Hey Philadelphia Eagles fans, it’s always football season.
Whether it’s anticipating the NFL Draft in late April, assessing new coach Nick Sirianni’s handling of the media “blitz” or viewing NFL 2021 championship odds, one thing is certain.
The future is now.
As in NFL futures at William Hill sportsbook for the 2021 championship.
"Mahomes is so far ahead of everyone else, that’s why Kansas City is the favorite again for next year.” – Nick Bogdanovich
KC is the favorite for this year's Big Game and is already atop the board at +500 next season. 👀🏈
Check out the current 🏆 2022 futures and read more ⬇️
— William Hill US (@WilliamHillUS) January 26, 2021
Eagles odds vs. field of 32
All 32 teams are in play, with odds posted for next season before the current Super Bowl betting tickets are even settled.
The Birds, who failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016, hit the off-season as a 2021 longshot.
They are way down the board to be honest, but on the board at +5000 nonetheless.
Think that’s far down?
The Washington Football Team, which won the NFC East, is +6000.
The New York Giants, who nearly won the division, are +7500.
The Dallas Cowboys, who receive a lot of money on brand recognition alone, lead the NFC East pack at +3000.
The division is one gigantic longshot. And it’s not even the bottom of the barrel.
That distinction belongs to the J-E-T-S +10000, along with the Houston Texans.
This is the turbulent NFL roller coaster.
Last year, the Texans won a playoff game and led the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs 24-0 in the second-round contest. From 24 points up in a playoff game to 100-1 dogs in one year. That’s tough.
William Hill and the chalk of 2021
Taking a shot at the 2021 championship now is a reasonable move. Grab a slice for a price.
Some bettors did last season, right after the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs were the chalk, but they were +600 at most NJ online sportsbooks.
By late October of this season, with nearly half the schedule still left to play, they had gone down to 2-1.
Bettors holding that +600 had forged a great deal.
Taking Tampa Bay at +6000 last winter would have been a lucky, but brilliant decision. The Bucs were 7-9 last year. They had missed the playoffs, and there was no Tom Brady, or even talk of him.
But any holder of that ticket will feel like a genius if the Bucs now defeat the Chiefs.
The futures are interesting because some off-season development often triggers one team.
It can be a successful draft. It can be a trade, or a mega-mover like Brady leaving New England for Tampa Bay. That’s one of the largest futures line movements ever, from 60-1 down to roughly 12-1 at William Hill before the season started.
NFC East and special considerations
What about the Eagles, or the entire NFC East?
“In theory, the Eagles and Washington Football team should be ranked higher,” Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US, told NJ Gambling Sites. “The problem is that they were in such a weak division. That’s why you get a nice price on any of those teams.
“With Philadelphia, you don’t really know what you are getting there yet. You don’t know how the new coach will work out. You don’t know how the quarterback situation will play out.
“But all of these teams have at least a puncher’s chance, especially in their own division. We will be getting those odds up later.”
Generally speaking, conference odds are roughly half the championship odds. That would make the Eagles about +2500 to win the NFC.
The division is a better wait-and-see wager. A team must defeat only three opponents and should not, in theory, have big payouts.
But when eventual champion Washington was 1-5 and the Eagles a “gaudy” 3-4-1, Washington was +1100 to win the division in 2020.
The Giants, who finished second, vaulted all the way from +2000 in November to +210 late in the year. An Eagles victory over Washington in the final game would have rewarded Giants bettors who made that long shot bet in November.
Will Sirianni make mark with Eagles?
Sirianni is considered 1-1 with the news media and he’s already being evaluated on this. Mainstream and social media grilled him after the initial press conference, in which he spoke in generalities like “systems.”
— Iggles News (@IgglesNews) January 30, 2021
Sirianni was considered improved during his second set of interviews, indicating he planned to be involved in the volatile quarterback evaluation. Perhaps he will justify owner Jeffrey Lurie’s statement of Sirianni’s football IQ being “off the charts.”
All of Lurie’s head coaching selections (this is now number five) have been first-time head coaches. The previous four, Ray Rhodes, Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, and Doug Pederson, have at least made the playoffs.
Some became elite. Reid is coaching in this year’s Super Bowl, as the defending champ. Pederson piloted the Eagles to their only Super Bowl win.
Eagles still dealing with a thorny QB issue
It’s the quarterback spot, involving disgruntled Carson Wentz, flashy Jalen Hurts, and even rumors of other quarterbacks.
The media and the coach resemble two teams trying to draw each other offside.
The media wants to push Sirianni into denoting a quarterback preference. He will try to counter, remaining a diplomat throughout this cat-and-mouse process. Sirianni has implied there will be an open competition for the position.
Eagles management, meanwhile, is heavily invested in Wentz and hopes Sirianni publicly prefers him.
But Wentz has regressed, suffers from a lack of blocking, and eats a lot of money.
Philadelphia signed Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract extension in 2019 that kicks in for the 2021 season. The deal includes nearly $70 million guaranteed.
It’s an albatross. No team needs to take Wentz’ contract.
And the possible-trades ship is sailing. Matthew Stafford is a Los Angeles Ram, Jared Goff is a Detroit Lion. (So is popular Eagle Duce Staley, who interviewed for the Eagles head coaching job and will instead be a Detroit assistant).
Hurts, a mobile rushing threat, would be a natural in Houston, where Deshaun Watson is chafing and wants out. But some team must first take a chance on Watson, an injury liability. This saga will unfold throughout the winter.
The Indianapolis Colts lost Phillip Rivers to retirement, and could look at Wentz. But the Eagles now have their own Indy connection to Wentz because Sirianni was the Colt’s offensive coordinator last year.
On it goes. When the situation becomes right, the books will offer speculative bets on player destinations.
The discussion itself is music to the ears of Eagles fans and bettors. The area just experienced early February snow. It’s the dead of winter.
But the bantering, and betting, is underway.
AP Photo/Rich Schultz