Seahawks and Eagles collide in a must-see NFC showdown this weekend, a pivotal game for both teams towards their playoff bids. We preview this highly anticipated billing and serve up our NFL picks.
The Must-See NFC Showdown
The marquee billing between Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles practically leaps off the page as the must-see game of week 14 NFL betting. It's also one of the most polarising games on the NFL odds board as odds makers have rolled out tight NFL betting odds offering angles for profit on both sides of the coin. These teams were nestled on a 1-point spread or thereabouts at early doors, but since then the line has been bet down to EVEN money at some sports betting shops. Bettors will also find the totals hovering anywhere from 48-to-49-points depending on their choice cyber betting platform.
Seattle Seahawks Surging
As things currently stand, the Seahawks have acquired the lion's share of betting with 60-plus % piling on top of them. From the start, even when they were the 1-point road underdogs, there was an air of favouritism about the Seahawks that seems to have resonated with the public. Indeed, in SU betting they've been oscillating between +105 and -105 NFL odds over the course of the week.
Of course, Seattle's recent surge has played a factor in the overall market outlook on the NFL odds page as well as public betting trends. Not for nothing are they the defending champions. Finding form at this vantage point, as we head into the last quarter of the season, is an auspicious turn of events that has raised their stock value back to preseason heights.
Philadelphia Eagles Flying High
The Eagles at the moment have attracted 39% of public money their way as the marginal home chalk. That they haven't lost a game at home behind a 6-0 SU record and a 5-1 ATS record that boasts a 16-point margin of victory hasn't swayed NFL betting circles. Most likely because the quality of opposition they've face so far has been modest at best, the likes of Jacksonville, Washington, St. Louis, New York Giants, Carolina and Tennessee making up the visitors list. All the aforementioned are the NFL's weaklings this season, under .500 through 12 rounds of NFL betting. Fact is the Eagles have yet to face a quality team at home, let alone beat one.
Another factor detracting NFL bettors from backing the Eagles is Mark Sanchez. Undoubtedly, a 3-1 SU start as the Eagles' quarterback since taking over the reins from Nick Foles, backed up by a recent 33-10 win over divisional rivals Dallas Cowboys on the road no less, is a positive mark. Alas, the one game most look towards as a benchmark for this game is the 53-20 loss at Lambeau. Not necessarily as far as the score is concerned but rather the outcome. In that game, Sanchez faced off against a world class quarterback in Aaron Rodgers only to be outmuscled, outplayed and outclassed. He was found wanting as the Eagles' second string quarterback, visibly flustered by the Packers defense as he ran out of ideas to keep up with the Packers' lethal offense.
The Battle Of The Birds
On paper, Seattle would seem to have the edge over the Eagles. They are proven champions, a side that can never be taken lightly in any matchup. In recent weeks, stepping up to the plate to beat their divisional rivals behind formidable defensive plays and Russell Wilson's experience at quarterback has rejuvenated confidence in their stock value. They have the top rushing offense in the league and Wilson is such a wily, mobile quarterback both will be hard to contain.
Still games aren't played on paper but on the field. Seattle is taking a cross-country trip, bringing with them a 3-3 SU record and 2-4 ATS record with a 2.4-point margin of victory on the road with them. The weather conditions are sure to factor, the much chillier climate than the Seahawks are accustomed to playing in could play against them.
In their last two games, Seahawks have scored just 38 points but conceded 6 points. Eagles haven't faced a defense quite like theirs at home but they've still managed to put up 76 points in their last two games. Overall, the Eagles are averaging 31-plus points on offense. That many points against any sort of opposition points to a healthy, flowing offense. Can NFL bettors simply brush that aspect of their game aside?
NFL Betting Verdict
Eagles' passing and running offense are amongst the best in the league while defense and special teams are slightly underrated. If Chip Kelly and the Eagles put together a solid game plan and Mark Sanchez can execute it on the field, avoids mistakes and costly turnovers, there's no reason why the Eagles couldn't win this Sunday. Seattle were beaten after all by the Rams, Cowboys and Chargers. They may be the popular NFL pick (for good reason), but we're banking on the Eagles as our sharp NFL pick of the week.
Free NFL pick: Eagles at Even and SU at 5Dimes