There’s really no other way to describe the Eagles’ blowout loss at Lincoln Financial Field to the Rams last week.
Now, staring at the possibility of a disastrous 0-3 start, the Eagles hope to quiet the increasing noise from critics and pick up a crucial win against the winless Bengals. Can Carson Wentz shake off his underwhelming start and lead the Eagles to a win while covering the spread in the process? Let’s break it all down with our Eagles vs. Bengals betting preview.
The second pick of the 2016 NFL Draft and the top overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft go head-to-head this week, but only one of these two quarterbacks played worthy of their selection in Week 2.
Last Thursday, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow impressed by completing 37 of 61 pass attempts for 316 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions in just his second career start. While Burow’s 5.2 yards per attempt against the Browns wasn’t eye-popping, he showed tremendous poise in leading the Bengals to a 30-point effort.
Perhaps most impressive for Burrow in the early going, however, is that he has only thrown one interception in 97 pass attempts through two games.
The same compliments can’t be paid to Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who has played some of the worst football of his career to start this season. Normally protective of the football, Wentz has been a turnover machine, throwing four interceptions in just 85 pass attempts. A dangerous combination of poor mechanics and decision-making have been the primary culprits:
.@eagles v @RamsNFL and the #Birds have a chance to take control of this game despite the rocky start. When you have a great chance to make a BIG PLAY; you have to execute. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/DbAx3hBHjF
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) September 21, 2020
Though two games make for a small sample size, his current 58.8% completion percentage, 2.4% touchdown percentage, 4.7% interception percentage, and 6.0 yards per attempt all represent career-worst marks. There are several other metrics that illustrate his struggles, but I don’t need to belabor the point.
This week, Wentz has a chance to get on track against a Bengals defense yielding 25.5 points and 398 yards per game. Through two games, the Bengals are allowing a generous 6.2 yards per play, good for the seventh-worst mark in football. While Philadelphia’s defense has had its own struggles – ones exacerbated by an inability to pressure the quarterback and generate turnovers – the unit has only allowed 5.0 yards per play. That is seventh-best in the NFL.
Still, this all comes back to Wentz, who enters Week 3 ranked 32nd in total QBR. Will he bounce back, or will it be another long week of takes such as this:
Colin Cowherd just questioned if Carson Wentz is a Franchise Quarterback because he wore his hat backwards…
IDK know Colin, did you question the other dozen Franchise Players when they did THE EXACT SAME THING pic.twitter.com/m8kUpRwwFB
— LegendOfWinning (@LegendOfWinning) September 24, 2020
With both teams desperate for their first win and perhaps the fate of their fleeting playoff hopes at stake, which team will emerge with a win, and which will cover the spread? Let’s try to answer those question in our Eagles vs. Bengals betting preview with odds, picks, and predictions.
Eagles vs. Bengals Odds
If you believe in following line movement, then your best bet is to stay away from the Eagles this week. The Eagles vs. Bengals odds opened with Philadelphia as a strong 6.5-point favorite over the Bengals, but that spread had since shrunk. Early action dropped the Eagles to a 4.5-point favorite by early Friday afternoon.
It’s possible some of the action on Cincy has been spurred by the growing praise of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow and the growing criticisms of Carson Wentz. Still, it is nonetheless surprising to see the Eagles, a typically public-backed team, have the spread move two full points in the other direction. It will be worth keeping an eye on whether or not sharps react to some potential value in this drop, or if the momentum will continue to roll in favor of the Bengals.
In terms of the total, which opened at 46 points, the action this week has pushed this number up to 47.5. That is not insignificant as 46 and 47 are key numbers to cross when it comes to game totals.
Here is a look at the current Eagles vs. Bengals odds for Week 3:
|Bengals||+4.5 (-110)||+180||O 47.5 (-110)|
|Eagles||-4.5 (-110)||-210||U 47.5 (-110)|
|Bengals||+5 (-110)||+187||O 47.5 (-110)|
|Eagles||-5 (-110)||-225||U 47.5 (-110)|
We always like to take a quick look at how the market prices stack up with an alternate game projection model in an effort to see if perhaps there’s some value in the odds. Therefore, let’s use FiveThirtyEight’s ELO model to see how it compares with the odds at DraftKings.
