Sometimes it’s with Jalen Hurts’ arm, sometimes with his and/or Miles Sanders’ legs, sometimes with a ball-hawking defense, but by whatever means the Eagles just keep impressing everyone around the NFL.
The Eagles crushed another division leader, the Tennessee Titans, by a 35-10 score last Sunday to further cement their status as a Super Bowl contender. FanDuel has them favored to win the NFC at +200 and a third-best +500 to win the Super Bowl.
Philadelphia has assisted itself greatly with those hopes by making itself likely to get a first-round bye in the playoffs, but before all that the Eagles have a short trip to MetLife Stadium Sunday to play the New York Giants.
Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks almost universally make Philly a 7-point favorite to win that game.
The Steelers, meanwhile, are a small favorite while hosting the Baltimore Ravens (without Lamar Jackson) at the same time at 1 p.m. Sunday. It is a critical game for Pittsburgh, which has been given a golden opportunity to become relevant in the AFC playoff picture by virtue of facing Jackson’s backup, Tyler Huntley.
Here’s a rundown on the options involving betting on Pennsylvania’s two NFL teams.
Running through everybody
While the Eagles continue to look virtually unstoppable — Giants coach Brian Daboll himself calls them “a team that’s pretty much run through everybody” — New York has fallen back to earth after starting 6-1.
The Giants (7-4-1) are 1-3-1 in their last three games, including Sunday’s 20-20 tie against the Washington Commanders. Still, they’d be in the playoffs if the postseason started today.
The one exception to those 7-point lines favoring the Eagles Friday morning was from BetMGM, which had them giving 7.5, at reduced vig of -105. A bettor using PointsBet and the -7 had vig of just -107, making it the best site for an Eagles backer to use.
The best moneyline return on Philly was -300 from either PointsBet or BetMGM. The over/under was 44.5 across the board.
There’s been little to find fault with concerning the Eagles, who held Derrick Henry to 30 yards on 11 carries Sunday while Hurts threw for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for another. (Hurts has now tied Patrick Mahomes for MVP odds at +150 at Kambi-backed sites like Barstool Sportsbook, betPARX, BetRivers, and Unibet, though a bettor backing him can still get +185 from PointsBet.)
Eagles News: The case for Jalen Hurts over Patrick Mahomes as NFL MVP https://t.co/93KifiYnub
— Bleeding Green Nation (@BleedingGreen) December 7, 2022
Philadelphia’s rush defense faces another formidable runner this time in Saquon Barkley (282 carries, 1,296 yards, 8 TDs), though the former Penn State star has trailed off in the past three games (combined 44 carries for 128 yards) and was reported to be limited in practice Thursday by a neck injury.
In player rushing yards props for the game, Barstool and the other Kambi sites have Barkley at over/under 71.5 yards, Miles Sanders at o/u 62.5, and Hurts at o/u 47.5.
Steelers have chance to keep hope alive
With Sunday’s 19-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons, the Steelers (5-7) have now won two straight games and three of four since their bye week.
Whereas a lot of the talk in Pittsburgh a month ago centered on the Steelers’ potential to get an unusually high draft pick in 2023, no one around the team is focused on that now that defensive leader T.J. Watt is back from injury and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett has mostly eliminated mistakes that were costly in his initial games.
Sunday’s game is the first of two remaining against the Ravens, who are tied with Cincinnati atop the AFC North at 8-4, and this one comes at an especially opportune time.
Jackson suffered a knee injury early while playing the Denver Broncos Sunday, and while the similarly mobile Huntley led a last-minute drive to win that game 10-9, he is not a former league MVP like Jackson. He is 1-3 as an NFL starter, including a loss against Pittsburgh last year.
The Steelers are favored at home only because Jackson presumably won’t play (he wasn’t officially ruled out as of Friday morning), and they’re not favored by much, and the spread has actually tightened during the week.
Most of the sportsbooks favored the Steelers by 2 points Friday (it was sometimes 3 early in the week) and a Steelers bettor only had to give 1.5 if using FanDuel (with inflated -114 vig) or FOX Bet (-118).
FanDuel also offered the best moneyline return to a Steelers backer at -124. The points total was mostly 36.5 — the lowest on the NFL’s slate this weekend — with DraftKings and Betway standing a little higher at 37.
That low total reflects not just the Ravens’ quarterback situation but how these two rivals seem always to beat up on one another in tight, defensive-minded games. The Steelers’ offense was also putrid in the first half of the season, though it has been better of late, averaging 23.3 points in their last four games.
A lot of the latter has to do with a resurgent running game that has averaged 158 rushing yards since Week 8, fifth-best in the NFL.
Despite Baltimore’s current question marks — the Ravens are 1-5 when playing without Jackson since 2020, and it’s uncertain when he’ll return — it remains a small favorite to win the division (-120) over the Bengals (+110) at DraftKings. DraftKings lists the Steelers at +850 to make the playoffs, though that could shorten considerably by Monday if they win and other teams ahead of them stumble on Sunday.
Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com/USA TODAY