This NFL handicapper explains why you should place your sports pick on the underdog in the Week 8 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Before placing your NFL pick on this Week 8 matchup, understand that this is a pair of 5-1 SU teams, who may consider to have over achieved when taking into account their combined 7-5 ATS record. A longer-term perspective finds that over the last year, these two teams have the best records in the league. Dating to their win at Oakland in Game 9 of last season, Philly is 12-3 SU in the last year. That includes a playoff loss on the strong home field of New Orleans and a defeat at San Francisco in Week 4 of this season. The Arizona home field does not approach the home field strength of either of those opponents. Credit the ascent to 2nd year HC Kelly. In a similar way, Arizona fortunes have turned around under the guidance of 2nd year HC Arians. Dating to a 27-13 vs. Atlanta, in Week 8 of last season, Arizona is a likewise 12-3 SU. Yes, that includes similar losses at the strong home field of Denver this season as well as a loss to San Fran on this field last year. The 3rd defeat may be even more telling. It was a 24-21 loss to these Eagles.
Those lofty 5-1 SU records of these two foes put them in diverse divisional settings. While Arizona may feel themselves to be a bit fat, leading the 49ers and Seahawks for divisional superiority, the Eagles remain highly motivated, as they trail the Cowboys, a 10 point NFL odds favorite Monday night, for the NFC East league. Mental edge to the underdog Eagles! Further complicating the situation is that each team could be due for a downer with the Cards recording a comfortable 24-13 road win at Oakland, while the Eagles have had 2 weeks to praise themselves after the 27-0 shutout of the rival Giants. No edge from those previous results!
From a fundamental perspective, one can make a case for either defense. The improved Cardinal defensive front is allowing just 72/3.1 overland (the best in the NFL), but overall, the Eagles are allowing just 5.6 YP play to the Cards’ 5.9 YP play. Offensively is where the Eagles shine. Despite struggling through numerous OL injuries (some of which have healed with an extra week of rest), the Philly offense is averaging 31 PPG on 378 YPG. Those numbers are 8 points better and 61 yards better than their host.
Finally, I cannot help but mention the TO turnaround that should apply to this game. For it is the second largest on the week’s card (next to New Orleans). The Eagles have gone 5-1 SU in the face of a -5 net TO margin, a feat that is nearly impossible. Meanwhile, Arizona has gone 5-1 SU, a situation that is right in line with a +7 net TO margin. With TO turnarounds 8-4 ATS last week, we have a further built-in advantage with the Eagles in this contest. In short, no surprise to this bureau, if the Eagles win this one outright in the role of underdog!
Free NFL Pick: Eagles at Bet365