October 27, 2017
The Philadelphia Eagles head into Sunday's Week 8 matchup against the 49ers as the biggest point favorite of the NFL weekend (currently 12.5, according to Bovada). It's also the most they've been favored in a game since they were 14-point favorites to beat the Cardinals back in 2011.
But that's not at all surprising given that the NFL-best 6-1 Eagles are playing at home, where they're undefeated this season (and 9-2 overall since Doug Pederson arrived), and facing a 49ers team that is still looking for its first win as we reach the midpoint of the season.
That being said, the Eagles don't have a great track record in games in which they've been double-digit favorites, including losses in four of the last six. Against the lowly Niners, the Birds will also be playing their first game of the season without left tackle Jason Peters, who was lost for the season in Monday's win over Washington. They also lost Jordan Hicks in that game and could be another week away from getting cornerback Ronald Darby back for the first time since the season opener.
Thanks to the elevated play of Carson Wentz, the Eagles have been able to overcome those (and many other) injuries to this point. And they'll look to keep that going on Sunday when they go for their sixth win in a row.
Here's what you need to know about the game, plus how we see it playing out.
TV: FOX | RADIO: 94.1 WIP
SPREAD: Eagles (-12.5) | TOTAL: 45.5 (via Bovada)
In a matchup of the best record in the NFL and a winless team, it's hard to come up with any reasons the Eagles could lose this one other than the notion of a "trap game." While the Eagles have lost four of the last six games in which they were favored by at least 10 points, I believe Doug Pederson, Jim Schwartz, and Carson Wentz truly have the team focused on the "next opponent," and should win comfortably.
The 49ers are trash. Eagles in a rout.
I agree that this won't be a "trap game" for the Eagles. But that doesn't mean I foresee a blowout victory either.
The Eagles will be facing more than just the Niners this week – they'll also have to deal with Mother Nature, as it's expected to pour in South Philly all day on Sunday, starting a couple of hours before kickoff. And that's going to impact the Birds much more than it will the 49ers, who already don't have much of an offense to begin with. They also have a quarterback you probably never heard of before this week.
Sure, the Eagles will still have to deal with Carlos Hyde out of the backfield, but their defense isn't going to be the problem. With soaking wet conditions, it could be tough for Wentz and the rest of the offense to come away with the kinds of big pass plays that have really opened things up for them recently.
The good news? The 49ers have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. And the Eagles haven't been afraid to lean on their ground game when necessary, especially against teams that struggle in that area (see: Chargers, Giants). I think they ultimately come away with the win, but the weather keeps it low-scoring and makes it look closer than it actually is.
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