Eagles over 9.5 wins? Their schedule might make the extra juice worth it.
Early lines for this season show how favorable Philadelphia’s schedule is. Easy enough to win 10 games?
A trend is developing with the NFL season — finally — just days away: Bettors are high on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Once as low as 40/1 to win the Super Bowl, the Eagles, according to FanDuel, are down to 20/1. The over/under for total Eagles wins has climbed from 8.5 to 9.5. And those aren’t the only Eagles odds on the move.
There’s reason for optimism for Eagles fans and bettors. The Eagles had a busy offseason, and the retooling continued Tuesday when general manager Howie Roseman dealt a few draft picks for Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
Certainly, an influx of new talent on defense and the arrival of A.J. Brown at wide receiver, combined with the expected improvement of quarterback Jalen Hurts, make the Eagles an easy team to predict to improve from their nine-win 2021-22 season.
But it’s not just the roster. It’s their schedule, too.
Sean Koerner, Action Network’s Director of Predictive Analytics, ranked Philadelphia’s schedule as the second-easiest among all 32 teams. That was back in May, around the time NFL schedules were released. It looks just as good now.
It’s a pretty favorable year for all the NFC East teams. The division is matched up with a top heavy NFC North and a pretty weak AFC South. All four NFC East teams are included in the top six easiest schedules, according to Action Network’s rankings.
Looking further at the Eagles, it’s easy to see why their win total number climbed to 9.5 from 8.5, and why there’s some pretty hefty juice (-145, according to FanDuel) to bet the over.
The view here is that the juice will be worth the squeeze, and you only need to take a glance at the first half of the schedule to see why.
Few sportsbooks have lines posted beyond Week 2, but here’s a look at early season Eagles lines from Caesars before a Week 7 bye:
The Eagles are expected to be favorites in five of their first six games. And that underdog spot in Arizona comes during star receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ six-game suspension. As every bettor knows, being favored in games doesn’t make them automatic wins, especially that Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup with the visiting Cowboys.
A best-case scenario for the Eagles might look something like 5-1 heading into the bye, but let’s say they’re 4-2 at the bye (or even 3-3).
Here’s how the schedule looks coming out of the bye, with early lines courtesy of Caesars:
It’s not hard to envision the Eagles with six or seven wins through nine games. If you ran a simulation of the first nine games, they win six or seven pretty often. From there, the Eagles are projected to be favored in five more games down the stretch.
Of course, these lines all come with the obvious caveat that they mean very little in late August and early September.
But the reality right now is that the Eagles are likely to be favored in 13 of their 17 games. They’re projected to be underdogs just three times (Week 5 in Arizona, Week 11 in Indianapolis, Week 16 in Dallas) and are currently a pick ‘em in a Week 12 home game vs. Green Bay.
That’s 13 times — it could end up being 12, 11, or even 14 — the Eagles will expected to win.
It’s no perfect science, but if it looks like over 9.5 wins and smells like over 9.5 wins... it might just be over 9.5 wins.
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