Eagles Favored, Steelers Not, In Their Big NFL Rivalry Games On Sunday

In yet another of 2020's odd twists, Pennsylvania's undefeated NFL team is getting points while its 2-4-1 team is a big favorite.
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Pittsburgh and Philadelphia both play their perennially biggest divisional rivals this weekend, and the undefeated Steelers are underdogs while the 2-4-1 Eagles are big favorites.

Such is the upside-down world of the AFC North and NFC East in 2020.

The 6-0 Steelers visit Baltimore, 5-1, for what is expected to be the type of hard-hitting contest that helps settle the divisional race every year. Pennsylvania’s 10 online sports betting sites listed the Steelers as anywhere from a 3.5-to-4.5-point underdog as of Friday morning.

The injury-plagued Eagles, who were reeling a couple of weeks ago, host the now-reeling, just-as-injured Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. With Dallas down to a rookie, third-string quarterback as its likely starter, Philadelphia is favored by 9 to 9.5 points.

The NFL games finish off a big Pennsylvania football weekend that lost a bit of luster when Penn State dropped its opener in crazy fashion, though a lot of attention will still be on the Nittany Lions as a home underdog in primetime Saturday night vs. No. 3 Ohio State.

Steelers, Ravens clash as contenders to reach Super Bowl

The Steelers’ Super Bowl odds have kept improving with each win, including last week’s 27-24 defeat of the then-undefeated Tennessee Titans. The most money one can win on Pittsburgh’s Lombardi Trophy chances now is getting +950 from FanDuel, while DraftKings and FOX Bet have +850 and Caesars is at +750.

But before Pittsburgh can even think about that, it has to get past Baltimore, one of just three teams with better odds of reaching the Super Bowl.

The Ravens, despite being a game behind in the standings, are also still ahead of the Steelers in divisional odds, although the gap has narrowed week by week. FanDuel offers the most reward to a Steelers backer at this point, at +120 to win the AFC North, with the Ravens -125.

In Sunday’s contest, FOX Bet has Pittsburgh as the biggest underdog (+4.5) in visiting a Baltimore team coming off a bye week and with its only loss on the season against Kansas City. The Kambi sites (DraftKings, Unibet, BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse, Parx, and Barstool) and Caesars have the Steelers +4, and FanDuel and BetAmerica put them +3.5.

The best moneyline price on the Steelers is +180 from DraftKings and Caesars. The over/under is 46.5 across the board, with FanDuel offering reduced vig on the over at -105.

With Wentz, the Eagles have a big edge

One of the few healthy constants for the Eagles has been Carson Wentz at quarterback, and while he had turnover troubles early in the season, he led Philadelphia on impressive comeback drives in the fourth quarter in its last game to beat the New York Giants, 22-21.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, saw a concussion from a vicious late hit last week cost them QB Andy Dalton, who was only playing because Dak Prescott was previously lost for the season. Dallas lost in disastrous 25-3 fashion to the Washington Football Team.

That leaves Sunday night’s visitors to Lincoln Financial Field putting Ben DiNucci, a seventh-round draft choice out of James Madison University, behind center.

So even though DeSean Jackson has returned to the injured list with an ankle injury, joining Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and other key players in a list too long to recite here, oddsmakers make the Eagles a bigger favorite than any 2-4-1 team normally has a right to be.

Most of the sites have Philadelphia -9, while FanDuel and BetAmerica make it -9.5. The best moneyline price for an Eagles bettor is the -385 from DraftKings. The over/under is universally 43, with FanDuel offering the best vig on the over at -106.

The Eagles are only a half-game ahead of the Cowboys in the standings, but their odds to win the division are now from -150 (FOX Bet) to -165 (FanDuel), with the Kambi-backed sites between those at -155.

PSU can still get ahead of OSU in Big Ten race

Penn State’s 36-35 loss on the final play in Bloomington, Ind., last Saturday was so controversial, on top of heartbreaking, that some moneyline bettors on the Nittany Lions received site credit refunds as a consolation prize

Oddsmakers don’t see the contest with Ohio State coming down to a last-second officiating review. Most sites listed the Buckeyes as 11.5-point favorites as of Friday morning, with BetAmerica offering 12 and Caesars even spotting Penn State 12.5.

The best moneyline price for a Penn State backer is the +370 from Caesars. Kambi-backed sites put the over/under at 64, while FanDuel, FOX Bet, and Caesars go to 64.5.

For the past four years, the winner of the matchup has won the Big Ten title, and the games between them are often close. Penn State lost by 1 point in 2017 and 2018, though Ohio State won by 11 at home last year. Even with their opening loss, if the Nittany Lions can pull off an upset they would be ahead of Ohio State in the conference race.

The Buckeyes, however, have Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Fields back as a dual threat quarterback, and he threw only one incompletion in his team’s 52-17 romp over Nebraska last week.

In the other college game involving a Pennsylvania team, Temple (1-2) visits Tulane (2-4) as an underdog by anywhere from 3.5 (FanDuel) to 4.5 (BetAmerica) points. The over/under is as low as 58 (BetAmerica) and as much as 59 (Kambi sites, Caesars).

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