By Justin Mark, SGPN Football Handicapper
Commander Carson (Wentz) couldn’t conquer in his revenge game against the Eagles. Just as we predicted, the Birds took care of business, beating the Commanders 24-8. Surprisingly, the Eagles weren’t as efficient running the ball, but that didn’t matter as Jalen Hurts and Devonta Smith connected for eight catches, 169 yards and a touchdown. AJ Brown added five catches, 85 yards and a touchdown.
Sometimes you can have a bad week of betting even when the team you bet on does well. Last week’s 2-2 record is behind us and we move on. The Eagles advanced to 3-0 – one of only two teams to do so – and will now look to stop the momentum of the Jaguars. The Jags just beat the Chargers 38-10 and are off to a surprising 2-1 start under former Eagles coach Doug Pederson.
Key Defensive Matchup
This Eagles’ defense is starting to look like one of the best in the league. Their defensive backfield is limiting opposing receivers and shutting them down. In fact, they’re only allowing 186.7 passing yards a game, which is 9th best in the league. Even more impressive, they’re only allowing 296.7 total yards a game, which is 5th best. The Jaguars offense has been clicking better than expected, averaging 375.7 yards a game, which is 6th in the league. However,, I don’t think the cornerbacks will struggle to cover Jaguars’ wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. The key matchup will be pressuring Trevor Lawrence and slowing the rushing attack, led by James Robinson.
Key Offensive Matchup
The thing that makes the Eagles’ offense so good is that they can do it all. They are very good at rushing the ball, whether that’s with Miles Sanders or Jalen Hurts tucking and running. But they’re also very good passing, with AJ Brown and Devonta Smith becoming a force. The Jaguars have the best rushing defense in the NFL currently, so I look for the Eagles to take advantage in the passing game. The Jags are allowing 251.7 passing yards a game, which is 21st in the league. The Eagles, on the other hand, have the third-best passing offense, averaging 296.7 yards per game. Look for them to move the ball on this Jaguars’ team.
Last week, I didn’t think the Eagles would struggle to cover the spread. The only thing that makes me nervous this week is the fact that Doug Pederson will want to make the Eagles look bad and his team has a lot of momentum. However, the Eagles have also been on a roll and their offense is one of the best in the league. Until they are slowed on offense, it is really hard to pick against them, regardless of their opponent’s momentum. Past trends also tell us the Eagles do well against good defenses. They are 11-4 against the spread in the last 15 when playing a defense that’s holding teams to less than 18.5 points per game.
Looking at lines on WynnBet, I’m once again taking the Eagles to cover the spread of -7 (+100) and I also like the total of over 47.5 points.
Bonus Prop Bets
Last week, I said not to take the Hurts rushing total if it’s over 45 yards. His rushing total was set at 50.5 and he only ran for 20 yards. This week, it’s still a little high at 47.5 yards. One prop I do like is DeVonta Smith over 58.5 yards. The last two weeks he’s finished with 80 and 169 receiving yards, making over 58.5 look like one he’ll continue to cover.
I also like the 1st half to go over 23.5 points. Both of these offenses have been able to score, and I think they’ll come out firing in the first half. You can find all my picks and the rest of the SGPN crew’s picks here.
Justin Mark is co-host of SGPN Fantasy Football’s show “Old-Fashioned Football” and a writer for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JMarkFootball and The Sports Gambling Podcast @GamblingPodcast.