The Philadelphia Eagles are looking like a team destined to return to playoff glory this year as oddsmakers have the Eagles line at about 10.5 wins with the PlaySugarHouse PA online sportsbook setting lines at -134 for over 10 wins and +175 for over 11.5 wins (over 12) as of August 20th.
With less than three weeks before the start of the season, what’s a realistic expectation for how it all plays out? Here’s a look at the Eagles 2019 schedule and how realistic the line should be.
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Week 1: Redskins
A home matchup against a division rival starting a backup quarterback (Case Keenum) is exactly the kind of matchup a team needs to get off on the right foot. Washington was off to a hot start last season before injuries crippled their team and ultimately killed their playoff hopes. As amazing as their run was, shorthanded, the Redskins are going to be breaking in a new quarterback in a hostile environment and I just don’t see them pulling this one-off. Eagles 27 Redskins 13.
Week 2: @ Falcons
A road trip to Atlanta isn’t ideal, considering how good the Falcons offense was at home in 2018 (29 points per game at home). Though the results weren’t what the Falcons were expecting (4-4 at home), their offensive potency is apparent. The arrival of offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter — who was the Falcons OC from 2012-2014 when Matt Ryan finally blossomed into the quarterback we know him to be today.
Last year’s matchup was at home against the Falcons was an adjustment for the Eagles as they got off to a very slow start and came out on top in a very close opener. This game should resemble a shootout and such an early road test will challenge the Eagles on defense. Given the circumstances, I see the Falcons edging the Eagles in a high scoring affair. Falcons 30 Eagles 27
Week 3: Lions
On paper, this one seems like an easy win, but the Lions showed in 2018 they can catch a lot of teams off-guard. Matt Stafford is the kind of QB who can shred a defense who isn’t ready for them. Kerryon Johnson should see an elevated workload, given his prop line (1,000 yards). Regardless of Kerryon’s ability, the Eagles are stout up front on defense. I expect the defense to run blitz hard in this one and for the Eagles to pull away. Eagles 34 Lions 20
Week 4: @ Packers
Another road game versus a tough opponent that will be a big test. The Packers are under new leadership and still have one of the elite quarterbacks in the game on their roster. Their defense has been suspect in recent years and has been the clear achilles heel of the team. Lambeau is a hard place to get a win, so I’ve got to stick with the home team in this one. Packers 26 Eagles 24
Week 5: Jets
The Jets are also under new leadership. Their 2017 showed promise at times, but ultimately, the offense couldn’t stay on the field long enough to give their defense a rest. Even with the promise Sam Darnold has shown in the pre-season, their team is simply too young to get a win in such a hostile environment. This one will be a long day for the Jets and their defense. Eagles 33 Jets 13
Week 6: @ Vikings
The Vikings and Eagles have a subtle rivalry as of late. Following the Eagles NFC championship victory over the Vikings in January of 2018, the Vikings exacted revenge in Philadelphia last season, before promptly falling off the face of the earth and missing the playoffs. The Vikings are loaded with talent on the offense and match up very well against the Eagles’ weak secondary. If the Eagles can take advantage of the Vikings poor pass protection, they can win. As it stands right now, I think the Vikings will pull it out at home. Vikings 20 Eagles 19
Week 7: @ Cowboys
The Cowboys are always a formidable opponent to the Eagles. Coming into 2019, the Cowboys have the #2 ranked offensive line according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). The Cowboys defense was very strong to finish the 2018 season and should create some issues for the Eagles. Cowboys 24 Eagles 20
Week 8: @ Bills
After a successful 2017 season, the Bills nearly pulled off the upset over the Jags for a chance to go to the divisional round, but the Jags defense was too much. 2018 was not the same story as the Bills floundered under new quarterback, Josh Allen. Though the Bills defense will give the Eagles a tough time, the Bills aren’t talented enough offensively to keep pace. Eagles 20 Bills 13
Week 9: Bears
The Bears missed a 42-yard field goal at home against the Eagles last postseason and they’ll certainly be thinking hard about this game. Unfortunately for the Bears, Mitch Trubisky hasn’t shown he can be a consistent enough quarterback or demonstrated the ability to throw accurately to his left. Expect a heavy blitz on the right from the Eagles. Also, the Bears defensive coordinator left for a head coaching job in Denver, so they’ll be much less dangerous on that end. Eagles 23 Bears 17
Week 11: Patriots
Foxboro is a ridiculously tough place to get a win and Tom Brady is still employed as the quarterback in New England. The Pats will avenge their 2017 Super Bowl loss. Patriots 27 Eagles 20
Week 12: Seahawks
This could potentially be a tricky game for the Eagles as the Seahawks have one of the most difficult offenses to stop. The Seahawks love to run the ball, but they have a true playmaker at QB who will make big plays when they need them (8.2 % TD rate). This one will be close but the Eagles should come out on top. Eagles 30 Seahawks 27
Week 13: @ Dolphins
The Dolphins have been a mess lately and are going through major personnel changes all over the field. With the lowest over/under wins total projected in 2019 (5.5 wins), this should prove to be a very comfortable win for the Eagles. Eagles 41 Dolphins 10
Week 14: Giants
Even with slight improvements to the O-line and defense, the Giants are lacking, with the exception of the best running back in the league, Saquan Barkley. Still, I don’t see the Eagles being challenged here at all. Eagles 38 Giants 19
Week 15: @ Redskins
I fully expect the Redskins to win more than they should in 2019, but there’s no reason, on paper, the Eagles shouldn’t complete the sweep. Eagles 34 Redskins 6
Week 16: Cowboys
This should be the game that decides the division. It will be a close affair but the Eagles will have the home crowd to help them push through to re-take the division title with this win. Eagles 23 Cowboys 20
Week 17: @ Giants
I can’t see a scenario where the Giants will have anything to play for. The Cowboys shouldn’t be too far behind the Eagles, so the Eagles probably won’t be resting starters here. Eagles 26 Giants 17
My prediction: Eagles with 11 wins
All in all, I think 11 wins makes sense here with another division title for the Eagles. There’s potential for more, but assuming the key players stay healthy, I see few scenarios where the Eagles finish with less than 10 wins. In addition to some good odds at PlaySugarHouse, you can get them at -125 to win the division, which I think is a pretty good bet.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who will watch any sport and gamble with anyone willing. He currently resides in Texas and has to deal with Cowboys fans all the time.