NFL Picks: Patriots vs. Eagles in Preseason Week 1

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 8:23 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013 8:23 PM UTC

In one of the most intriguing preseason Week 1 matchups, the Patriots head down the road to play the Eagles.

The NFL odds are favoring the Eagles at -3, with a total of 40 points. Should the Eagles be considered sports pick favorites, or will the Pats come to win this game in Chip Kelly’s first NFL contest?

Sports betting websites with the best prices on 2013-14 NFL Futures  

Belichick’s preseason success

Bill Belichick is 39-34 SU in his preseason career, and 35-32-6 ATS in that time. However, in Week 1 of the preseason, Belichick’s teams have gone 10-4 SU. Every other week of the preseason he is around .500, but for some reason, the first week of the NFL preseason has some value on the Patriots. New England has won in Week 1 of the preseason the last four seasons in a row.

In last year’s Week 1 preseason game, Tom Brady played nearly the entire first quarter. While he didn’t play too well, it seems as if coach Belichick and the Patriots have a different approach to the preseason. While most coaches like to play their starters more in Weeks 2 and 3, the Pats seem to play theirs more in Weeks 1 and 2. Brady normally gets at least two and sometimes three series on the field for the first preseason game, and this year might be just the same considering New England is still figuring out their WR rotation alongside Danny Amendola. I think the Patriots are going to take this game very seriously. Even though they are on the road, Belichick’s thirst for Week 1 preseason blood is strong.

Take a look at the Patriots Season Win Total Odds, part of our NFL preseason coverage! 

Eagles clipped wings

It’s going to be hard enough to install a new offense in Philadelphia, while they are having a quarterback battle, and with the injuries they have already sustained, it’s not looking to great right now. With Jeremy Maclin gone, there goes what would have likely been at least 80 catches in Kelly’s offense, and now the Eagles are going to have to find more production.

I sincerely doubt this quarterback battle is going to play into the hands of the Eagles as favorites in this game especially. Even though Kelly will want to really start off the season with a win, deciding the situation at quarterback is much more of an issue right now in Philly. I could see him giving each QB a quarter of play, and that may not be the best approach if he is actually trying to cover the spread.

NFL offseason coverage continues with the Eagles Season Win Total Odds preview! 

The Sharp Pick

Along with the Eagles going through more evaluations, the Patriots will want to test out some of their new secondary personnel in this game. Against a passing style offense like the Eagles, it could be a feast for newly acquired Adrian Wilson and Aquib Talib.

On top of all the depth from New England needing to be evaluated, Kelly is dealing with some tough times out of the gate in Philadelphia, that may be a distraction, if not to him, then maybe to some of his players. Combine that with the constant changing of the quarterbacks in this game, and you’ll have inconsistency at best, and possibly an awful game against one of the league’s best.

All in all, the Patriots should not be this big of a underdog, and considering Belichick’s preseason record in Week 1, the Patriots are the play here. I could easily see Josh McDaniels blowing out the Eagles in true Patriot-fashion, just to get the bad taste of last season out of their mouths. On almost pure value and trends, I’m taking the three points with the Patriots in my NFL picks.


NFL Pick: Pick the Patriots laying the points at +3

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