2018 Philadelphia Eagles Betting Odds & Season Preview: Carson Wentz & Co. to Regress
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffrey
- Win Over/Under: 10.5 (+110/-130)
- Make NFC Playoffs: -270 (73%)
- Win NFC East: -140 (58%)
- Win NFC Championship: +600 (14%)
- Win Super Bowl: +1200 (8%)
The Action Network’s Projected Wins: 10.18 (3rd)
The Eagles are fresh off a season in which they cashed as an underdog in the Super Bowl against this generation’s most profitable team to bet on while rewarding futures ticket holders with the best payout of any champion since 2001.
They’re one of the NFL’s best organizations. They have an analytically-savvy front office that has built a deep roster and a sharp coaching staff that maximizes it.
They have an MVP-caliber starting quarterback in Carson Wentz and a Super Bowl-winning backup in Nick Foles. They have a deep skill-position corps led by Jay Ajayi and the league’s top tight end not named Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce in Zach Ertz. Plus, their offensive line and pass rush are both ranked No. 1 in the league by Pro Football Focus heading into 2018.
And yet this is the type of team that you’ll usually want to bet against.
History tells us to expect win-total regression from the NFL’s best teams: Since 2003, 13-win teams average only 8.7 wins the next season. And even if you expand that to teams that won 13 or more, they still average only 9.6 the following year.
A 10.5-win total is steep; even at 10, history would suggest banging the under.
Five NFC playoff teams from last season make an appearance on Philadelphia’s schedule. The AFC South is no pushover, either — especially now that the Titans coaching staff is not full of Mularkey, Deshaun Watson’s ACL is healed and Andrew Luck can throw real NFL footballs.
And going 5-1 against the NFC East — or winning the division again, for that matter — isn’t a given; no team has won the division in back-to-back years since 2003-2004.
Whether it’s Wentz taking a while to recover from his ACL tear, Foles leaving the team to film another “Napoleon Dynamite” movie, Alshon Jeffery failing to regain form after a prolonged shoulder recovery or the defensive backfield suffering after the departure of Patrick Robinson, history tells us something is likely to cause the Eagles not to soar as high in 2018.
The Eagles are a very good team — they just don’t necessarily make for a very good bet. — Chris Raybon
The Bet: Under 10.5 Wins
Philadelphia Eagles 2018 Schedule
- Games Favored: 11
- Avg. Spread: -3.7
- Strength of Schedule: 20th (1 = Easiest, 32 = Hardest)
Survivor Pool 101
- Use the Eagles: Week 3 vs. IND, Week 12 vs. NYG, Week 13 vs. WAS
- Use Eagles’ opponents: Week 11 @ NO
Fantasy Football Outlook
- Top Pick: TE Zach Ertz
- Sleeper: WR Nelson Agholor
- Potential Bust: WR Alshon Jeffery
Best of “I’ll Take That Bet” on ESPN+
“We opened the Eagles at 6-1 to win the Super Bowl, and they didn’t get much support there, so we moved them to 10-1. People aren’t running to the windows to bet them at that number either. We are seeing support on the over win for Philadelphia.”
— Westgate bookmaker Jeff Sherman to The Action Network’s Michael Leboff
Jay Ajayi Over/Under 975.5 Rushing Yards (+100/-130)
Reaching 976 yards would mean averaging 61 per game. Ajayi could achieve that in a few ways.
He could simply post a league-average 4.1 yards per carry on 15 attempts per game, which he should get this year after carrying 15-plus times in three of the Eagles’ last six games, even with LeGarrette Blount still in town.
He could also do it with even fewer attempts, considering he averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 10 regular-season and playoff games with the Eagles in 2017 (and 4.9 with the Dolphins in 2016 behind an offensive line that ranked 22nd in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards). — Chris Raybon
The Bet: Over 975.5 rushing yards
Death, Taxes and Zach Ertz as a DFS Value
It hasn’t mattered who has been under center since Ertz entered the league in 2013. He’s averaged at least 10 DraftKings points per game with Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Wentz and Foles at quarterback, according to the FantasyLabs NFL Trends tool.
The Eagles love to feed the tight end: According to the FantasyLabs NFL Correlations Dashboard, the Eagles’ 0.59 correlation between quarterback and tight end far surpasses the league-average mark of 0.40 since 2014. Ertz has posted an impressive +3.0 DraftKings Plus/Minus over that span. –- Ian Hartitz