All aboard, Philadelphia Eagles fans. New Jersey online sports bettors prepare for a high-speed stretch ride to the NFL season finish line.
Philadelphia’s 27-17 triumph over the Washington Football Team Tuesday night did more than pull the team to 7-7 and stave off virtual playoff elimination.
It put the Eagles into a positive domino formation for the remainder of the campaign, which begins Sunday at the Linc against the New York Giants. The Eagles betting line stood at -10 as of Wednesday morning.
Philadelphia is tied with the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints for the final playoff berth, with Minnesota holding the spot now. But the Eagles have a more favorable schedule.
Here are 7 major takeaways, a touchdown and extra point if you will, concerning the Eagles’ remaining games.
1. The Eagles may face three opponents with nothing to play for
The Giants have four wins and will be playing for pride only. Big Blue has little offensive firepower, its playmakers have under-achieved and the team has regressed under second-year coach Joe Judge. The Birds have a short week, yes, but have given the impression they can run to daylight every week.
The Eagles visit Washington the following week. Not only is Washington 6-8, but it goes to Dallas, which still has something to play for, in this short week.
A Cowboys victory as a heavy favorite would officially render Washington with no skin in the playoff race when it faces the Eagles in NFL Week 17.
And in the season finale, the Eagles will play a Dallas team they hope has no chance to move up for in the standings. Dallas sits one game behind the Green Bay Packers for the No . 1 spot.
The Packers have three losses, the Cowboys four. But Dallas has also lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with whom it has the same record.
A Green Bay win at home Saturday against the Cleveland Browns puts the Packers one step closer to putting home-field away throughout the playoffs.
2. The Birds are running downhill
They have five games with 200 or more rushing yards, impressive.
They also have seven straight games with 175 or more rushing yards. It hasn’t been done since 1985. And the team that did it, the Chicago Bears, romped to a Super Bowl.
The key to Philadelphia’s success has not only been the holes opened up, but the perfect cutback timing of Miles Sanders, who made it look like art against Washington.
Sanders looks like himself again.
He still hasn’t scored, but he exceeded 100 yards for the second straight game. The last back to do that was LeSean McCoy, in 2014. Bettors can seek Sanders in yardage props because Sanders combines cutback knowledge with speed. He toted the rock 18 times for a career-high 131 yards.
3. When in doubt, tap Jalen Hurts
The quarterback has 10 rushing touchdowns, a franchise record. He delivered two important ones Tuesday night. One pulled the Eagles into a 10-10 halftime tie. The second completed what may be their drive of the year and put them ahead 17-10 early in the second half.
Bettors feel confident of a Jalen Hurts anytime score near the goal line because the team has trouble punching it in from a couple of yards out. It will be an attractive option again this week.
4. Dallas Goedert becoming a beast
Yes, he had two horrific drops that cost the Eagles at least 10 points Tuesday night. But he made several clutch catches to keep drives alive. Goedert caught seven passes for 135 yards, including a 45-yard completion. Add that to his 105-yard performance against the New York Jets in the previous game.
With back-to-back 100-yard games, Goedert will soon be viewed as a breakout tight end, both for bettors and fans.
The Eagles feel even better about trading Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals early this year.
Goedert is a viable betting option because Hurts trusts him more than the wide receivers.
5. Eagles-Washington was a roller-coaster ride for sportsbook operators
The books had a devil of a time laying odds on the Eagles-Washington. A wave of Covid implications affecting Washington not only moved the game back two days, but made the line look like a car zig-zagging on the New Jersey Turnpike.
“We opened at Philadelphia -2.5 and it went as high as 11,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings Sportsbook, told PlayNJ just before the Eagles-Washington game. “We had to take it off the board and when we saw the change in the schedule and when we put it back up at Philadelphia -6.5. It was at 9.5 just before the game.
“The Eagles have a very favorable schedule. You can see them 10-7 or 9-8, if they get past Washington.”
How did DraftKings know it was safe to put the game back on and where to assign the line?
“We didn’t,” Avello laughed. “… We had the same problem with the Cleveland Browns-Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night.
He noted the line opened at the Browns -5.5 and Covid issues pushed it all the way to the Raiders -3.
Despite the uncertainty, Avello noted that Week 15 was probably the best for the books all season and one of its best all-time. The Detroit Lions beating the heavily-favored Arizona Cardinals was followed by Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being shut out by the New Orleans Saints 9-0.
6. NFC East betting results through NFL Week 15
Here are the updated betting results of the four NFC East teams. The results are based on DraftKings odds at kickoff.
- 7-7 on the moneyline
- 8-6 versus spread
- 8-6 on the over
New York Giants:
- 4-10 on the moneyine
- 6-8 versus spread
- 4 -9 -1 on the over
- 10-4 on the moneyline
- 11 -3 versus spread
- 7-7 on the over
- 6-8 on the moneyline
- 5 -9 versus spread
- 6-8 on the over
7. Scoreboard watching: How Eagles bettors hope developments fall
Minnesota has two difficult games on its schedule. It hosts the Los Angels Rams this weekend and then visits the top-seeded Green Bay Packers. The Vikings finish against the Chicago Bears. If betting odds prevail, they will lose twice.
New Orleans essentially sits behind Philadelphia because the Eagles have a head-to-head win against them. The Saints host the Miami Dolphins Monday night and the Carolina Panthers one week later. They finish at the Atlanta Falcons.
The Saints also could lose twice, if betting odds prevail.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum