Best Bets Eagles vs. Lions in Week 8: NJ Books Favor the Birds

Written By Dave Bontempo on October 29, 2021 - Last Updated on November 16, 2021

What is this minus sign?

New Jersey online gamblers may wipe off their glasses or peer more intently at the NJ sportsbooks regarding the Philadelphia Eagles betting line this weekend.

The books expect them to win.

Yes, the 2-5 Eagles are chalk for the first time this season when they invade the winless Detroit Lions Sunday. They are roughly a field goal to the good in the eyes of bettors, who actually hit the Birds hard when the opening number dropped from -3.5 to -2.5 early in the week.

Although the odds rose back in a hurry, late-week figures show that the nationwide dog bettors are still barking.

Eagles slight favorites vs. Lions in Week 8

DraftKings sportsbook figures showed 54% of its nationwide gamblers taking the winless Lions at +3.5 against the 2-5 Eagles.

Nearly three-quarters of the bettors, 74%, hopped on Detroit at +155 on the moneyline.

There are reasons to like both sides. The Eagles have a chance to raise their game against the most snakebit team in the league.

And the Lions, who lost on two final-play field goals — one being Justin Tucker’s NFL-record 66 yarder for the Baltimore Ravens — see a game they can win.

There’s some eerie symbolism in the opening line. The Eagles were +3.5 across the books before their two victories against the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers. Now they are -3.5. Is that a bad omen?

It’s all about Props and Futures Now

Betting is the consolation route for many Eagles fans.

Each game is a gambling adventure wrapped around an event. With 10 games left, they have four more losses and a tiebreak defeat to the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles are a walking prop, perhaps aimed at a Thanksgiving over-under date for NFC East title elimination.

That may sadden fans, but bettors can always examine the Eagles in a betting context.

BetMGM Sportsbook assembled an interesting assortment early Friday morning. It’s called the Lose Cast. Fitting isn’t it?

BetMGM bet boosts for the Lose Cast

For Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts to score and the Birds to lose, it’s +375. Receiver Quez Watkins and Eagles to lose is +750.

Several other bets surround Eagles players in a score-and-lose scenario.

As for scoring bets that guarantee return:

  • Hurts to score first is +800; to tally anytime is +130.
  • DeVonta Smith is +900 to score first and +160 for an anytime score.
  • D’Andre Swift, who is expected to get more playing time than Jamaal Williams this week, is -110 for an anytime score for Detroit.
  • Swift is also +800 for the first TD, which he delivered to bettors with a 63-yard scoring run against the Los Angeles Rams last week.

More Eagles vs. Lions props, bet boosts for week 8

Here are some other one-game samples from around the sportsbooks.

DraftKings props

Hurts to reach 255 passing yards. The over-unders are both -115. Hurts passed for 236 in Philadelphia’s 33-22 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last week.

His counterpart, Jared Goff, has a 265.5 number. He notched 268 last week, including a 63-yard catch and-run hookup with Swift. That is Detroit’s largest play of the season.

DraftKings has one prop with Hurts and Swift, with Hurts to pass for 259.5 yards and Swift to run for 54.5 at +300.

Hurts is also +105 to throw a pick.

Caesars first possession props

To obtain action right away, here is a lineup of each team’s first drive, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Eagles’ first possession:

  • Punt +124
  • Touchdown +124
  • Field goal attempt +350
  • Turnover +515

Detroit first possession:

  • Punt -103
  • Touchdown +295
  • Field goal attempt +360
  • Turnover +470

FanDuel Eagles win totals

Here’s a look beyond one game.

The books are adjusting season win totals, which creates some betting interest long after an individual team has nothing else to play for.

FanDuel sees the Eagles in the range of a 7-10 season. Their adjusted win prop has the Eagles 7.5 with the “over” at +115 and the under at -135. Anyone taking the over is banking on a Philadelphia win this week.

This is also an interesting time to consider the Lions prop for bettors who think they may nudge forward. Detroit is +135 to hit the Over 2.5 victory total. The “under” is -160. Bettors who take the “over” on Detroit practically must have win No. 1 come here.

Betting on game pace, points leaguewide

There’s a leaguewide betting circuit to plug this game into as well.

Will the Eagles and Lions be the lowest-scoring game in the entire NFL? That’s +1300 if it happens. The San Francisco 49ers-Chicago Bears are the projected lowest, at +420.

Will they become the highest-scoring game? Yes is +1100. The Buffalo Bills-Miami Dolphins game is the favorite at +650.

Going deeper, one can bet on numerous touchdowns and point totals for the week. How sharp are the books? A couple of weeks ago, FanDuel listed the point total for all the Sunday NFL games at over-under 573.5.

It fell right on 573. (Under bettors said “we had it all the way.”)

Will recent momentum carry forward for Eagles, Lions?

Intangibles for Eagles for Lions wagers

The Eagles had an ugly 30-point implosion against the Raiders, dropping from a 7-0 lead to a 30-7 deficit in the second and third quarters.

Some gamblers may view fumbles by Jalen Hurts and Kenneth Gainwell that cost the Eagles 14 points a darkest-before-the-dawn scenario. The Eagles at least came back to rescue over 49 bettors with two fourth-quarter scores in the 33-22 loss.

Gamblers also see Hurts as a prop machine. In recent games against the Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Raiders, he notched significant garbage-time production to hit passing yardage and touchdown plateaus.

Smith has been a reasonably productive wide receiver, Jalen Reagor scored last week and Watkins is the fastest receiver on the field. Hurts will try to find him deep at least once. Watkins is due to find paydirt.

Detroit, meanwhile, should be much better.

The Lions traded Matthew Stafford for a younger Jared Goff and drafted the country’s top offensive lineman, Penei Sewell, with the seventh overall pick.

But they keep coming up just short.

The Lions notched an impressive 415 yards against the Los Angeles Rams last week. They led against one of the NFL powerhouses in the fourth quarter. They executed an onside kick and two successful fake punts.

If the Lions match their effort from last week and the Eagles copy theirs, they will win.

On the flip side, any improvement in the Eagles’ pass rush (no sacks last week) or the Lions being emotionally spent will enable the Eagles to roll.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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