Last Updated: 2018-01-03
Okay, it is time for the second season – the “tournament,” if you will. So with the futures odds up for the Super Bowl, one should be reminded that one of the great things about VietBet is the fact that when you get a futures prop on something like this, they let you wager both ways – that is to say, you can bet on a team to win the Super Bowl or NOT win the Super Bowl. The same goes for the conference title.
One of the places I see some value is with the Philadelphia Eagles. Or rather, AGAINST them.
This is what we are looking at right now in the NFL props, as it is listed in the sportsbook:
Philadelphia Eagles win NFC Conference +490
Field wins NFC Conference -630
I am on the “FIELD” side, and as if you need an explanation, let’s start with Nick Foles, who has obviously lost something since that 2013 season when he had 27 TD’s, two INT’s and was MVP of the Pro Bowl.
If you want to break it down as to what the Eagles have done when Foles has been the starter, well, even with this small sampling, it tells us something.
The New York Giants were so bad that the only thing keeping them from having the #1 pick in the draft is the Cleveland Browns’ winless season. Well, Philadelphia got a blocked field goal, a blocked punt and a blocked extra point in the same game. You want to know how rare that is? Well, it hasn’t happened for one team in the same game since 1991. Yet the Eagles still could only beat the Giants by five points (34-29). And while their exploits in that game in the Meadowlands were a grand statement about their special teams, the defense was a little soft, as Eli Manning, who’d been benched just a couple of weeks before, acheived hsi season-high in passing yards. Foles tossed three touchdown passes, but barely got six yards a throw.
Then there was that brutal performance by Foles against Oakland, when he looked lost, hitting on just 19 of 38 passes. It was noticeable. And it dragged down the offense, which converted only ONE of fourteen third down chances. And this was against an opponent that had been eliminated from playoff consideration in gut-wrenching fashion just the week before and had to be thinking they’d rather be somewhere else than Philadelphia on Christmas Eve.
And as VietBet patrons may have seen, the regular season finale was treated more or less like a pre-season game, with Foles spending a token amount of time with the starters. He went 4-for-11, with Nate Sudfeld stepping in the rest of the way. And the Eagles have now converted three out of 25 on third down the last two games. While it was nice that Doug Pederson got the kid his first NFL experience, you had to come away from that shutout loss to Dallas wondering whether it may have done some good for Foles, who had a dearth of practice snaps with the first team in the first fourteen weeks of the season, to get some more live game action with them. Does that sound naive? A lot of people don’t think so.
There is something else about the Eagles that bothers me, and it goes beyond the injury that has knocked Carson Wentz out of action. They have had life-and-death with the two best teams they have beaten – Carolina and the Los Angeles Rams – but certainly in the game they played in the L.A. Coliseum, they were the beneficiaries of a couple of very stupid penalties on the part of the Rams. The other L.A. team – the Chargers – hadn’t gotten rolling yet, losing to the Birds by two to go to 0-4.
Okay, maybe I’m being a little too rough on them. But I take other things into consideration, such as the loss of Jason Peters, which leaves a left tackle who is decidedly NOT a Pro Bowler and whose name I cannot spell or pronounce, upon many tries. Naturally, there is the possibility of a playoff-friendly ground game with the likes of LeGarrette Blount, but I don’t know that they have used Jay Ajayi enough. And if Foles does not perform better, he won’t be able to distract opposing defensive coordinators away from committing to stop the run first and foremost, and then daring this backup quarterback to beat them.
How vulnerable do people around the league think they might be? Well, there is some talk that coach Sean McVay of the Rams started Sean Mannion at quarterback last weekend as a way of halfway going into the tank in an effort to stay on Philadelphia’s side of the playoff bracket. The Rams held up their end of the bargain, but New Orleans fouled up those plans by losing to Tampa Bay.
It’s nice to be at home for as long as it lasts, but if you don’t mind, I’m going to stay off the Philly bandwagon.
And it has nothing to do with the fact that they created a “bad beat” beyond belief, kneeling on the extra point when they scored with time expiring on that goofy botched lateral play by Oakland, which prevented them from covering.
Well, maybe it does.
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