I’m not a gambling man, but I think everybody else at Crossing Broad is.
So there was a lot of interest when odds makers adjusted their playoff numbers to account for Carson Wentz’s season-ending ACL injury.
Turns out the drop off from Wentz to Nick Foles is worth about 3 to 4 points, which would presumably make the Eagles’ the underdogs at some point in the postseason. But it turns out that’s not the case, at least not right away, according to projections run by Scott Cooley and published by Sports Insights:
Assuming the Eagles play their first playoff game at home, here are Cooley’s projected point spreads against potential NFC opponents:
vs. Vikings (pk)
vs. Falcons (+1)
vs. Rams (+2)
vs. Saints (+2)
vs. Panthers (+2.5)
vs. Seahawks (+3)
The Eagles would be favored against everybody except the Vikings in a home playoff game.
If the Birds advance to the Super Bowl, they would be dogs to only a pair of teams:
What about the AFC? Should Philadelphia advance to Super Bowl 52, here’s how bookmakers would set the neutral-field line against the main contenders:
vs. Jaguars (+1)
vs. Chiefs (+1)
vs. Steelers (-3)
vs. Patriots (-6.5)
Sports Insights explains a bit more about player ratings in a separate article:
“Outside of the quarterback position, there are only a handful of players capable of impacting to the line, with very few players valued at more than a half point. This valuation can be impacted by the matchup, as an elite running back’s value is increased against subpar run defenses.”
“The value of starting quarterbacks varies based on the matchup and the quality of their backup. Players can obviously improve their point spread value slightly by exceeding pre-season expectations”
There ya have it. The Eagles could still be favored home playoff game(s), according to one set of projections, even without Carson Wentz under center.