Sunday Night Football Betting: Will the Eagles Cover as Home Favorites Against the Packers?
With the calendar getting close to hitting December, the haves and the have nots are starting to separate themselves. While many expected Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to be a strong squad yet again, their 4-7 record leaves quite a bit to be desired.
We can't exactly say the same for the Philadelphia Eagles, who have been one of the league's best teams this season sitting atop the NFC East with a 9-1 record. Per our power rankings, this game could be a bit one-sided as the Eagles rank fourth per our metrics, but the Packers are a bit further down the ledger, clocking in only 18th.
If you are like me and still recovering from Thanksgiving, let's put our stretchy pants and analyze what could be some interesting betting angles for the game.
Breaking It Down
One of the reasons for the Eagles wild success is the play of potential MVP candidate, Jalen Hurts, under center.
By nearly any metric, Hurts has been lapping the competition. If we used Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back as our first measuring stick, among the signal-callers with 100 or more drop backs, Hurts ranks eighth out of 38 passers with a mark of 0.18 per drop back. He's also not afraid to take his shots down the field, ranking among the league's leaders with an average 8.3 yards per pass attempt and 4.7 air yards per attempt. Hurts has also added 440 rushing yards and eight scores to his resume this season.
Unsurprisingly, the Eagle offensive attack ranks third in the league (seventh in passing, and the league's best in rushing), and Miles Sanders has been really solid in his own right. While Sanders 156 rushing attempts this year have been a solid yet unspectacular total, his Rushing NEP per rush mark of 0.14 ranks him fourth best among all ball carriers with 100 or more rushing attempts. His 51.92% Rushing Success Rate is the league's best mark.
Given the historic excellence that Aaron Rodgers has shown, his poor play this season in steering a Packers offense that clocks in only 17th overall, and 20th in passing, is it a bit surprising. Efficiency wise, Rodgers has been one of the league's worst quarterbacks this season -- his 0.02 Passing NEP per pass mark ranks him 22nd in the league. Perhaps the veteran has struggled due to an avulsion fracture in his thumb -- an injury he supposedly suffered in Week 5 this season. With the Eagles ranking third-worst in the league against the run, it would be wise to feature Aaron Jones heavily this evening in the match. Jones ranks second in the league amongst runners with 100 or more carries with a 0.15 Rushing NEP per carry mark -- all while catching 40 passes in the aerial attack.
The Betting Numbers
The Eagles are 6.5-point home favorites, and the total is 46.5 points.
Our projections see this line to be pretty fair -- we are estimating a win for the home Eagles by a mark of 27.9 to 20.6. That means the Eagles have a 51.8% chance to cover the spread here tonight. However, recent trends may prove this to be a bit of a tighter contest. In the last eight times these two teams have met, Green Bay has won six of the contests. The Packers have also been a solid side to back as an underdog, at least from a betting perspective -- the last eight times it has occurred, they have covered the spread seven times. As a dog this year, they outright won against both the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
We also have a lean on the total, giving the over a 56% chance to win out. The Eagles have been a solid over bet in 2022, logging a mark of of 6-4-0 and averaging 26.3 PPG this season.
In the prop market, I gotta back Jones against this porous Eagles rushing defense. With an over/under in rushing yards set at 57.5 yards (-113), you better believe that Jones will be handed the rock early and often. In their lone loss of the season, the Washington Commanders slammed the Eagles for 152 rushing yards, and the honor roll of teams that enjoyed rushing success against them this year is lengthy. The Detroit Lions (181 rushing yards), Arizona Cardinals (124 yards), Dallas Cowboys (132 yards), Pittsburgh Steelers (144 yards), and Houston Texans (168 yards) all find the ground game to be wildly enticing.
In terms of betting trends with these two teams, neither one gives me the warm and fuzzies. Against the spread (ATS), the Eagles sit with a 5-5-0 ATS mark, while the Packers are only 4-7-0 ATS. 66% of cash and 60% of bets are backing the home Eagles.