After remaining undefeated by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Eagles have a quick turnaround entering Week 9. The Birds will be in Texas to face the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football.
As one might expect, the Eagles are heavily favored this matchup. DraftKings Sportsbook has them as 13.5-point road favorites.
To put that number into context, the Texans would be three-point home favorites if they were viewed as an equal team to the Eagles.
Of course, that isn’t the case. The Eagles are 7-0. The Texans are 1-5-1.
Houston doesn’t have the NFL’s worst record — that honor goes to the 1-6 Detroit Lions — but they are arguably the worst team in the league. The Texans rank 32nd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. They rank dead last in my (very important) NFL power rankings. They rank fourth-to-last in point differential.
No one is surprised Houston is bad. They entered this season with very low expectations given: the lack of talent on their roster, one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, and a head coach that they seemingly didn’t want to hire to that position. Not exactly a recipe for success.
To the Texans’ credit, it’s not like they’ve been getting totally destroyed every single week. Only one of their losses has come by more than 10 points. Three of them have been one possession games.
But the Texans also haven’t really played tough competition. A quick game-by-game analysis of their schedule:
- Week 1: They tied the Colts, who have been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams this season.
- Week 2: They got beat by the Broncos, who haven’t looked very good at all.
- Week 3: They got beat by the Bears, who clearly stink.
- Week 4: They got beat by an inconsistent Chargers team with Justin Herbert playing through fractured ribs.
- Week 5: They defeated a struggling Jaguars team at home by one possession in a game where they scored 13 points.
- Week 6: They got blown out by the Raiders, who just got shut out by the Saints.
- Week 7: They got beat by a Titans team whose rookie quarterback making his first NFL start posted the following stat line: 6/10, 55 passing yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 35.4 passer rating ... 5 rushes, 12 rushing yards. Houston allowed 40 carries for 302 yards (7.55 average) and two touchdowns to the Titans’ running backs.
Methinks the Eagles will be looking to run the ball on Thursday night. Why not challenge the Texans to stop it?
13.5 points is a lot. It’s the biggest spread of Week 9. But the Eagles are by far the best team that the Texans have faced. The Birds have the capability to beat their opponents in a big way.
What say you?
Which bet do you like more?
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