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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Offences likely to be on top in key divisional battle

Betting preview for Thursday night's all-NFC East clash

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action, 1.20am Thursday night

The NFC East tends to be one of the most hotly contested divisions in the NFL and it looks as if that will be the case again this year, even though none of the four combatants start Week Six with a winning record.

Two of them meet in East Rutherford on Thursday night and the defending Super Bowl champions Philadelphia will be mindful that they need to raise their game if they want to be a factor in the post-season again.

Defeats against Tennessee and Minnesota in the last fortnight has left them with an uninspiring record of two wins from five games.

However, it looks as if quarterback Carson Wentz is starting to get back into the swing of things after a long injury layoff and they will fancy their chances of scoring heavily against the Giants, even though running back Jay Ajayi has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

Doug Pederson's side rallied well against the Vikings after falling 20-3 behind, losing 23-21, so it looks as if the offence is heading in the right direction.

The problems appear to be on the other side of the ball, and their average of 20.8 points conceded per game is the seventh-worst in the league. Their issues are more marked on the road where they have conceded an average of 26.5 points.

The Giants have won just two of their last ten home games and one victory from their last five outings makes gloomy reading for a team who claimed just three successes last term.

However, there are signs of life, despite the customary stick still being handed out to two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning, whose days at the MetLife are probably numbered.

Three of their four defeats this season have been by single-score margins and the latest heartache came at Carolina on Sunday when they succumbed to a 33-31 as the result of a 63-yard winning field goal.

On the plus side, it was the first time since January 2016 that the Giants had scored more than 30 points and a similarly positive show against the Eagles should ensure that the total-points line of 43.5 is exceeded.

Over 43.5 points
2pts 19-20 Ladbrokes

The lowdown

Venue MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Surface Artificial
Weather Drizzle, 22C
Vegas handicap Philadelphia -3
Vegas points line 44


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Team news

Running back Jay Ajayi (knee) is out for the season and fellow rusher Darren Sproles (hamstring) is rated questionable. Safety Corey Graham has a similar issue.

New York Giants
Linebacker Olivier Vernon is expected to be fit after an ankle injury and tight end Evan Engram could feature after a knee problem.

Key stat
Philadelphia have won seven of their last eight games against the Giants.

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The Giants have won just two of their last ten home matches and one victory from their last five outings makes gloomy reading
E.W. Terms
Sky bet