There was a trade in the NFL today as the Minnesota Vikings sent pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens for a couple of draft picks. The Ravens are sending the Vikings a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2022 draft. Those picks will help offset the 2012 second-round pick and conditional 2022 fifth-round pick the Vikings sent Jacksonville for Ngakoue in the first place.

Now, I’m not here to break down the trade or the value for either side. I’m just here to say that we’ve seen an increase of in-season trades in the NFL in recent years, and I hope this is the start of that trend continuing in 2020.

I like to consider myself a Serious Sports Fan when it comes to analyzing games and teams, but trades are fun. They allow you to think of any number of scenarios that might make sense or might not, but it doesn’t matter. They’re just something to talk about with friends.

I mean, if you look at other sports, offseasons can be more entertaining than the seasons themselves. Ask yourself, would you rather watch five or six months of regular-season action in the NBA or MLB, or three months dissecting trades and free agent signings in both sports? I bet a lot of you are thinking about the latter. I know I am, and I’m a fan of both leagues! I love the games, but the rosterbation is a lot more fun.

And it’s safe to do on Zoom during work calls.

Elsewhere in the world of sports:

OK, let’s make some money

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Giants at Eagles, 8:20 p.m. | TV: Fox
The Pick: Giants +4.5 (-110)
: Trust me, I know it’s never fun being the person betting on the New York Giants, but it’s the right play for Thursday Night Football. The simple fact of the matter is that the entire NFC East is a disaster and no team in the division is any better or worse than the one next to it. The Cowboys were for a while, but then Dak Prescott and their entire offense got hurt, so they’re just part of the general flotsam that the division has become.

So, don’t think of this as betting on the Giants — think of it as betting against any NFC East team being good enough to be favored against anybody else. The Eagles did get some good news in that both DeSean Jackson and Lane Johnson have been cleared to play tonight. But they’re still without Miles Sanders, and the return of Johnson doesn’t magically fix what’s been an awful offensive line. The Giants pass rush isn’t exceptional, but it’s going to look a lot better tonight. 

Key Trend: The Giants are 19-7 ATS on the road in their last 26.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The SportsLine Advanced Computer Model has been in the simulation kitchen cookin up some winners.


💰The Picks


USATSI

🏈 NFL

Giants at Eagles, 8:20 p.m | TV: Fox
The Pick: Under 45 (-110) — 
Another reason the Giants look appealing to me is that I don’t see a lot of points being scored in this game tonight. These are two of the worst offenses in the NFL, with the Eagles checking in at 28th in offensive DVOA and the Giants in dead last at 32nd. My only fear in this spot — and it’s genuine — is turnovers leading to easy scores. With Daniel Jones’ fumbling issues, it’s a legit worry, but I still think we could slide in under this total even with a defensive touchdown.

Key Trend: The under is 8-2 in the Eagles last 10 home games.

🏈 College Football

Arkansas State at Appalachian State, 7:30 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Arkansas State +14 (-110) — 
Arkansas State’s defense was so awful when we saw it against Georgia State last week that coach Blake Anderson fired defensive coordinator Dave Duggan. I do not expect firing Duggan will magically fix a unit that has plenty of problems. Still, I like the Red Wolves in this spot for a few reasons.

One is that this will be Appalachian State’s first game since Sept. 26 thanks to games being postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The second is matchup-based. Offensively, Arkansas State likes to throw deep to its two receivers Jonathan Adams and Dahu Green. Adams is a monster you’ll see in the NFL next year. He checks in at 6-3, while Green’s even taller at 6-5. Appalachian State doesn’t have a corner taller than 5-11. That’s a significant size advantage to Arkansas State’s receivers, and the Red Wolves will have enough success in the passing game to stay within two touchdowns tonight.

Key Trend: Appalachian State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games as a favorite at home.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine’s hottest NFL expert Emory Hunt — who’s 19-8 in his last 27 picks overall and 28-16 in his last 44 spread picks for or against the Eagles — is leaning Over the total on Giants vs. Eagles. But his much stronger play is against the spread.


💸 The DFS Rundown


USATSI

Your MVP or Captain

Carson Wentz — Listen, it’s not going to be pretty tonight, and we might be on the Giants ATS, but the player projected to score the most points tonight is still Wentz. So you want to capitalize on those projections by having him in your MVP spot. Just don’t expect a huge night, instead expect a night that’s better than anybody else’s.

Value

Corey Clement — In a matchup like this one, where we aren’t expecting many points, I like to pivot. The entire world will be on Boston Scott as he fills in for Miles Sanders at running back, but he’s not the only back that will get carries. On a short week, with their starter out, expect the Eagles to find snaps for Corey Clement as well. Clement has only seen 48 snaps on the field so far this season, but seven of them have come in the red zone. As the larger back, if the Eagles are in any goal line situations, it might be Clement they turn to.

Full lineup advice

SportsLine’s team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS and is one of the top MLB DFS experts anywhere. Check out his MLB picks here, and be sure to see what he’s picking for NBA DFS here too. Use SportsLine’s all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.


🏈 Thursday Night Football Props

 
USATSI
  • Corey Clement Over 21.5 rushing yards (-120)
  • Corey Clement to score a TD (+275)
  • Evan Engram Under 37.5 receiving yards (-120)
  • Greg Ward Over 3.5 receptions (+100)

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