Any Eagles fan intending to place a futures bet backing the team’s fortunes in 2022 was smart if he did so a week ago rather than now.
That’s because Philadelphia General Manager Howie Roseman was widely hailed after Thursday’s opening round of the NFL Draft as stealing the show — in the form of wheeling and dealing to get one of the game’s top receivers as well as a monster defensive tackle.
♨️ Lions: A+
♨️ Eagles: A
♨️ Jets: A-
♨️ Bills: B+
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After the Eagles traded draft picks to the Tennessee Titans to acquire A.J. Brown, on top of moving up to select monster defensive tackle Jordan Davis of Georgia, Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks quickly realized the team could be poised to achieve much more this year than had been expected.
Whether in odds for the Super Bowl, the NFC championship, NFC East title, or to beat a wins total over/under of 8.5, virtually all of the books shifted odds significantly as soon as Friday. The one exception was BetMGM, which by holding firm at 40/1 on Philly’s Super Bowl chances has gone from being one of the least favorable options to place a bet to the very best source for one.
Both offense and defense improved
A variety of analysts gave the Eagles an A grade — or something very close to it — for how they strengthened themselves on draft day.
First came the Davis pick, enabled by moving up two slots from 15 to 13 by trading away draft picks to the Houston Texans. He is expected to be a 340-pound anchor on the defensive line immediately and for years to come.
Even more impressively, Roseman was able to create one of the NFL’s top receiving tandems by sending the Titans the Eagles’ other first-round pick (No. 18 overall) and a third-round pick. Philadelphia not only got Brown to pair from across the field with DeVonta Smith but made him happy by immediately signing him to a four-year, $100 million contract, something the Titans had been unwilling to do.
In his third year in 2021, Brown caught 63 passes for 869 yards and 5 TDs, and he was just as good his first two years, averaging 20.2 yards per reception on 52 catches as a rookie and then finding the end zone 11 times on 70 receptions in his second season.
Suddenly, the Eagles look a lot better on both offense and defense than they did a week ago.
Betfred had the biggest swing in Super Bowl odds as a result, shifting from 50/1 before the draft to 30/1 as of Tuesday morning. Other more heavily used Pennsylvania sportsbooks weren’t far behind, with FanDuel shifting from 44/1 to 35/1, and DraftKings moving from 45/1 to 35/1.
Betting opportunity still there, if a little late
A week ago, a bettor could get 25/1 from many sites on the Eagles’ chances of winning the NFC. Now, the best payoff is 20/1 from FOX Bet.
While the team is still ranked far behind the Dallas Cowboys in odds to win the division, the best return on that bet is +300 — again from FOX Bet, which was offering +333 pre-draft.
All of the sites that offer future wins totals had set the over/under at 8.5 before Thursday, and that’s still the number, but there’s considerably different vig to bet the “over” on that. Pre-draft, FOX Bet was providing over 8.5 at even money, and now it’s -133. The vig is even higher at DraftKings and Betway (-140) and sites such as BetRivers, Unibet, and TwinSpires using Kambi odds (-150).
Similarly, to bet the Eagles to make the playoffs, DraftKings last week made them an underdog (+110) to do so, and now it has them -115.
That’s obviously in no small part due to the talent of A.J. Brown, and DraftKings already has a special receiving yardage prop up for him: over/under 1009.5 yards, at -115 either way.
What all those odds would seem to suggest is that, even if the start of the NFL season is still four months away, it could be a very fun year to be an Eagles fan. It’s just that, if you’re an Eagles bettor, you might be a week late to the party — or at least the best of the party.
Photo: George Walker IV/Tennessean.com/USA TODAY