Eagles Odds: Philadelphia Faces Defending Champ Tampa Bay In Wild Card

Fans have a low postseason bar for the Philadelphia Eagles. The team can’t disappoint anyone if it loses to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the NFL playoffs Sunday.

The Birds were not expected to be here after going 4-11-1 last year. This is gravy.

New Jersey online bettors have a different vantage point: How to make financial gravy from this game.

The betting line is not a bargain on either side. Only the early birds caught a deal on Tampa Bay. A Bucs bettor would not like this line now and an Eagles backer is hoping it slides above 10.

Philadelphia Eagles Odds At NJ Sportsbooks

The Eagles opened at +7 and ballooned to +8.5 inside of an hour. That’s where the betting line stayed until spiraling up near the 10-point range on Thursday.

“The sharp money is telling you that the 7 number we first had up was wrong,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJGS. “The Eagles are not a good team and they are playing the defending Super Bowl champs. They are one of those dangerous teams, though and that’s why we saw some action on both sides. But in the end, the bettors are not going to believe that Tampa can be knocked out.”

Besides the spread, here are a few areas of consideration, as the props begin to line up at DraftKings.

Will Mike Evans or Rob Gronkowski record at least 125 yards for Tampa Bay? It’s +200.

Will Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts throw for at least one touchdown and run one in himself? That’s +250 if it happens.

The touchdown prop board indicates that injured running backs Leonard Fournette of Tampa Bay and Miles Sandersof the Eagles are expected back. Odds include:

  • Fournette +550 to tally first, -150 anytime
  • Evans +650, -110
  • Gronkowski +750, -105
  • Sanders +1000, +150
  • Hurts +1200, +190
  • Dallas Goedert +1400, +225
  • DeVonta Smith +1600, +250

A first score would be utterly sweet for anyone who backs Sanders. He hasn’t scored all year. Talk about overdue.

On the quarterback front, Hurts has an over-under of 197.5 yards at -115 for either side.

Tom Brady of the Bucs is over 279 for -115 either way. This may strike some as a low total, a sign of respect for the running games of both teams.

Hurts’ over-under for touchdown passes is +190 for the over and -260 for the under.

Brady’s number is +170 for over 2.5 touchdown passes, -280 for the under.

Based on these numbers, the NJ sportsbook does not expect either quarterback to light it up.

Eagles Vs. Bucs History

The Eagles covered at +6.5 in a 28-22 losing effort to the Bucs at the Linc in Week 6.

Much has changed since then regarding the Eagles. Their run game rose to become the best in the league. That’s what prompted their rise from 2-5 to 9-8 and the final playoff seed.

Does Tampa Bay put extra personnel on its right side to combat the Eagles’ strong run to the left? If so, we may see more Hurts running, as well as more Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith catches.

Will the Eagles gamble and try to blitz Brady? If they can’t make him uncomfortable, they can’t win.

How one sees the style of this game will impact the props.

NFL Playoff Odds Around The League

The first playoff week has six games and is an action-filled package of two games Saturday, three Sunday, and one Monday night.

NFL Playoffs weekend schedule:

Saturday

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals, 4:30 p.m.
  • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m.

Sunday

  • Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
  • San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:15 p.m.

Monday

  • Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m.

Avello added that the Niners were getting substantial betting respect against the Cowboys and that “we’ll be flooded with Patriots moneyline wagering” at a good price of +170, compared to -110 to get four points.

The line moved from Buffalo -4.5 to -4 and has stayed there.

Las Vegas at Cincinnati

The line opened at Cincinnati -6 and moved down to -5 late in the week.

Considerations include whether Las Vegas can stop quarterback Joe Burrow, who enjoyed some monster games down the stretch. Ja’Marr Chase had 13 touchdown catches and justified him being selected fifth in the draft to complementBurrow.

The Raiders don’t have much of a defense and the over will be tempting here.

Intangible: Whether or not Cincinnati comes out tight in its first postseason game since 2015. The Bengals last won a playoff game in 1990. How long has that been? They beat the Houston Oilers, who are now the Tennessee Titans.

Joe Burrow passing yardage of 261.5 yards is -115 for either side of the over-under. Ja’Marr Chase is +100 to score anytime, while he’s +750 to tally the first TD.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

The wind chill could make this game be played in below zero weather. That may be partially mitigated if the wind stays at less than 10 mph.

The Patriots upset the Bills to conclude a seven-game win streak, but later sputtered to a 1-3 close, including a rematch loss to the Bills at home.

The Bills won their last three.

Buffalo has the better personnel in quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

New England has a good offensive line. Quarterback Mac Jones finally looked like a rookie in the last four games and that hurt the Patriots.

New England is a slight notch below Buffalo going in, but weather could equalize the game a bit.

Niners at Cowboys

The Niners are a late-blooming team that came back from a 17-0 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Rams last week. That ended Rams coach Sean McVay’s record of being 45-0 with a halftime lead.

The Niners are a tough team that doesn’t go away.

The betting line is interesting and has barely moved.

Dallas will lean on quarterback Dak Prescott, a running back committee of Tony Pollard and Zeke Elliott, and the most talented receiving group in the league. Look for CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Cedrick Wilson to be heard from.

Dalton Schultz is an excellent tight end and one of the team’s clutch receivers. He’s +175 for an anytime scorer. Wilson is +190 to score and under the radar compared to others, but Prescott likes him.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City

Nothing to suggest the Steelers will rebound from the 36-10 pasting they took from the Chiefs last month.

The intangible is whether the presence of T.J. Watt, who was missing in that game, will enable the Steelers to cover the big spread.

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

The home-field disadvantage? Each team won on the other’s field.

Cooper Kupp will be looked to for big yardage for the Rams.

Both Matthew Stafford of the Rams and Kyler Murray of the Cardinals have been making critical mistakes.

 

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

About the Author

Dave Bontempo

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.
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