Texans-Eagles Betting Preview: Ride with Nick Foles, Philly off Big Win?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: J.J. Watt, Nick Foles
Betting odds: Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles
- Spread: Eagles -1
- Over/Under: 46
- Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Thursday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Following their big Week 16 win over the Rams, the Eagles have attracted a slight majority of bets. Their 54% of bets has generated 67% of the money wagered as of writing (see live data here), which has moved this line from a pick’em to -1.
Meanwhile, 69% of bets and 97% of dollars are on the over, which has ticked the number up from 45 to 46. — Danny Donahue
Trends to know: The 7-7 Eagles are in the playoff hunt and will need a win to make the postseason.
Recreational bettors often overvalue home-field advantage and playoff motivation. Teams like the Eagles with a win percentage between .500 and .667 have gone 91-119-5 (43%) against the spread when playing at home in Weeks 15-17. — John Ewing
The Eagles pulled off their biggest upset since 1985 with last week’s win over the Rams. Since 2003, teams coming off a win as a double-digit underdog are 28-37-4 (43.1%) ATS in their next game, including 15-24-3 (38.5%) ATS over the past decade. — Evan Abrams
Playoff picture: It’s pretty simple for Houston: Win and you’re in. A victory would also obviously help the Texans’ chances of getting a first-round bye. They’re currently the 2-seed, one game up on the Patriots.
New England has a very easy schedule down the stretch (home vs. Bills and Jets), so a loss from Houston could prove costly.
The Eagles still have a real shot to make the dance (40% odds, according to our simulations). They’ll be big Lions fans on Sunday, as a Vikings loss and an Eagles win would result in Philly grabbing hold of the 6-seed. — Scott T. Miller
Biggest mismatch: Texans’ Pass Offense vs. Eagles’ Pass Defense
Deshaun Watson has taken a league-high 52 sacks, but the Eagles have the fifth-worst mark in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate and a secondary that’s been shelled with injuries.
Backups Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas started at left and right cornerback last week and will likely do so again. Both have subpar Pro Football Focus coverage grades — 62.3 and 65.3, respectively — and are entirely exploitable.
Perhaps this is due to scheme, but the Eagles have been particularly exposed to quarterbacks who can produce with their legs.
- Marcus Mariota (Titans, Week 4): 344-2-1 passing, 10-46-1 rushing
- Cam Newton (Panthers, Week 7): 269-2-0 passing, 7-49-0 rushing
- Blake Bortles (Jaguars, Week 8): 286-1-0 passing, 8-43-0 rushing
- Dak Prescott (Cowboys, Week 10): 270-1-0 passing, 6-9-1 rushing
- Prescott (Cowboys, Week 14): 455-3-2 passing, 4-2-0 rushing
While it’s not ideal for Watson to find himself as a road dog, he could be aided by a pass-heavy game script. Veteran receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas should also be able to dominate Maddox and Douglas. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Texans
Houston’s only players considered to be at serious risk of missing this game are Keke Coutee (hamstring) and Lamar Miller (ankle).
The Eagles have already ruled out Carson Wentz (back) and could be without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (illness), defensive end Michael Bennett (foot) as well as defensive tackles Fletcher Cox (hip) and Timmy Jernigan (back).
DFS edge: Watson and Hopkins have the second-highest projection together in our FantasyLabs Models.
They have a solid matchup against an Eagles defense that’s allowing 6.0 yards per play and a 40.4% scoring rate to opposing offenses. Both marks rank among the bottom seven in the league.
Hopkins is dominating target share for the Texans, garnering 32% of their targets over the past six weeks while the Eagles secondary is allowing a league-high 206.17 receiving yards per game to wide receivers. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Eagles -1, Eagles -0.5 1H
Normally I wouldn’t rush to back a team coming off an enormous road upset in prime time as a near two-touchdown dog, but I have no issues fading a Texans team that continues to be overvalued in the market due to a fraudulent recent win streak and inflated record thanks to one of the easiest schedules in the NFL.
This will be the 10th straight team that the Texans have faced with a record of .500 or worse. And it’s not like the Texans are absolutely bludgeoning these teams: They had four wins by three or fewer points over their nine-game win streak.
This game will come down to the Eagles’ defensive line, which I think will dominate — much like they did against a much superior Rams’ offensive line that ranks fifth in adjusted sack rate. This Texans offensive line is dead last in the same metric.
Unlike Freedman, I expect the Eagles to be all over Watson — the home December crowd won’t hurt — forcing him into a few critical mistakes.
The Eagles also displayed a much more vertical passing game last week with Nick Foles that can translate to success against a Texans defense that ranks 22nd in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA, including 31st against No. 1 receivers (hello Jeffery) and 29th against tight ends (hello Zach Ertz).
I will split my bet between the first half and full game, as I am a bit concerned about late fatigue along the Eagles’ offensive line … and some of this 2018 late-quarter Texans’ voodoo. — Stuckey
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.