Well. Can the Philadelphia Eagles defy the betting board?
Major sportsbooks disregard them, placing the visiting Kansas City Chiefs as about a touchdown favorite for Sunday’s game at the Linc.
DraftKings reported Thursday that 98% of its gamblers took the Chiefs giving the points. That’s an astonishing number, the highest in all of the NFL. With both teams being 1-2, this is an extraordinary percentage. The Chiefs, like the Eagles, have lost two straight.
The expectation of a blowout creates attractive prop wagers, which New Jersey bettors are likely to take advantage of.
What led to this absence of respect and how do the books reflect it?
*Lets’ first look at the problems the Eagles need to address.
The term “three and out” featured a new interpretation this week. Rather than three offensive plays and a punt, it means “three Philadelphia running plays in an entire game last week and they must be out of their minds.”
Aside from quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Eagles rushed for 29 yards against the Cowboys.
That won’t get it done for anybody.
Adjustment: After all the criticism Nick Sirianni received this week, Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell will undoubtedly be used more. But for them to be effective, it can’t be in a predictable mix. A throw on first down and a run on second may at least keep the team in third-and-manageable.
*Where is the big back that can get a yard on third-and-inches or pop the ball over the plane from the one-yard-line? The Eagles need major work on their red-zone play calling.
*The offensive line is torn apart by injuries and that may affect the timing of quarterback Jalen Hurts. He needs to make faster decisions, even it’s improvisational.
*The penalties. Yikes. The Iggles are on track to set a league-record. It’s now 35 in three games. Think of how many drives are disrupted by holding calls, motion penalties and lineman moving too quickly on the snap count.
Good teams don’t do what the Eagles have in these past three games.
*Where is Quez?
All the speedy Quez Watkins did was secure a 91-yard catch-and-run against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. And then he had a 41-yard catch last week. These are the team’s longest pass completions of the season, yet the Eagles rarely target Watkins.
He needs to be utilized more, especially on a couple of deep routes, to keep opposing defenses honest.
Watkins is a bolt of electricity in the Eagles offense. They need to plug him in.
*DeVonta is cooling off.
The Eagles’ first-round draft pick did have six targets last week. But he does not appear to be in sync with Hurts right now. Hurts tosses him the ball when it appears Smith is either covered or must make a difficult catch.
He only had 28 yards on a night the backfield was forgotten. Suddenly, he looks like a less-than-impactful first-round draft pick.
These are some of the issues.
How are they reflected on the betting boards?
Lets’ take a look at BetMGM.
Hurts over 234.5 yards -120
Hurts was a prop-betting machine, if nothing else, against the Cowboys. He made 36 pass attempts, just enough to clear the standard of 34.5. He hurled a touchdown pass on the final drive to reach two scores, when the over-under was 1.5. A strong final drive put his numbers at a deceiving 318 and his pass-rush total above 350 yards. That paid +250 at several books.
These numbers reflect the belief he will be throwing often with the Eagles trailing.
Hurts can get yardage, the question is how much of that will unfold during garbage time.?
Bettors don’t care.
Hurts also tossed not one, but two picks against the Cowboys. One was returned for a Pick 6.
Congratulations to bettors who took an MGM longshot bet we previewed before the Eagles-Cowboys. The first touchdown for the Eagles was +2500 if it came from the defense. And it did.
Patrick Mahomes over or under 306.5 yards is -115
The all-world quarterback can get as many yards as he wants. The question is whether he seeks stats or would rather hand off to the backs against an Eagles team that gave up 5.5 yards per rush against the Cowboys.
The price of -115 is not bad but not great for the threshold bettors must clear in order to make a connection.
Hurts over 1.5. The over is +105 and the under is -145,
On the surface it seems easy, as Kansas City yielded four touchdown passes to Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers last week. What counters the situation for Hurts is the possibility he will run the ball in.
Either way, +105 is a good price for him to obtain at least two touchdowns. The price on the favored under is not worth it.
Mahomes over-under 2.5 touchdowns. The over is -110 and the under is -120.
Good one to play. Mahomes has the weapons to utilize with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
The Eagles were picked apart by the Cowboys and yielded three scoring passes. If they don’t improve the run defense, the Kansas City ground game will steal a couple of passing touchdowns away from Mahomes. Still, a fair price.
Hurts over 0.5 +110, under is – 145.
What’s the point of the under? The price is not friendly. Hurts threw two picks against the Cowboys. He has not been able to find secondary receivers. There’s a good chance he could throw one and the price is good enough.
Mahomes? The over 0.5 is +120, the under is -160. He doesn’t throw many because of an ability to throw passes away and to find receivers at short distances.
But he was picked off twice by the Chargers last week.
Another bet, like Hurts, in which the under makes no sense anyway.
Across the board, there are numerous opportunities for New Jersey bettors to make money. Eagles fans may not be happy wearing green, but they could be happy earning it.