2012 Philadelphia Eagles Betting Preview
The Coach Reid era in Philadelphia has been marked by disappointment, in that while the Eagles have had good teams for a long time they just haven’t been able to get over the hump. Last year many thought Philly had a “dream team,” but most of the season was a minor nightmare. In the end, through a four-game losing streak, five blown leads and a late-season rally the Eagles sat at 8-8 and out of the playoffs.
But going into this year a lot of people are thinking this could be Philly’s best team under Reid. And that’s saying something. If everybody stays healthy (especially Mr. Vick) they could field top-five units on both sides of the ball.
Last Season in Review
The Philadelphia Eagles won their opener last year, then shockingly lost four in a row, as QB Michael Vick got banged up and they blew a couple of late leads. Later, after a dismal loss out in Seattle, Philly was 4-8 and on life-support. Then things finally clicked a bit, and the Eagles won their last four and nearly tracked down a playoff spot.
Philly lost five games in which it led in the fourth quarter, and Vick missed three games and parts of a couple others. If just they had just hung on to win two of those five games they would have entered the playoffs as a very dangerous outfit. That’s why we think they’re so dangerous this season.
The Eagles were one of just three teams to rank in the top-10 in offense and defense last year, and they were the only one of those three teams to miss the playoffs. Philly ranked fourth in offense at 399 YPG and, with help from 600 yards from Vick, fifth in rushing at 142 YPG.
On the other side of the ball the Eagles ranked eighth in defense at 325 YPG, 16th vs. the run at 113 YPG and they led the league in sacks with 50.
So overall Philly ranked fourth in total yardage at +74 YPG, seventh in total rushing at +29 YPG and seventh in average time-of-possession at +2:40 per game.
With all those nice numbers you’d think the Eagles would have made a little money for their financial backers, considering around the league last year teams that outrushed their opponents covered the spread 69 percent of the time and teams that won the TOP battle covered 66 percent of games. But Philly could only go 8-8 ATS last year.
Also, as Eagles games averaged 45 points per, they played 8-7-1 on the totals.
Individually RB LeSean McCoy exploded for 1,600 yards from scrimmage last year and 20 total touchdowns. But while Vick continued to make highlight-reel plays, he still completed less than 60 percent of his throws and his TD/INT ratio, 18/14, wasn’t anything to shout about.
Over the off-season Philly traded CB Asante Samuel and brought in former Texans LB DeMeco Ryans, then took a serious hit when OT Jason Peters popped an Achilles tendon in March; he’s likely to miss the season. They then used their first three picks in the draft on defense, getting Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox at No. 12 overall, Cal LB Mychal Kendricks at No. 46 and Marshall DE Vinny Curry at No. 59. So they didn’t do anything too major, and we like what they did with their draft picks.
2012 Eagles Schedule
Philly will play the seventh-toughest schedule in the league this season, based on last year’s W/L records. They’ve got eight games vs. teams that made the playoffs last year, including dates with the Ravens, Steelers and Bengals, as the NFC East inter-conferences with the AFC North. They also have a first-half stretch of five straight games vs. 2011 playoff qualifiers. Finally, the Eagles finish the season at the Giants.
Barring something unforeseen, Philly should be favored in at least 12 of its games this season.
2012 Philadelphia Eagles Betting Odds and Prediction
Philly is getting +160 at Bovada to win the NFC East this season, 13/2 to win the NFC and 12/1 to win the Super Bowl, and they’ve been lined at Bookmaker with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of 10 (O -145/U +115).
The Eagles will be a chic pick to click this season among NFL futures bettors, so we can’t say they’ll play under the radar. Much depends on whether Vick can temper the temptation to run too much, and keep from taking too many hits. Also, he must cut down on the turnovers. If he can do those two things, this might be the most complete team in football. That’s why we like Philly at 13/2 to win the NFC this season.