How Much Should You Feel the Energy of the Eagles?
The opening day of the NFL playoffs had about as much drama as you could wish for. The Texans escaped with a 3-point overtime victory against the Bills while Derrick Henry and the Titans slayed the dragon known as the New England Patriots.
Today we get to see two great NFC matchups and another chance to win money betting on football. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity by locking in my favorite bet of the Wildcard round.
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Breaking Down the Seahawks at Eagles Pic
The Line: Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (+1) : Over/Under/Total: 45
In what feels like a decade ago, these two teams already played each other in Philadelphia this season. The Seahawks won 17-9, dominating the game defensively as they held the Eagles to just 3 points until a Zach Ertz garbage-time touchdown with 20 seconds remaining.
This game should be played in Seattle, as the Seahawks finished 11-5 compared to the 9-7 record of the Eagles. We shouldn’t hear too much moaning from Seahawks fans as we all remember the “Beast Quake” game of the 2010 playoffs when Marshawn Lynch led a 7-9 team to a home victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Speaking of Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle running game has been so devastated by injuries that they made a decision relying more on nostalgia than logic that they signed the former All-Pro running back. Unfortunately, Lynch is nothing like his old self and being out of football for over a year has clearly not been kind to his figure.
Beast Mode averaged just 2.8 yards per carry against the 49ers in week 17 and will be a detriment to the Seahawks offense every time he’s in the game today. The injury situation is an absolute mess for the Eagles offense with Carson Wentz’s receiving crew still decimated by injuries to weapon after weapon including DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Nelson Agholor.
Are the Eagles Healthier Than You Think?
On a positive note, Zach Ertz is expected to play and rookie standout Miles Sanders will be good to go in the Philadelphia backfield.
Carson Wentz has a Super Bowl ring but will be making his first career playoff start. However, he’s been playing in virtual playoff games for a month straight needing to win his final four games to claim the NFC East crown.
The betting public is loving the chance to bet on Russell Wilson, but when you dig into the numbers you realize that the Seahawks are closer to frauds than true Super Bowl contenders.
Losers of three of their past four games, we can see how their early-season success was buoyed more by luck than by dominance. Wins by one or two points over the Bengals, Steelers, and Rams helped inflate their record and Seattle beat the Browns, Falcons, Vikings, and Panthers all by seven points or less. They also won both of their overtime games in 2019 which is another sign of random positive variance than team strength.
The Seahawks season was filled with fraudulent victories and just like the New England Patriots are getting credit for past success rather than how good of a football team they are today.
Wentz will find a way to put up 20+ points of offense against the Seahawks defense that is nothing like the Legion of Boom that led them to multiple Super Bowls.
Jim Schwartz’ defense is going to pressure or sack Russell Wilson throughout the game, knowing that Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are no longer in the Seattle backfield.
I don’t believe in the Eagles to make a real run in the NFC, but home-field advantage will help them pull out a close win against the Seahawks. The Pick: Eagles +1