The opening odds for the Eagles’ Week 1 game against the Atlanta Falcons are out and, unlike leading up to the 2018 divisional round playoff meeting between these two teams, the Eagles are NOT underdogs this time around.
... Yet, at least.
According to SB Nation’s odds page, the line for the Eagles versus Falcons game opened with the Eagles as significant 5.5-point favorites. (For reference, the average home team opens as three-point favorites.)
That line has since changed with the news that Nick Foles — and not Carson Wentz — will be Philadelphia’s starting quarterback at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday evening.
The exact number depends on which outlet you look at but they all share a common trend of having the Eagles less favored than they previously were. See for yourself:
This change indicates that the public is putting money on the Falcons. Some people like that Atlanta is getting points while going up against a backup quarterback.
Of course, Foles isn’t just any backup. He’s the reigning Super Bowl MVP! And the Eagles are certainly not a team to be taken easy at home. They’re 15-3 in 18 games at the Linc since the Doug Pederson era began in 2016. And one of those losses was a meaningless Week 17 affair last season. Oh, yeah, and the Eagles already beat the Falcons at home earlier this year en route to winning the Super Bowl.
Then again, it’s easy to see why some would be skeptical about betting on the Eagles. Foles is capable of playing at a very high level, yes, but he’s also capable of playing at a very low level. We saw as much in the preseason. Even putting the quarterback position aside, the Eagles are still dealing with a number of absences. Nigel Bradham, who played well against the Falcons earlier this year, is going to miss this game due to suspension. Alshon Jeffery isn’t going to play since he’s still making his way back from injury. Timmy Jernigan won’t be active for this game like he was earlier in the year.
It feels like this game might be a tough spot for the Eagles. The Falcons are going to be hungry to avenge their loss from earlier in the year. Atlanta came so close to winning that one.
We’ll continue to monitor the lines heading up to Thursday’s game. I’d be surprised if the Falcons start to become favored but hey, it wouldn’t be the first time the Eagles entered as game as underdogs.
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