In the final game of the opening weekend for the NFL Playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles fly west to take on the Chicago Bears in a NFC Wild Card battle. The Eagles went on a late-season run to make the playoffs and were led by backup QB Nick Foles who will play this weekend despite being injured in the final game of the regular season.
Chicago features a ferocious defense that looks to shut down Philly’s offense and lean on their offensive playmakers to overcome a surging Eagles defense and score points. Can Philly keep this miraculous run going or will the Bears take a bite out of their dreams of a Super Bowl repeat? Kickoff inside Soldier Field is at 4:40 PM ET.
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The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:
|Betting Data||Philadelphia Eagles||Chicago Bears|
|Current S/U record||9-7||12-4|
|2018 ATS Home||2-5-1||7-1|
|2018 ATS Away||4-4||5-3|
|2018 O/U Home||2-6||4-4|
|2018 O/U Away||4-3-1||4-4|
Sunday’s Wild Card game marks the 45th time these two teams have played against each other. Currently, the Bears lead the series with a 29-14-1 record. They’ve also played three times in the postseason, with the Eagles going 2-1. Philly has won three straight games in this head-to-head series with the last contest being in November 2017.
Philadelphia (9-7) won their last 4 games in a row, which have all been under the leadership of QB Nick Foles who is now 7-2 as a starter these last two seasons including the playoffs. Foles, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, continues to defy the odds each week and will find a way to make this game competitive. Philly’s defense has also improved dramatically as they’ve only allowed 13 ppg over the last 4 weeks. Can Philly continue their march back to the Super Bowl?
Chicago (12-4) is one of the biggest surprises this year as they weren’t even expected to have a winning record. Not only did they win 12 games this year, but they also won the NFC North division and boast of having one of the best defenses in football.
Like the Ravens and the Seahawks, the Bears have all the makings of a nasty playoff team that could run the table. Will da Bears advance to the Divisional Round and keep this fantastic season going?
The spread for this game was delayed at first due to the Nick Foles injury. Once the Eagles declared that Foles was healthy enough to start this weekend, the majority of online betting sites opened with the Bears favored by 6 to 7 points. Currently, most football betting sites have the Bears as a 6 point favorite. The Over/Under opened at 42 points with most internet sportsbooks. Since then, the O/U has come down slightly to 41 total points.
Over the last 3 games, Nick Foles has taken this Eagles offense to another level as they’re averaging 27.6 ppg and 420+ total ypg. That’s a full 6 points and 70 total yards more per game under Foles as a starter than Wentz. Furthermore, they’re scoring TDs nearly 45% of the time they get into the red zone. Just one more impressive stat that they lead the NFL in under Foles.
Just as impressive as Foles has been over the last month, the Bears have been all year long. Chicago has won 4 straight games and feature one of the best defenses in the NFL. They’re 7th in allowing 219.7 passing ypg, 1st against the run at 80 ypg, 1st in scoring as they only allow 17.7 ppg, and 3rd in total yards allowed at 299.7 ypg.
If that defense isn’t enough to scare Philly fans and bettors then this might, the Bears are 7-1 SU and 7-1 ATS at home this year. They’re also 12-4 ATS this year and 6-1 SU as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. But, that’s not all. Chicago is 10-2 SU as a favorite, 4-1 SU as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points, 10-2 SU against the NFC, 9-2 ATS in grass games, and 6-2 ATS after winning two or more straight games.
For the Eagles, they’re 11-4 SU and 10-5 ATS after winning two or more straight games, 8-5 SU in grass games, 3-0 SU in their last 3 January games, and 3-0 SU in their last 3 playoff games.
In addition to Nick Foles, another reason why I’m taking the Eagles spread of +6 (-117) is because they’re 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games against the Bears, 9-4 SU in their last 13 games against Chicago, and 6-2 SU in their last 8 games at Chicago.
Philly is not afraid to play the Bears in Chicago and they have just as much momentum as any other team in the playoffs. Furthermore, the Eagles do have the #7 rush defense in the NFL as they give up 96.9 rushing ypg.
This means that the Eagles defense will force 2nd year QB Mitchell Trubisky to throw the ball more and that could bode well for an opportunistic secondary as Trubisky has 12 interceptions in 14 games. And, if this game turns out to be a battle of QBs then I would rather have Nick Foles over Trubisky.
The Eagles might not win this game, but it will be close for four quarters and I believe they will cover. I believe their moneyline of +200 offers good value and I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull off the upset. The Bears might have the better defense, but the Eagles are more battle-tested and have far more playoff experience especially on the offensive side of the ball.
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