The Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) host their NFC East division rivals the New York Giants (5-9) on Christmas Day (12/25/23). This article analyzes the first touchdown odds for this Giants vs. Eagles matchup and recommends betting on Jalen Hurts, Saquon Barkley, and AJ Brown.
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles First Touchdown Search Tool
Find the best available first touchdown prop picks for Giants vs Eagles below.
Giants vs. Eagles First Touchdown Picks
The goal the first touchdown prop bet is to identify which player will score the first touchdown of the game. It can be a very difficult bet to get right, but that is why it typically offers very good odds. A good strategy can be to bet on a few different players in the same game, as long as one winning bet still pays enough to turn a profit. That being said, let’s break down who will score the first touchdown in this Giants vs. Eagles game.
Jalen Hurts First Touchdown (+400 at BetMGM)
We’re going to start with the player who is by far the most likely player in this game to score a touchdown, which is Eagles QB Jalen Hurts. Hurts’ anytime touchdown odds are -165, which implies greater than a 62% chance of Hurts scoring a touchdown in this game. Naturally it follows that he would be the most likely player to score the first touchdown of the game.
If we start by betting one unit on Hurts, then we can bet up to three units on other players with better odds. If the Hurts bet hits, then the worst we would do is break even. So this is a bit of a hedge on all the other players on whom we could bet. Of course there is no guarantee we pick the right player, even when spreading out our bets to multiple picks, so we have to be willing to lose up to four units if we follow this strategy.
Hurts has been unbelievably consistent at getting into the end zone with his legs over the last two seasons. Last year, he scored 13 rushing touchdowns in 15 games, and this season he has already scored 14 touchdowns in 14 games. He is now tied with Cam Newton for the most rushing TDs by a quarterback in a single season. He also holds the record for the most rushing TDs in a two-season span (27) and in a three-season span (37). That doesn’t even include the five TDs he scored in three games in the playoffs last season.
Last season, Hurts scored a touchdown in 12 of his 18 games (including the playoffs), which is a 66% scoring rate. So far this season, he has scored touchdowns in 10 of his 15 games – the exact same 66% rate. That level of consistency is truly unprecedented for any player, let alone a QB. He has scored all 14 of his TDs from inside the red zone, and 12 of them from inside the five-yard line. He has gotten 40.4% of the Eagles’ red zone rushing attempts (38-of-94) and 48% of their attempts inside the five (15-of-31).
When the Eagles get into the red zone, they almost always run the ball. They have run the ball inside the red zone almost twice as many times as they have thrown it (94 rushes vs. 48 pass attempts). Twenty of their 31 red zone touchdowns this season have come on the ground. Meanwhile, the Giants have allowed the fourth-most rushing touchdowns this season (19) and they are the 9th-worst red zone defense, allowing touchdowns on 61.2% of opponent red zone trips.
So long as the Eagles score the first touchdown in this game, which is the overwhelming likelihood given they are nearly two-touchdown favorites (-13.5), then the most realistic scenario in which Hurts does not score the first touchdown is if he throws a deep touchdown pass.
A.J. Brown First Touchdown (+600 at BetMGM)
On that note, the next most likely Eagles player to score a touchdown in this game is A.J. Brown. We’ll start by pointing out that Brown’s running mate DeVonta Smith did not practice this week and is trending towards missing this game. While that may shift more defensive attention towards Brown, it will also shift more of Jalen Hurts’ attention towards his favorite pass catcher.
This is a great matchup for Brown. The Giants’ defense plays a lot of single-high coverage (one deep safety). Since week 10, they have lined up in single-high on 59.4% of defensive plays, which is the seventh-highest rate in the league over that span. Hurts loves looking in Brown’s direction against single-high coverage, as Brown has a 36.8% target share and a 46.9% first-read share against that type of defense. Brown is 5th in the league in deep targets this season and stands a good chance of making at least one explosive play in this game.
Brown is also Hurts’ favorite red zone target when the QB does look to pass inside the 20. Brown’s 17 red zone targets this season are more than every other wide receiver on the team combined (12), and the 10th most in the league. Including tight ends and running backs, Brown leads the Eagles with a 38.6% target share in the red zone.
The Giants’ defense is much more vulnerable against the run (28th in yards allowed, 30th in yards per carry, 29th in DVOA) than they are against the pass (19th in yards allowed 18th in DVOA). However, it’s not like they’re very good against the pass either, and they have allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season, tied for 8th most in the league.
Boston Scott Last Touchdown (+1000 at BetMGM)
Let’s switch gears here and recommend a pick for the last touchdown of the game instead of the first touchdown. This is a dart throw based on Boston Scott’s ridiculous track record against the Giants in his career.
In nine career games against the Giants, Scott has gained more yards (446 rushing, 222 receiving) and scored more touchdowns (11) than he has against any other team, and it’s not particularly close. Those numbers account for 33.3% of his career scrimmage yards and 55% of his career touchdowns in just 11.4% of his career games.
Last season, Scott tallied 21 carries for 119 yards (5.67 average) and three touchdowns in three games against the Giants (including the playoffs). In his other 15 games, he totaled 42 carries for 159 yards (3.79 average) and two touchdowns.
There is no good explanation for it, but for some reason the Eagles just love using Scott against the Giants, and he consistently delivers for them. We recommended an anytime touchdown bet on Scott in our player prop picks for this game, but the last touchdown bet at +1000 is even better.
If Scott gets into the end zone in this game, it will most likely be in the 2nd half during garbage time if the Eagles have a big lead. That could also be a scenario where the Eagles intentionally give Scott some red zone rushing attempts just to keep his streak of scoring against the Giants intact. Most coaching staffs don’t care about that kind of thing, but the Eagles have proven in the past that they do, as evidenced by Scott’s usage against the Giants in three games last year.