"Sunday Night Football" this week features a rivalry matchup with massive playoff implications, as the Washington Commanders play host to the New York Giants. This matchup was not originally scheduled for Sunday night, but the NFL overlords foresaw the importance of this NFC East showdown, and flexed it to prime time -- much to the chagrin of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who is 0-9 in prime-time games.
These two teams squared off just two weeks ago, with the game ending in a 20-20 tie. Washington and New York exchanged touchdowns in the second half, and then Graham Gano missed a 58-yard field goal at the end of the extra period. The Commanders had a bye in Week 14 -- and it couldn't have gone any better. Both the Giants and Seattle Seahawks lost, which moved Washington up into a wild card spot. While the Giants were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, 48-22, Seattle's two-game losing streak has helped keep the G-men in the playoff picture. Maybe all four NFC East teams make the playoffs this season!
Below, we will break down this matchup from a gambling perspective, and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here's how you can watch the game.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, Dec. 18 | Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: FedEx Field (Landover, Maryland)
TV: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Commanders -5, O/U 40.5
This line reopened at WAS -4 on Tuesday, Dec. 6. It rose to WAS -4.5 this past Sunday, and then finally moved to WAS -5 on Friday.
The pick: Washington -5. This game is a best bet for me in Week 15. Here's what I said:
"The Commanders had a great bye week. Despite not playing, they moved up two spots in the playoff picture with the Seattle Seahawks and Giants both losing. Washington is one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now, and had the extra week to prepare for a divisional rival it just saw. While Washington is trending upward, New York is trending downward. The Giants are 1-3-1 in their past five games, with the most recent loss being a 48-22 beatdown suffered at the hands of the Eagles at home on Sunday.
"In addition to the extra rest and no travel, Washington is also expected to see the return of star pass rusher Chase Young, who is going to bring some energy to this underrated defense. The Commanders are 6-1-1 over their past eight games after starting 1-4. They are allowing 16 points per game during that eight-game span, which ranks second in the NFL. This is a big game, and Taylor Heinicke craves these big moments. As for Daniel Jones, he's 0-9 in prime time."
The total reopened at 40 on Tuesday, Dec. 6, but quickly rose to 40.5. It fell back to 40 the next day, but then rose back up to 40.5 where it sits on Friday.
The pick: Over 40.5. This total feels a tad low to me. Both teams scored 20 apiece last time out, and should have scored more. Plus, who doesn't like to root for points in prime time? The Commanders are 4-9 to the Over on the year, but 2-0 to the Over this season on extended rest. Give me points.
Daniel Jones props
Passing touchdowns: 0.5 (Over -284, Under +196)
Passing yards: 197.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
Passing attempts: 28.5 (Over -127, Under -108)
Passing completions: 18.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Longest passing completion: 33.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +146, Under -204)
Rushing yards: 27.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
The juice on Jones to throw a single touchdown pass is pretty ridiculous, but there's a leg for your same-game parlay I suppose. Jones is averaging a career-low 194.9 passing yards per game this season. He threw for 200 yards in five quarters against Washington, and just 169 yards against the Eagles last Sunday. I'll lean Over, but that's not a best bet from me. I lean Over on both passing completions and passing attempts, but I like the completions number more. Jones has completed at least 19 passes in eight of 13 games played this season. I don't have a great read on Jones' longest passing completion.
Two Jones props I will take are him to throw an interception at +146, and his Over on rushing yards. The Giants QB hasn't thrown an interception since Week 11, but he's thrown 13 interceptions in nine prime-time games. The juice makes it worth it. As for his rushing yards, Jones rushed for 71 yards against Washington a couple weeks ago, and has crossed this line in six of 13 games played.
Taylor Heinicke props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over +126, Under -174)
Passing yards: 210.5 (Over -103, Under -133)
Passing attempts: OFF
Passing completions: OFF
Longest passing completion: 33.5 (Over -113, Under -121)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +114, Under -157)
Rushing yards: 11.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
Heinicke's passing touchdown prop isn't something I have at the top of my list, but the lean is to the Over at plus money. I'll take the Over on passing yards, but won't bet longest passing completion. Heinicke didn't throw an interception against the Giants last time out, but I'll take him to throw one at plus money. As for his rushing yards, I don't have a great read, but I want to lean Over.
Player props to consider
Joey Slye made field goals: Over 1.5 (-101). Slye has made at least two field goals in four straight games, and made 2 of 3 attempts vs. the Giants a couple weeks ago.
Curtis Samuel receiving yards: Over 30.5 (-117). This line is too low. Samuel can be a bit hit or miss, but he's averaging 42.8 receiving yards per game this season. He caught six of seven targets for 63 yards last time out against the Giants.
Darius Slayton receiving yards: Over 45.5 (-119). Slayton has crossed this line in six out of his last seven games played, and is averaging 50.7 receiving yards per game. He caught six passes for 90 yards against Washington in Week 13.
Same-game parlays to consider
Daniel Jones Over 0.5 INTs + Taylor Heinicke Over 0.5 INTs = +500
Daniel Jones Over 0.5 passing TDs + Joey Slye Over 1.5 made FGs = +178