The Eagles are one-fourth of the way toward their second eight-game winning streak of the season, and the oddsmakers like their chances of taking another step toward that goal by beating the Tennessee Titans Sunday.
Though the 7-4 Titans are a virtual playoff lock themselves, Philadelphia was listed across the board by Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks Friday as a 4.5-point favorite to beat them in the 1 p.m. game at Lincoln Financial Field.
That one is a far more interesting game to football fans than the one at the same time featuring the Steelers, but the oddsmakers are twisted up a bit for Pittsburgh’s visit to Atlanta to play the Falcons. Most sites by late week had turned the Steelers from small underdog to small favorite, following their win on national television Monday night, but someone betting on Pittsburgh could still get them from DraftKings and Betway as a 1-point underdog Friday morning.
Here’s a rundown on the games and betting options involving Pennsylvania’s two NFL teams.
Eagles runners face tough foe
The Eagles ran roughshod over the Green Bay Packers Sunday in a 40-33 victory, amassing 363 rushing yards in boosting their record to an NFL-best 10-1.
Tennessee, which normally relies on the running game itself but has seen Derrick Henry stifled in three straight contests, lost 20-16 Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals.
With all of the digital sites making Philadelphia a 4.5-point favorite, the best option for a bettor backing the Eagles would be using PointsBet for the discounted -107 vig it typically offers.
Those betting Philly on the moneyline would get the best return from DraftKings and Betway, at -205. The sportsbooks were divided on whether to use 44 or 44.5 for the points total, and those betting the “over” could get the lower number from Caesars Sportsbook, Betfred, PointsBet, DraftKings, and Betway.
That’s a modest points total for an Eagles game, considering they’re the third-highest scoring team in the NFL, but it recognizes how tough the Titans defense has been, even in their few losses. No team has scored more than 20 points against Tennessee in the past eight games, and the only time the Titans gave up more than 22 was in a 41-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills way back on Sept. 19.
The problems for Tennessee come more on the offensive side, where despite his 1,048 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns that are both among league leaders, Henry has run for just 178 yards and one TD in the past three games. The ability to stop the run at times has been one of the few glitches in the Eagles’ exceptional season to date, but they hope to have Jordan Davis back from injured reserve Sunday to prevent that from happening again.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have only burnished their rushing credentials of late, with Jalen Hurts running for 157 yards and Miles Sanders 143 versus the Packers. On the season, Philadelphia is fourth in the NFL with 1,788 rushing yards, but the Titans’ always-tough defense has allowed just 930.
The game’s interesting footnote is how much the Eagles and Hurts will look to former Titan A.J. Brown, who already has 53 catches for 831 yards and 7 TDs on the season to validate the big trade and contract Philadelphia invested in him.
After being the Titans’ top receiver for three years, A.J. Brown is now thriving with the Eagles 🔥 pic.twitter.com/QNT6CaMtlu
— Eagles Nation (@EaglesNationCP) December 2, 2022
DraftKings has a receiving yards prop of over/under 74.5 for Brown, at boosted juice of -125 to bet the over.
For rushing yards totals, DraftKings has Henry at 84.5 (-125 on the over), Sanders at 60.5 (-105 over), and Hurts at 49.5 (-120 over).
FanDuel lists the Eagles at +240 to win the NFC, just ahead of the San Francisco 49ers at +260. It has Hurts as the second favorite to win league MVP at +350, behind Patrick Mahomes at -140.
Evenly matched in their mediocrity
The Steelers impressed mightily on Monday night with their first-half performance against the Indianapolis Colts, then had to hang on for a 24-17 win that improved their record to 4-7. They play in a dome for the second straight week, against a Falcons team that lost on the road Sunday to the Washington Commanders, 19-13.
Though their 5-7 record is barely better than that of the Steelers, the Falcons are thick in the postseason hunt, just a half-game behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South, where every team is below .500.
So these appear to be two evenly matched, equally mediocre teams, reflected in how FanDuel and FOX Bet had the Steelers Friday morning as a 1.5-point favorite and most other sites favored them by a point, with DraftKings/Betway the outliers listing Pittsburgh as a small underdog.
FanDuel offered the best moneyline return on a Pittsburgh win at -108. Many sites had the over/under at a pedestrian 42, with FanDuel, DraftKings, and FOX Bet slightly higher at 42.5.
The Steelers have played better since getting T.J. Watt back from injury to buttress the defense and as rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett has avoided interceptions that plagued him initially. Pittsburgh has also been running the ball stronger, including 172 yards against the Colts in their fourth straight game over 100 yards. Najee Harris may be unavailable Sunday due to an abdominal injury, though his backups have run just as well as him, if not better.
The Falcons like the running game also, with mobile quarterback Marcus Mariota joining backs Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier as multiple threats. Atlanta’s defense has been a weakness, however, giving up the 29th most yards in the league. While the Falcons have lost three of their last four games, they are 4-2 at home this season.
Photo: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY