the more motivated team this Sunday, but it’s difficult to cover such a number even when a team is at full strength and isn’t looking ahead to the postseason.

Both the pros and the public have been putting their faith in the G-Men as two-touchdown underdogs, with 75% of the tickets and 69% of the money heading the Giants’ way.  

Trend bettors should note that the Giants are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven road games, while the Eagles have failed to cover in each of their last four January affairs. 

Giants vs Eagles Over/Under analysis

Much like the point spread, the total for this game has seen some one-sided action. A staggering 90% of the money is on the Over, with 58% of the tickets calling for the total to be surpassed. Not surprisingly, bookmakers have been forced to raise the line from 40.5 to 43, albeit some of that movement was likely due to the news regarding Hurts’ injury status.

Bettors may want to wait until Sunday morning to see if official word regarding Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley is let out or if there is any dramatic line movement the other way. The total figures to go south from here.

The Giants haven’t been bad for Over bettors lately, going 5-1-1 in their last seven overall. That includes their 48-22 loss to Philly in Week 14. The Over is also 5-2 in their last seven road games against teams with winning home records.

The Over is 8-3 in the Eagles’ last 11 games overall and 6-1 in their last seven home games.

Giants vs Eagles betting trend to know

Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS in its last five games following an ATS loss. Find more NFL betting trends for Giants vs Eagles. Find more NFL betting trends for Giants vs. Eagles.

Giants vs Eagles game info

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Sunday, January 8, 2023
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Eagles -13.5, 40.5

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