Is it game-time already for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Just four days after Philadelphia defeated the Carolina Panthers, New Jersey sports bettors and Bird Watchers prepare for the Eagles to appear in the national spotlight tonight.

 The 2-3 Birds host the 4-1 and defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in prime time, launching NFL Week 6. Thursday Night Football kickoff is 8:20 p.m. on Fox/NFL Network/Prime Video

 

Betting patterns mirror those before Philadelphia’s recent 42-30 shootout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Gamblers believe the Bucs have too much firepower. So how can gamblers play into these perceptions?

Bucs vs. Eagles odds at NJ sportsbooks

Bucs mean bucks

The Bucs opened at -6.5 and obtained a flood of support.

Tampa Bay accounts for 94% of the handle and 89% of the moneyline at -280 according to the DraftKings Sportsbook midweek figures. The Bucs sent a clear message to the book-making world this week. 

“People love to play them right now,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJ Gambling Sites. “They have been a great prime-time draw. We had them opening night against the Dallas Cowboys and people backed them pretty well.

“We also had them in a Sunday night game against the New England Patriots and people were on them again.

“This week, we opened the line at 7, it went to 6.5 and is really being pushed back the other way. It would not be surprising to see that line back at 7.”

Interestingly, both Tampa Bay primetime efforts produced a narrow moneyline win, but no cover.

Do Bucs opponents find a higher level in prime time?

That question now pertains to the Eagles.

“Things went their way at the end of the game against the Carolina Panthers,” Avello noted about the Eagles’ come-from-behind 21-18 triumph, which included a blocked punt setting up a game-winning TD.   “Carolina did not take care of business and let that game slip away.

“The Panthers don’t usually score a lot but they were in pretty good shape in that game,” he added.  “I give the Eagles a lot of credit. They hung around and when Carolina could not put them away, they came back and won the game.”

Eagles’ first TD prop considerations for NJ bettors

Start with a wild-card nugget: In both home games, the Eagles have gotten on the board first, with a field goal.

Who will score the first Eagles touchdown?

The Eagles defense is +1800. This has delivered before. The Eagles’ first touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3 came from the defense.

Jalen Hurts is +450.  He was the first, last, and only scorer against Carolina.

Other names on the DraftKings board include:

  • Kenneth Gainwell +800
  • Jalen Reagor +700
  • Greg Ward +1400
  • Zach Ertz +650
  • Quez Watkins +1000
  • Miles Sanders +550
  • DeVonta Smith +500

Looking at these names, Watkins has yet to score a touchdown this season. However, he was on the receiving end of a crucial 53-yard pass from Hurts versus the Panthers. Sooner or later …

Then there is Sanders who is still looking for his first TD of the season. He’s overdue.

And Smith was the first touchdown scorer in Week 1’s 32-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Is he due?

More Bucs vs. Eagles scoring props at NJ sportsbooks

.On the wider stage, here is the first touchdown scorer of the game, along with the anytime score payoff. This brings both teams in it.

Tampa Bay:

  • Leonard Fournette, +800 for first, +100 anytime
  • Mike Evans, +800 for first, +100 anytime
  • Chris Godwin, +1000 for first, +125 for anytime

Eagles:

  • Hurts +1200 to be first, +150 anytime
  • Smith +1300 for first, +175 anytime
  • Sanders +1400 for first, +190 anytime.
  • Zach Ertz +1600 for first, +225 anytime
  • Kenneth Gainwell +2000 for first, +290 anytime

But will either defense find paydirt?

Tampa Bay +2500 for first and +350 anytime.

Eagles +4000 for first and +550 anytime.

Both teams have scored this year. If they tally first here, that’s huge.

Eagles vs. Bucs betting strategy

So looking at the odds, here is a betting angle on the theory that both teams will tally at least one touchdown, narrowing the field by selecting a first scorer on each team is a good hedge. It can be made in addition to the overall first-time scorer if gamblers have a good hunch, but one bet per team is a good strategy.

The first TD scorer with both teams on the prop pays well but is hard to hit.

It’s often a crapshoot for the first score, although gamblers can hone in on certain teams. The Dallas Cowboys, for instance, like to feed Zeke Elliott for the first touchdown of the game.

Most teams are hard to mirror.

Quarterbacks take what defenses give them. That being said, Tampa’s recent first scores have come from backs circling out of the backfield or running the ball in. That’s been Giovanni Bernard and Ronald Jones in recent weeks.

The Eagles have only scored the first touchdown once this year. That was Smith in Week 1.

However, there is a way to play both sides. DraftKings has an odds boost in which at least one touchdown needs to be scored in every quarter of the game. Yes is +175.

Caesars Sportsbook NJ Thursday night boosts

Caesars Sportsbook is offering a few odds boosts.

Tom Brady to throw at least three touchdowns and 300 yards has been upgraded to +225. Last week versus the Miami Dolphins, Brady threw for 411 yards and five TDs. 

Evans and Godwin to clear 63.5 receiving yards each is +300.

Smith to score a touchdown anytime and the Eagles to prevail is +600.

If Sanders and Fournette both score, the payout is +600.

And Here’s a longshot with an angle. Hurts to score first and rush for 45.5 yards is +1900.

Hurts hasn’t scored first yet this year, but he does have three rushing touchdowns. And his season-high rushing yardage is 82, with three games over 45.5

Other TNF prop considerations for NJ bettors

BetMGM encourages customers to re-invest on a good start. If one’s preferred team is up by 10 or more at halftime, the bet is paid in full.

Opt in for the Go for a Halftime Haul promo, place a moneyline wager, and if that team is ahead by 10 or more at halftime, the bet wins.  This will tempt bettors to invest their profit in second-half wagers. Max bet is $250. 

Here are some other considerations:

  • Hurts to throw three or more touchdowns is  +260.
  • Bucs to win and 58 or more points scored is +225
  • Evans to score and Tampa Bay wins is +115

Other props here have three or more requirements. They pay well but be wary, they are tough to hit.

Bettors also can scour for Thursday night promotions.  They slowly come in towards the start of the games. Books target their release when they believe betting eyes are locked in.

For those who don’t want to wait, Fox Bet NJ has a double your money promo if either team scores a passing TD. Max bet is $10. This wager is only available between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.

There are a couple of triple your money promos as well:

  •  Evans, Antonio Brown, and  Smith to record 50+ receiving yards each (max bet $50)
  • Hurts 250+ passing yards and 50+ rush yards (max bet is $25)

And if Brady and Hurts each have 300-plus passing yards tonight, Fox Bet customers can earn a 4x payout.  Max bet is $50.

 For more Philadelphia Eagles talk and analysis, check out the latest episode of Why Eagles Why with Dave Bontempo, Pete Amato, and Bill Gelman. 

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.