NFL 2018 Season - Week 16
 

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Making Plans
by Dennis Ranahan

John Lennon sung the words, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

I got caught making plans instead of jumping in on life this week, and tonight we’re going to find out if my lasp in efficiency is going to sack an otherwise great NFL point spread play.

The New York Giants host the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles tonight to kick off the sixth week of NFL action. The Eagles are caught in a trap where the few other teams caught in the same web have failed. Their accomplishment was winning the Super Bowl after suffering a losing record the prior year.

The Eagles were the fourth team to do that, they were 7 and 9 in 2016, and won it all last season. The first team to accomplish that feat was the San Francisco 49ers, who in 1981 won the Super Bowl after registering a 6-10 campaign in 1980. The following season, 1982, the 49ers missed the playoffs.

In 1999, the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl after a 4-12 year the season before. In 2000, the Rams landed a playoff spot as a Wild Card team and lost their only postseason game to the New Orleans Saints. When Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl to complete the 2001 season, he had guided a New England team that was only 5-11 the prior year. And, after winning the Super Bowl, the Patriots missed the playoffs in 2002.

The fact that the Eagles are having trouble this year is no surprise based on how other teams did that won the Super Bowl after a losing year. Philadelphia has lost four straight point spread decisions since beating the Atlanta Falcons on opening night. Last season, their Super Bowl season, the Eagles beat the Giants twice straight-up, but lost both point spread decisions.

From a season-to-season flow perspective, that favors the Giants staying within the point spread until they finally win one straight-up. Which leads me to confess where I went asleep at the wheel this week. While I was making plans to write this flowery story on the Giants tonight with a field goal on the point spread, the line took a nosedive.

Instead of getting three points on the spread for their home contest tonight, the Giants are now only getting a point or point-and-one-half on the line. Which means this, New York goes into this game with a 7% chance of losing the game based on the move alone. A spread move off an opening number will change a point spread winner to a point spread loser 7% of the time.

Simply put, we don’t have the best number tonight, and I didn’t even alert my phone service clients, who get early information to take advantage of lines on Tuesday or Wednesday that may not be available on game day. If I had, they would already be down on this game with the Giants plus a field goal. And, I can’t help but think if the line moved 1½ points the other way, we could have New York plus 4½ tonight.

That would be a great bet, but we are only left with the right team, on the right night, in the right spot during the best season to beat their opponent.

We’ll pay the extra points on the spread for the opportunity of having that side of the proposition.

Qoxhi Picks: New York Giants (+1½) over Philadelphia Eagles