The NFC clash between the Saints & Eagles is cornered in the hosts’ camp on the NFL odds board, but the public appears to be favoring NO. Who’s got it right? The public or the bookies?
New Orleans Saints (1-3 SU, 0-2 away)
The New Orleans Saints look to climb out of the AFC South basement at the expense of the Philadelphia Eagles, who’ve failed to launch according to pre-season expectations, which had them a high-octane offense to spot. Optimistic claims such as opponents would need to score upwards of 35-points to beat the Eagles were brandished about at the time, amongst others. Fast forward four games into the season and the Eagles are a far cry off of those, to put it mildly.
As a result, the Saints go into this clash with a measure of optimism. Particularly now that they are in the win column behind a thrilling overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys (the Tony-Romo-less Cowboys, mind), which was the shortest overtime in the history of the game as Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass in the blink of an eye.
Naturally, coming off a win sends a team into their next game with momentum and confidence, and the Saints were pretty desperate to get that monkey off their backs having gone winless in three straight games. Still, it’s a bit early to suggest the Saints are about to turn around their season when all they did was beat a Cowboys side that is hobbled by injuries this season.
Interestingly, that hasn’t discouraged the public. The NFL odds line opened with the Eagles around the 5-point mark as home faves, but with most of early money coming down the wire going towards the underdog Saints the line has dropped to 4.5-points.
That reaction is a combination of Saints winning in week 4 and Philly losing 23-20 in week 4 through a last-gasp touchdown by the Redskins. It was just another setback for the Eagles, one too many it seems.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-3 SU, 0-1 home)
It’s only the second home game of the season for the Eagles. That’s the first thing to keep in mind. Their home opener against the Cowboys was a largely forgettable experience that left a bitter taste with their fans, who booed them off the field when all was said and done. You could say, the Eagles owe it to their fans to put In a better account when they welcome the Saints. If only it were that simple.
Fortunately, the Saints are struggling just as much as the Eagles are right now, if not more. Let’s face it, they might be coming off a win but it was against an injury-ridden Cowboys. Then there is the fact that they lost to the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers – a side that is headed towards the bottom of the NFL pile according to early indications.
On the flipside, the Eagles could easily have been 3-1 SU going into week 5 – if they’d not missed a field goal in their season opener with the Falcons and if they’d not allowed the Redskins to find the end zone in the last few seconds of the game. But that is just the way of sports – unpredictable and unexpected.
Point is the Eagles know they could be in the positive. Chip Kelly has been fielding those questions for the entire week, claiming as much as each and every game has been a narrow, close call that could have gone either way.
NFL Betting Verdict
Based on the 1-3 SU records of both teams, a 4.5-point spread does seem a touch generous especially on the Eagles that are way off expectations. Yet, seeing how close all those games were, it might suggest that they are merely one game away from figuring things out on the field. The Saints really don’t strike a formidable pose, prompting us to consider this game as the one that sees the Eagles finally light up offensively according to those preseason expectations. Take the Eagles as the 4.5-point faves to win and cover with your NFL pick in Week 5.
NFL Picks: Eagles -4.5 (-110) at Bet365