The Philadelphia Eagles are 1-1 through their first two games of the 2019 season but they’re 0-2 against the spread. The Eagles failed to cover as 10-point favorites in a five-point Week 1 victory over Washington. The Eagles then lost to the Falcons outright as 2-point road favorites in Week 2.
For the Eagles to get their first win against the spread, they’ll need a convincing win over the Lions at home this Sunday. As seen on SB Nation’s odds page, Philadelphia is currently favored by as many as 7.5 points against Detroit:
My first impression is that the Eagles are getting too much respect here. They’re much more than standard three-point home favorites.
It sounds like the Eagles could be without DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery for this week’s game. That’s pretty significant. Other concerns include, but are not limited to:
- The absence of two of the team’s top three defensive tackles
- The health status of Dallas Goedert
- A leaky secondary that’s allowed the second most passing yards in franchise history through tow games
- A pass rush that’s generated zero sacks with any of the team’s top four defensive ends
- A slow-starting offense that’s scored zero first quarter points and just 10 first half points
Not to mention the Lions haven’t looked terrible through their first two games. No, they haven’t looked great by any means. But they were up 24-6 on the Cardinals before blowing that lead and seeing the game end in a tie. And they did beat a decent Chargers team — albeit narrowly — at home in Week 2.
Now, the Lions hardly instill fear. Matthew Stafford is 67-75-1 as starting quarterback with a career 88.6 passer rating. Matt Patricia is one of the most conservative coaches in the league and the Eagles know a thing or two about cracking his defense (see: 41 to 33 in Super Bowl LII).
In other words, Detroit is eminently beatable. It’s just that it’s hard to confidently expect the Eagles to blow out an opponent given the concerns plaguing them right now.
Then again, there IS reason to feel good about the Eagles upon their return to Lincoln Financial Field. Including the playoffs, the Eagles have the second best home winning percentage (.778, 21-6) in the NFL since 2016, trailing only the Patriots (.862, 25-4). The Eagles are 12-9 against the spread as home favorites in that span, which ranks tied for the seventh best cover percentage in the league.
The Lions, meanwhile, are 19-21 against the spread as road underdogs with Stafford as their quarterback since 2011. That’s only the 20th best cover percentage. The Lions are 17-22-1 straight up in those games.
Despite potentially missing Jeffery and/or Jackson, we could see a bounce back performance from Carson Wentz in Week 3. It seems reasonable to attribute some of his early game struggles in Week 2 to the sudden absences of Jeffery, Jackson, and Goedert. Wentz settled in during the second half of the Eagles’ loss to the Falcons when Doug Dederson and the coaching staff had some more time to make adjustments. Now the offense will have a full week — as opposed to mere minutes— to prepare for being without some key players.
I feel good about the Eagles’ chances of winning this game. I like betting on Wentz and Pederson over Stafford and Patricia. I just wonder about the Eagles’ ability to beat the Lions by more than seven points.
What say you?
Which bet do you like more?
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