The New York Giants’ playoff aspirations were dealt another setback by the Philadelphia Eagles. This time, the Eagles didn’t even win.
The probability that the Giants will qualify for the National Football League postseason has dropped to 14 percent from 18 percent following Philadelphia’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings last night, said RJ Bell, president of Las Vegas-based handicapping information website Pregame.com.
The Giants have one scenario for making the playoffs: They need a win over the Washington Redskins in their Jan. 2 regular- season finale and a Green Bay Packers home loss against the Chicago Bears. The Eagles’ loss clinched a first-round playoff bye for the Bears.
“The change in odds is caused by a significant increase in the probability of the Packers beating the Bears,” Bell said by e-mail. “Philly’s loss clinched the No. 2 seed for the Bears and their chance at the NFC No. 1 seed is only one- half of one-percent -- lowering their motivation against Green Bay.”
Chicago gained the bye and an opportunity to rest key players against Green Bay thanks to the Eagles’ 24-14 home loss to Minnesota last night. The Packers are now 10-point favorites against the Bears, up from 6 1/2 points, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers.
“They find a way to hurt us even when they don’t play us,” Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield said today of the Eagles. “I definitely don’t like the Eagles even more so than I didn’t like them two nights ago.”
The Eagles beat the Giants 38-31 on Dec. 19, scoring four touchdowns over the final eight minutes to take sole possession of first place in the National Football Conference East Division.
The Eagles secured the division title this past week, leaving the Giants to vie with the Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one of the NFC’s two wild-card playoff spots given to non-division winners.
There’s a 21 percent chance that the Packers lose to the Bears, Bell said. The Giants have a 66 percent chance to beat the Redskins as 4-point favorites. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 4:15 p.m. New York time.
“I’m going to be looking at the scoreboard,” Cofield told reporters. “It’s not going to affect the way I play, but I’m definitely interested to know what’s going on.”
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