By Justin Mark, SGPN Football Handicapper
Last week the Eagles gave us all a bit of a scare as the game went down to the wire. They trailed most of the game, behind 13-3 at one point, before finally putting everything together and scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter. I honestly thought this was a get-right game for the Eagles, one where they would come out and dominate. That didn’t happen, but a win is a win.
I missed on the spread but was spot on calling the under as they didn’t even get close to the 45.5 points. This week, after the Thanksgiving festivities, have settled and our bellies are full and before we have to go back to the reality of a work week, the Eagles face the Packers on Sunday Night Football. The Packers have had a disappointing season, with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers struggling. Now, Rodgers is towards the bottom of the MVP race, and Jalen Hurts is third behind only Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa.
Key Defensive Matchup
The Packers showed a little bit of life two weeks ago, taking down the Eagles’ division foe Dallas Cowboys. In an overtime upset, the Packers ran the ball for 217 yards against the Cowboys. Stopping Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon will be a key aspect for the Eagles’ defense, which has struggled to stop the run as of late. However, they did step up and hold Jonathan Taylor to only 84 yards, which showed some signs of improvement.
They’ll look to continue to improve stopping the run and force the Packers to pass the ball. The Packers have plenty of pass-catchers, even though they don’t have a ton of experience. Randall Cobb returned last week and led the team in catches. Allen Lazard is another receiver, who Rodgers trusts. However, the player who has stood out is wide receiver Christian Watson, who has five receiving touchdowns in the last two games.
Key Offensive Matchup
The Eagles’ offense has hit a bit of a rut. Against the Colts they only passed for 190 yards and outside of Jalen Hurts running the ball, they only had 55 rushing yards. That won’t cut it moving forward if the Eagles want to continue their solid season and make a strong playoff push. As good as these receivers are, the Packers have the tenth-ranked defense against the pass.
This Eagles’ offense started the year as one of the top rushing offenses in the league and I think they need to get back to that. The Packers have allowed the fourth most rushing yards per game and the Eagles should look to capitalize on that. Whether it’s Miles Sanders, Jalen Hurts, or even Boston Scott, the Eagles should focus on controlling the clock and doing what they do best – running the ball.
Nothing is a gimme, and as an avid Packer-hater, I’m all in on the Eagles for this one. The Packers are always talked about a lot in the media, and Rodgers also does a lot of talking. It’s time for the Eagles to quiet them.
Looking at lines on WynnBet this week the Moneyline is still a little high at -310. My favorite bet is taking the Eagles’ spread at -7. This is the second week the Eagles have been seven-point favorites. However, there’s a difference between being a seven-point favorite on the road, and being a seven-point favorite at home. The Eagles have covered the spread four out of five games at home. The total for the game is set at 46.5. Even though I think both of these teams will focus on the run, I do think there will be some points on Sunday night. I’m taking over 46.5.
Being a Sunday night game, prop bets are currently limited on what is available. Therefore, my bonus bet this week is the Bengals -1. Even though the Titans have been a solid team I think the Bengals can overwhelm them on offense and win by more than a point.
Justin Mark is co-host of SGPN Fantasy Football’s show “Old-Fashioned Football”, and co-host of a show on the NFL Gambling Podcast, which airs every Wednesday at 3:30 eastern time on Youtube. He’s also a writer for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JMarkFootball and The Sports Gambling Podcast @GamblingPodcast.