NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: An Expert Consensus On Eagles To Cover Spread vs. Raiders, More Late Sunday Bets
Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Eagles WR DeVonta Smith
- Only four more games are left on Sunday afternoon, but there's still plenty of value.
- After breaking down Week 7 NFL odds, our analysts reveal their favorite picks for late afternoon games.
- Find out why four -- not a typo! -- of our analysts are betting on the Eagles to cover the spread against the Raiders.
Eagles vs. Raiders
Chris Raybon: These are two middling teams, so the market is likely overrating the Raiders’ home-field advantage here, especially with the Eagles on long rest after the Thursday night game.
The Eagles run the zone-heaviest scheme in the NFL under defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, which should limit the splash plays from Derek Carr, who is averaging 2.8 less yards per attempt vs. zone than man. Carr’s top target, Darren Waller, may also be at less than 100% after being added to the injury report Saturday with an ankle issue.
This is one of those games that fits our “Road Dog, Low Total After a Bad Season” PRO trend on Action Labs that I’ve filtered slightly to account for higher totals in the modern era and to remove meaningless games at the end of the season.
Eagles vs. Raiders
Stuckey: The Raiders seem to play up or down to their competition, which makes them an intriguing underdog and unappetizing favorite. Look no further than their previous two home games against the Bears and Dolphins in which Las Vegas lost to Chicago with a rookie quarterback and needed overtime to beat a one-win Miami team playing with a backup QB.
Most importantly, I fancy the on-field matchups for Philadelphia on both sides of the ball. On offense, the Eagles will get Lane Johnson back at right tackle, which means Jordan Mailata will slide back to left tackle. That gives Philly one of the most dominant tackle duos in the NFL, which will be critical against a Vegas team that’s generating plenty of pressure off the edges.
Jalen Hurts and an Eagles rushing attack that ranks No. 1 in Explosive Run % should exploit those aggressive ends in the read option game against a Raiders defense that ranks 27th in the same category. I also think Hurts will have plenty of opportunities to hit some downfield shots against a beat-up Raiders secondary.
On the other side of the ball, how do you slow down Derek Carr? By getting natural pressure without blitzing. Well, that’s exactly the profile of this Eagles defense, which boasts one of the strongest defensive lines in the league. The interior in particular should have a ton of success collapsing the pocket against a vulnerable Raiders interior offensive line.
Additionally, on the back end, new coordinator Jonathan Gannon has stressed not giving up explosive pass plays. Philly actually ranks second in that category, which is critical against a Vegas offense that’s made its living with explosive passes, ranking No. 1 so far this season. Plus, a little extra and preparation for the Eagles after playing last Thursday night won’t hurt. I’ll gladly take the +3 in a game that should be closer to a coin-flip with distinct matchup advantages for Philly on both sides of the ball.
Eagles vs. Raiders
Raheem Palmer: The underdog has covered in every single Raiders game this season, and I’m not expecting that to change in Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles, who are coming off extended rest following their 28-22 loss to the Bucs on Thursday Night Football before the Week 6 bye.
My model makes this game closer to a pick’em for the Raiders, so at +3, there’s value in this matchup. The Eagles have played an extremely tough schedule with games against the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Cowboys and 49ers who rank first, second, fourth and 10th in offensive DVOA. By comparison, the Raiders are just 22nd in DVOA.
They’re also 19th in EPA/play, 24th in Success Rate and 24th in Early Down Success Rate and will have to deal with this Eagles defense, which is fourth in ESPN’s pass rush win rate (52%). Given the Eagles’ ability to rush the passer, Derek Carr could struggle in this matchup as he sees his passer rating drop from 108.1 in a clean pocket to 72.7 when under pressure. Nevertheless, this offense — which is first in explosive pass play rate — likely won’t get big plays against an Eagles defense that’s allowing an average depth of target (aDOT) of just 6.6 yards, fifth-fewest in the NFL.
With the return of RT Lane Johnson, Jalen Hurts should have time to throw and put the Eagles in position to potentially win this game outright. I’ll back them at +3.
Eagles vs. Raiders
Billy Ward: The Eagles are better than their 2-4 record. Their losses have came to Kansas City, Tampa, Dallas and San Francisco. There’s various ways to quantify it, but according to the NFL’s strength of schedule, the Eagles have faced the fourth-hardest so far this season.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are 4-2 with the 18th-hardest schedule so far. These teams are closer than we think. Both of them have gone 3-3 against the spread (ATS) this season. The coaching turmoil in Las Vegas can’t be great, either. While the Riaders rallied to beat the Broncos last week, it will catch up to them eventually. This line opened at 3.5 before dropping to 3 most places, with some 2.5s already showing up.
Smart money has been on the Eagles, so I’m betting this at 3, but won’t be moving off the key number. Be sure to shop for the best real-time line with our NFL odds page.
Lions vs. Rams
Mike Randle: This is a bet on game script and head coach Sean McVay’s incentive to keep Darrel Henderson healthy. While Henderson earned the majority of opportunities against the Giants, the Rams still reportedly wants to share carries with Michel to limit injury concerns for the fragile Henderson.
There is no better time to give Michel opportunities than in a home game in which the Rams are favored by more than two touchdowns. Michel has scored only one touchdown over the past three weeks and has failed to crest 50 rushing yards in any of those games.
However, no NFL team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Lions, who have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards (687) and a league-high six rushing touchdowns. I project the Rams to win this game comfortably, giving Michel his largest rush share of the season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michel earn more carries in Henderson in the second half.
We project Michel for eight carries at in our Action Labs props tool, powered by Sean Koerner.
Texans vs. Cardinals
Brandon Anderson: Per our data at Action Labs, teams that are 4-1 or 5-1 ATS are just 36-65-3 (36%) ATS in their next game. And when a team is an underdog against one of those overinflated ATS teams, they’re a whopping 49-20-1 ATS, covering 71% of the time by 4.54 points per game with a 37% ROI. That is a serious edge. And it applies to the Texans.
It’s gross, but we have to; it’s purely a numbers play. We have a few more trends in our favor. Teams that lost by 17 or more points facing teams that just won by at least 17 are 96-59-4 ATS, covering 62% of the time. That makes sense, because it naturally leads to an inflated line. And underdogs with a scoring margin of -14 or worse over their last five games like Houston are 117-78-6 ATS, covering 60% of the time.
The Cardinals are undefeated and have two really impressive road wins now over the Rams and Browns, but that “0” at the end of their record means this line is inflated. The lookahead line was -14 before leaping to -17 after re-opening heading into this week, but you should know that our Action Labs database has zero instances of an unbeaten team favored by 17 or more covering the spread anytime past September. Such teams are 0-6 ATS, failing to cover by more than 10 points. It’s the interminable law of regression. What goes up must come down.
If you’re looking for football reasons to feel good about the Texans, you won’t find many. That’s why this line is so high and rising, because the books know you surely wouldn’t be crazy enough to bet Houston. That’s exactly why we have to. Houston’s one relative strength is its pass defense, which ranks a respectable 11th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. That gives some hope against a pass-heavy team. Beyond that, it’s just a bet on regression.
The Cardinals have recovered 16-of-21 fumbles so far while the Texans have recovered only two of the nine fumbles they’ve forced. Fumble luck is almost entirely random so that should swing the other way for both teams soon. And they’ve been unsustainably great on third and fourth downs, so that should regress. The Cards are scorching hot but they can’t stay that way forever. That’s just how the NFL works. This is a huge letdown spot for the Cardinals. They’re coming off big wins over the Rams, 49ers and Browns and get a quick breather before games against the Packers and Niners. The Cardinals are still getting over a team COVID outbreak, too.