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Eagles vs Steelers Odds, Picks, Prediction | NFL Week 8

Eagles vs Steelers Odds, Picks, Prediction | NFL Week 8 article feature image
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Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Hurts.

  • The Eagles are 10-point favorites today at home against the Steelers.
  • Kenny Pickett faces a tough task against the unbeaten Eagles.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup and makes his pick below.

Eagles vs Steelers Odds

Sunday, Oct. 30
1 p.m. ET
CBS
Eagles Odds -10.5
Steelers Odds +10.5
Moneyline -520 / +400
Over/Under 42.5
Odds via FanDuel.

The Eagles are the last unbeaten team in the NFL. They are the healthiest they’ve been all season. They’re coming off a bye week and play host to in-state rival Pittsburgh at Lincoln Financial Field.

Everything has come up green for the Eagles: They’ve taken advantage of a weak schedule, a lack of overall quality in the NFC, Jalen Hurts’ improvement as a passer and faced division-rival Dallas without Dak Prescott.

Pittsburgh has shown impressive fight defensively over the last two weeks despite not getting much from its offense in either game. The defense held Tampa Bay to 18 points and Miami to 16, but it will have a more difficult challenge dealing with the Eagles’ multidimensional attack spearheaded by Hurts’ dual-threat ability.

Steelers vs. Eagles Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Steelers and Eagles match up statistically:

Steelers vs. Eagles DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 24 4
Pass DVOA 21 2
Rush DVOA 30 22
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 4 14
Pass DVOA 6 15
Rush DVOA 5 9

Rookie Kenny Pickett now has a decent sample to judge and the numbers don’t suggest that he has a good matchup against Philadelphia. We know that quarterback play from a clean pocket is generally more predictive than it is when a quarterback is pressured. Pickett’s PFF grade from clean pockets is just 61.5 and he has one big-time throw with four turnover-worthy plays.

The Eagles don’t blitz often and Pickett has actually been pretty successful against it this season. He’s averaged a somewhat better yards per attempt against blitzes than when he’s not blitzed.

He’s also been a bit of a play-action merchant thus far. He’s 18-for-22 with a 74.8 PFF grade in play-action plays while completing 5.8 yards per attempt on normal dropbacks with five turnover-worthy plays.

For the season, Pittsburgh’s offense is 26th in series conversion rate and given that the offense lacks explosiveness, it’s hard to see how the Steelers will string together long drives without big plays. Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is known for taking away explosive plays and forcing teams to drive the field.

Pittsburgh will also be without very reliable kicker Chris Boswell. Needless to say, the kicking game could suffer because of that.

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Not only is the matchup not great for Pittsburgh, but the Eagles’ hot starts to games have not been a fluke. They’re the best first-half team in the league, even if you exclude turnover variance from the EPA per play metrics.

You’re getting into a bit of a sample-size issue if you control for just the second quarter, like the chart below, but the Eagles become even more dominant in that quarter. It’s not just a scripted plays section, but the first adjustments where the Eagles’ coaching staff has really excelled.

The Steelers’ defense has seen shotgun offenses at the seventh highest rate this season and rank 24th in yards per play against it. With T.J. Watt still sidelined, it’s hard to see how they cause much havoc against an excellent Eagles front.

Philadelphia runs its entire offense out of the gun to take advantage of Hurts’ rushing and RPO ability. The Steelers’ secondary has dealt with a bunch of injuries and I don’t think they’ll finish the season in the bottom five in EPA/pass allowed. But the run defense has just been average and the Eagles can exploit that on Sunday.

Betting Picks

The Eagles have been an incredibly dominant first-half team and have struggled to finish games all season long. They let the Lions, Cowboys and Cardinals back into games despite building double-digit leads early on.  I expect a fully focused start to this game coming off the bye.

Philadelphia averages 18.7 points per game in the second quarter, which is six more than every other team in the league. It is first in rushing success rate, third in overall offense and first in defense in the first half.

Undefeated teams favored at home off the bye since 2001 are 18-1 straight up and 17-2 against the spread. Those teams cover by an average of 11 points per game. That’s not a huge sample, but it seems meaningful enough.

I know that Mike Tomlin is excellent as an underdog, excellent on the road off of a loss and tends to coach well as an underdog against winning teams. However, the gulf in talent and the bad matchup for Pickett is enough for me to play Philadelphia in the first half.

Laying more than 10 with the backdoor potential as the Eagles play conservatively with a lead isn’t too appealing, so I’ll back them in the first half.

Pick: Eagles 1H -6 (-110) | Bet to -6.5

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