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NFL odds, predictions: Should you bet the Eagles to go 17-0?

Multiple sportsbooks are offering a prop bet on Philadelphia to go undefeated. But is there value in such a wager?

Defensive back Darius Slay and the Philadelphia Eagles are the NFL's only remaining unbeaten team heading into Sunday's home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Defensive back Darius Slay and the Philadelphia Eagles are the NFL's only remaining unbeaten team heading into Sunday's home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Read moreTim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Prior to Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Miami Dolphins celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1972 squad that went 17-0, capped by a victory in Super Bowl VII.

Since those Dolphins became the lone team in modern NFL history to go wire to wire, only the 2007 New England Patriots have made it through a regular season unscathed. Of course, the Pats’ run at perfection was spoiled by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

As the 2022-23 NFL season prepares to roll into November, just one squad still has a shot to match the ‘07 Patriots and, potentially, the ‘72 Dolphins: the Philadelphia Eagles.

However, despite what appears to be a soft remaining schedule, oddsmakers don’t like the Eagles’ chances to pull it off. Yet many are offering you the chance to prove them wrong, posting a “Will the Eagles go undefeated?” prop.

The question is: Are those oddsmakers offering fair value on that prop? Let’s examine the odds from two sportsbooks and break down Philadelphia’s chances of making history.

Eagles’ odds to go 17-0 (Caesars)
Yes (+1300)
Eagles’ odds to go 17-0 (FanDuel)
Yes (+1600)
Eagles’ odds to go 17-0 (Caesars)
No (-3000)
Eagles’ odds to go 17-0 (FanDuel)
No (-4000)

Odds updated as of 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 25.

The search for value

As you can see, FanDuel is currently offering the better odds on the Eagles to finish 17-0. But if you happen to think there is no chance Philadelphia makes it through the season without a blemish — and you’re inclined to lay big odds — Caesars Sportsbook is the place to make that wager.

For the sake of this exercise, though, let’s pick apart FanDuel’s +1600 odds on the “yes” part of the Eagles’ 17-0 prop.

Philadelphia has the same odds to finish the regular season unbeaten — which, again, only two teams in NFL history have accomplished — that the Minnesota Vikings (5-1) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) currently have to win the Super Bowl. Both the Vikings and Bucs are +1600 on FanDuel’s Super Bowl odds board, right behind the San Francisco 49ers (3-4, +1500) and just ahead of the Baltimore Ravens (4-3, +1700) and Dallas Cowboys (5-2, +1700).

Switching to another betting market, Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow is +1600 to win the NFL MVP at FanDuel. He trails only four other quarterbacks in MVP odds: the Bills’ Josh Allen (+125), the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts (both +450), and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson (+1100).

Now back to the question we posed above: Are oddsmakers offering fair value on Philadelphia to go 17-0? The answer is pretty clearly “no”.

For one thing, the Eagles are barely one-third of the way through their schedule (which we’ll evaluate shortly), so there’s a long way to go. And as good as coach Nick Sirianni’s troops have been, they would need to catch more than a few breaks (particularly in the health department) to run the table.

Taking those factors into account, the odds on the Eagles going 17-0 should probably be well north of +2000 (20-to-1). That said, a 16-to-1 payday isn’t exactly chump change. And if you’re thinking about rolling the dice on such a wager, this should boost your confidence: It’s quite possible Philadelphia won’t be an underdog all season.

Can the Eagles defy the odds?

Here’s how much parity (read: mediocrity) there has been in the NFL this season: Philadelphia has been the league’s last remaining undefeated squad since the end of Week 3.

Most recently, the Eagles ended the Cowboys’ five-game winning streak with a 26-17 home victory on Oct. 16. This week, they come out of their bye as an 11-point home favorite against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It will be the seventh time in as many games that Philadelphia will take the field as the betting favorite. Barring key injuries, that trend won’t change anytime soon. Take a look at the team’s upcoming schedule after Pittsburgh:

Texans (road), Commanders (home), Colts (road), Packers (home), Titans (home).

As things stand right now, the Eagles will be laying points in each of those contests. The same likely will be the case in their ensuing three games — which happen to represent the trickiest part of the team’s schedule.

After facing Tennessee on Dec. 4 at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles take off on a three-game road trip. In the span of 13 days, they will play at the Giants, at Chicago and at Dallas.

Both New York and Dallas are off to great starts (combined record: 11-3). But the Giants are playing above their heads (hence their current +4100 Super Bowl odds at FanDuel). And the Eagles have already defeated the Cowboys (albeit at home and with Dallas starting quarterback Dak Prescott on the sidelines in street clothes).

Given that Philadelphia closes the regular season with home games against the Saints and Giants, the Christmas Eve contest in Dallas — which caps the three-game road trip — looks to be the biggest hurdle standing between the Eagles and 17-0.

At least on paper, anyway. Of course, they don’t play NFL games on paper. Which probably explains why since the Patriots went 16-0 in the 2007 regular season — on the way to 18-0 and ultimately 18-1 — only five teams have remained unbeaten 10 or more games into a season:

  1. 2008 Titans (10-0)

  2. 2009 Colts (14-0)

  3. 2011 Packers (13-0)

  4. 2015 Panthers (14-0)

  5. 2020 Steelers (11-0)

Translation: If you truly believe this Eagles team is Philly Special, go ahead and take those +1600 odds FanDuel is offering. Just don’t risk the kids’ Christmas-gift money. Because history says it’s highly unlikely that you’ll cash that ticket.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.