The Philadelphia Eagles are once again facing an uphill battle.
The bad news was losing first place in the NFC East (better known as the NFC Least these days) with Sunday’s 38-29 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is despite a gallant Philadelphia effort.
Unfortunately, it was coupled with the now first-place Dallas Cowboys’ improbable 37-34 triumph over the New York Giants.
And things aren’t looking much better for the 1-3-1 Eagles heading into NFL Week Six. The 4-1 Baltimore Ravens are coming to Lincoln Financial Field (1 p.m. EST, CBS). DraftKings Sportsbook had the Eagles’ odds at +7.5 as of Monday afternoon.
The Ravens just silenced the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3 on Sunday. These are the same Bengals who tied the Eagles 23-23 in Week Three. With the Ravens beating the Bengals by 24 points, one might expect a double-digit line on this game.
From a NJ sports betting perspective, it will be interesting to see where the first wave of betting takes this contest.
NFL Week 6 odds updated
The odds for NFL Week Six are below from the top NJ sportsbooks as of 10 a.m. EST Oct. 12.
|NFL Week 6||DraftKings||FanDuel||Fox Bet|
Eagles-Ravens NJ sports betting picture
Philadelphia is 1-3-1 against the spread, but the team has hit the over in its win over the San Francisco 49ers and loss to the Steelers.
The explosive Ravens, meanwhile, have hit the under with point totals of 48 and then 30 in the last two weeks.
And the Ravens are 4-1 against the spread.
Taking an initial look at this week’s game, who thought the Ravens defense would be the biggest concern for Eagles backers?
Cincinnati held the high-octane Baltimore offense headed by reigning MVP Lamar Jackson to 20 points on Sunday. That should have been enough for the Bengals to at least cover the 13 points they received across the major NJ sports betting apps.
But the Ravens defense outscored the Bengals offense. Patrick Queen’s 53-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown made the score 27-0. As a whole, the Ravens amassed seven sacks of Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow and produced three turnovers.
On the offensive side, Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews scored his fifth touchdown of the year Sunday. The Jackson-Andrews connection is one of the NFL’s most lethal combinations, and Philadelphia has been vulnerable to opposing tight ends, yielding five touchdowns.
Wide receiver Marquise Brown is another Ravens player to watch. He caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals.
Eagles’ WR Travis Fulgham catching on
The Eagles made a household name out of Pittsburgh receiver Chase Claypool. He notched four touchdowns and won’t be a surprise on the prop boards anymore.
The Eagles, who scored a season-high 29 points Sunday, fashioned a breakout performance of their own by wide receiver Travis Fulgham. He notched 152 yards and a score, carrying the offense on his back much of the day.
Fulgham, who collected the game-winning touchdown against the 49ers one week earlier, made several critical catches and was a third-down favorite of Wentz.
Prop backers of all Eagles receivers, take note going forward. The Steelers double-teamed Fulgham on an important third-down play as the Eagles tried to march toward the lead. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens double Fulgham this week.
That could open the field for someone else.
Eagles-Steelers NJ sports betting recap
The over 44.5 came home in a breeze.
Prop backers of Eagles running back Miles Sanders at NJ sportsbooks were rewarded with his 74-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, remarkable against a stingy defense.
Fox Bet paid +300 for the Eagles and Steelers to both score touchdowns in each half.
Bettors who took the Eagles and the points were burned out of a cover in the final minutes.
Aggressive Eagles coach Doug Pederson had Jake Elliott try a 57-yard field goal in windswept Heinz Field with 3:18 remaining and Philly trailing by two. A deep punt and the use of all three of his timeouts would have given Philadelphia the ball back with one last chance to win. It also would have put Philadelphia +7.5 in many gambler’s pockets, even if the Steelers had run out the clock.
After the long miss, Philadelphia was burned on a senseless facemask penalty that gave Pittsburgh time to do more than run out the clock. On a third-down call, Roethlisberger spotted Claypool free in single coverage down the middle of the field. They connected on a 35-yard touchdown, game pretty much over.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, meanwhile, threw his eighth interception of the year — more than the entire 2019 season — and it set up a Pittsburgh touchdown to make the score 31-14.
He did bring his team back, getting to within 31-29. Wentz is taking too long to make decisions and rarely makes a comfortable throw. At the same time, his big-time weapons are sidelined with injuries.
Up next: Here comes the NFC Least
Win or lose against the Ravens on Sunday, the Eagles are approaching the critical part of their schedule. We’re talking about three division games over a four-week stretch. And since nobody is running away with the NFC Least, this could be the Eagles’ chance to take control of the division.
Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule:
- Oct. 22: Thursday Night Football home game against the Giants
- Nov. 1: Sunday Night Football home game against the Cowboys
- Bye week
- Nov. 15: Giants at MetLife Stadium
Cowboys minus Dak Prescott + NFC East
The NFC East picture changed drastically on Sunday. Star Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a severe ankle injury that required surgery on Sunday night. He is done for the season.
The incident occurred during the third quarter of Dallas’ 37-34 win over the Giants.
Former Bengals QB Andy Dalton is taking over the offense. He signed with Dallas during the offseason as an insurance policy for Prescott. And the policy has a claim on it.
It is likely that Dalton will play fairly well. He has significant support in running back Zeke Elliott and an emerging star receiver in CeeDee Lamb.
Injuries aside, the Cowboys are currently the team to beat. Even though the Eagles are no longer a first-place team, they’re still a contender for the NFC East title.
Then again, so are the Cowboys (2-3), Washington (1-4) and the Giants (0-5).
It’s time for the brand new show “Survival” featuring the teams of the NFC East! pic.twitter.com/31XdbVAyU8
— Fox Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 11, 2020