Eagles vs Patriots Pick, Odds: Prediction for NFL Week 1
Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Hurts (left) and Mac Jones.
Eagles vs. Patriots Odds Week 1
Eagles vs. Patriots odds have Philadelphia favored by 3.5 points across the board to New England in Gillette Stadium.
Mac Jones excelled as a rookie, taking New England to the playoffs in 2021, but he regressed in his sophomore season in 2022. The Patriots brought in offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to turn things around and hope to pair it with an elite defense so they can return to the playoffs in 2023. They have a tall task in Week 1, however, with the defending NFC Champion Eagles and Jalen Hurts coming to town on Tom Brady Day. It also doesn't help that New England will be without starting guards Cole Strange and Mike Onwenu.
Let's break down the matchup and make an Eagles vs. Patriots pick.
The Eagles enter the season as the favorites in the NFC, but they’re not without their question marks. Philadelphia has new coordinators and play callers on both sides of the ball after the departures of offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
The Eagles also suffered losses on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker and safety. They will be relying on two outside corners north of 30 years old, which opens the door for potential defensive regression down from their first overall DVOA ranking last season.
The question in this matchup is how improved Philadelphia’s run defense will be. It was the weakness of the unit last year, but because the Eagles played from ahead most of last season, they were able to send their elite pass rush after middling quarterbacks and smother opposing offenses. The addition of rookie defensive tackle Jalen Carter should help beef up the defensive line, and the new scheme of defensive coordinator Sean Desai could help improve them against the run.
Bet Philadelphia vs. New England at FanDuel
New England’s offensive data from 2022 suggests it won’t have much success through the air, especially if it can't protect Jones. The Patriots made investments in the offensive line over the offseason, but are dealing with injury question marks headed into Sunday.
Both left guard Cole Strange and right guard Mike Onwenu are listed as questionable, which would massively impact the Pats' ability to move the Eagles defensive line in the run game. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson is also battling a stomach bug, which could mean more usage for inefficient runner Ezekiel Elliott.
New England’s defense is more of a man-heavy look generally under Bill Belichick, which has been difficult to use against the Eagles of late. Jalen Hurts’ ability as a runner, the Eagles talented wide receivers and the injury to Patriots corner Jack Jones will force Belichick to adjust schematically. He'll certainly have some new wrinkles to throw at the Eagles, but it will force New England into some potentially uncomfortable positions to slow down the Eagles.
I’d expect Belichick to grind this game down to a halt as much as possible, but I don’t have much optimism for the relatively weaponless Patriots offense and banged up offensive line against the Eagles defensive front.
Eagles vs. Patriots
Betting Picks & Predictions
The market has been all over the place from a betting perspective in this matchup. Philadelphia has bounced between a 4.5- and 3.5-point favorite for most of the week, touching as high as -5 briefly. As good as the Eagles were last season relative to preseason expectations, it’s important to note that the market caught up quickly.
The Eagles were 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine games, and Super Bowl runners-up don’t have a lot of success historically in Week 1. They are just 4-19 ATS in the last 23 games, and it's clear the market has a rather lofty rating on the Eagles yet again. New offensive coordinator Brian Johnson still has to prove himself as a play caller and designer, so there could be some stumbling out of the blocks.
The total in this matchup has been bet up to 45, and I think it's a touch too high. Philadelphia will be in its preferred game state playing from ahead, which will mean a lot of running for the Eagles into the strength of the Patriots defense.
I'd bet the under at 45 or better.
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