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December 24, 2017

Five over/unders for Eagles vs. Raiders on Christmas night

Eagles NFL

For the first time in quite a while, Christmas Day is going to be a busy one for Eagles fans.

By the time you're done unwrapping your shiny new Carson Wentz jersey, it'll almost be time for Sixers-Knicks. Then you'll have a few hours to stuff your face with Christmas dinner before turning your attention to the main course, Eagles vs. Raiders on Monday Night Football.

And just because it's a holiday, that doesn't mean we're taking off. As always, we've got you covered for the Birds' penultimate game. 

The weekly over/unders are no exception. But since it's Christmas Eve, you'll notice all of these over/unders have a decidedly Christmas-themed line, with the exception of total points. You'll see what I mean (I think).

Total points: 47

That's the line currently being offered by Bovada and, if we're being honest, it feels a little low. The Eagles offense didn't miss a beat against the Giants in Nick Foles' first start of the season and I don't see any reason that changes now that he's got a game under his belt and the team is returning home after three straight road games. 

Earlier in the season, despite the offense's potent scoring punch, the Eagles seemed to be consistently hitting the under thanks to the defense's ability to keep opponents out of the end zone. In recent weeks, that hasn't been the case. 

Sure, there's a chance they turn it around against the Raiders, but I'm going to need to see it before I believe it. 


Takeaways by Eagles defense: 2.5

After averaging nearly three turnovers per game over their previous three games, the Eagles recorded just three takeaways total over their three-game road trip. Earlier this week, Jim Schwartz said his defense is at its best when it is keeping the opposition out of the end zone. Well, they're also at their best when they're creating turnovers. 

They'll need to get back to that on Monday. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll get three in this game. But after the way they've been playing recently, I think Eagles fans will settle for two.


Nick Foles touchdown passes: 2.5

Did you know the last time Nick Foles played against the Raiders he threw seven touchdown passes?!?!

Well, guess what? He ain't doing that again. He might not even match his total from last week's win over the Giants (4). The good news is, he shouldn't need to, especially if the defense does its job. The Eagles have made a habit of getting out to early leads at home, and if they do that on Monday night, they'll likely be able to rely on their backfield to take care of business in the second half. 

Sorry, but no record-setting performance from St. Nick this time around.


Big plays (20+ yards) allowed by Eagles: 2.5

Another thing the Eagles defense has made a bad habit of recently is allowing big plays by opposing offenses, even when the opponents don't have the kind of players you'd expect to make such plays.

The Raiders, however, do have players like that. And if Amari Cooper (questionable, ankle) is good to go on Monday night, the Eagles could find themselves once again on the wrong end of some long gains. 


References to throwing snowballs at Santa: 2.5

We already know for a fact that ESPN is planning on bringing this up at least once and, honestly, I'm not sure there's any number I could've set this at where I would've taken the under.


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