This week, ELO’s calculations suggest the Eagles should be a 5.5-point favorite and have a 68% chance of winning the football game. With the current spread set at 4.5 points, ELO implies there is a single point of spread value with Philadelphia. Meanwhile, a -210 moneyline represents a 67.7% implied win probability, so ELO closely mirrors the market number.
Where Is the Money Going?
Let’s take a quick look at the Eagles-Bengals betting splits.
As of Friday afternoon, the Eagles are receiving 51% of total point spread bets but are getting an overwhelming 91% of the money. On the surface, this would seem to indicate that the big-stakes bettors have jumped all over the Eagles once the spread came down below -6 at most books. Meanwhile, the Bengals are catching 55% of moneyline bets.
As for the total, bettors are hitting the under at a 91% clip, which explains why this total has surged a 1.5 points throughout the week.
How to Watch Eagles vs. Bengals
- Date: Sunday, September 27
- Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
- Location: Lincoln Financial Field
- Network: CBS
- Announcers: Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Adam Archuleta (analyst)
- Radio: 94 WIP (Philadelphia), WCKY ESPN 1530 AM (Cincinnati)
How to Bet on Eagles vs. Bengals
Eagles Bettors in states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois were burned a week ago in what appeared to be a toss up game against Los Angeles and will be looking to get back on track this week.
Ahead of a jam-packed Week 3 NFL regular season slate, the offers remain strong.
DraftKings Sportsbook, which gives new players $1,000 in free bets, is once again running its 100-1 odds offer on any NFL team to win this week, including the Eagles. It doesn’t matter what the point spread or moneyline is, bettors can get even the biggest favorites at 100-1 odds this week. Get these offers by clicking here .
Finally, FOX Bet, which also gives away up to $1,000 in free bets, is giving all players the opportunity to double their money if the Eagles score in all four quarters against the Bengals on Sunday. Get it here in PA and here in NJ.
Eagles vs. Bengals Betting Trends
Note: All trends date back to the start of the 2003 season, unless otherwise indicated. The Eagles are favored by 4.5 points at the time of this post.
Why Backing the Eagles Makes Sense
- Teams that are 0-2 home favorites are 19-13-2 ATS overall.
- Teams that start the season 0-2 are 78-63-4 ATS (however, this applies for both the Bengals and Eagles).
- Teams that are 0-2 ATS and SU are 60-39-1 ATS, while home favorites are 14-6 ATS.
No trends here. After his early fumble last week, Miles Sanders looked the part of a stud feature back. This week he gets a Bengals defense that has allowed 185 yards per game on the ground. The focus will be on Wentz, but Sanders can take over this one.
Why Backing the Bengals Makes Sense
- The Eagles are only 4-9 ATS at home following a loss and 1-5 ATS when favored at home following a loss as a favorite.
- The Eagles are 3-10 ATS in Carson Wentz’s home starts following a loss.
- The Eagles are 3-8 ATS at home when they score 20 points or less in their game previous game. They’re 9-15 ATS overall when this happens.
Don’t Like The Spread
The Eagles are only 2-5 ATS when favored by 4-5 points at home in Carson Wentz starts.
The Bengals are 6-0 against the spread (ATS) in their last six games against the Eagles.
The Eagles are 5-9 ATS in Wentz’s September starts and 2-5 ATS in his home September starts.
Something Has to Give
When two winless teams play each other in Week 3, the favorite is 6-10-1 ATS.
A Note on the Total
The under is 7-4 in Doug Pederson home games with a total set at 46 or higher. It is 15-6 at 45 or higher. It’s 23-10 in all Pederson regular season home games. It’s 14-6 when he coaches at home following an over (the Eagles went over the total last week).
Eagles vs. Bengals Prediction
I love Joe Burrow. I think he’s going to be a stud.
Would I be shocked if he came into Philadelphia this weekend and handed the Eagles another loss? Not really, no. That being said, the Eagles have excelled with their backs up against the wall over the last three seasons. While all of the narrative stuff is nice, the fact remains that the Eagles have more talent than the Bengals, they’re at home, and experience should matter.
At the end of the day, Cincinnati is ranked 26th in total offense and 22nd in total defense. The Bengals are brutal against the run, and if Doug Pederson has any sense in a bear down and grind it out game, his gameplan should center around Miles Sanders. I don’t expect a runaway win for the Eagles, but I do expect Wentz to protect the football and to be more efficient. After a clown show effort from the defense last weekend, I think that unit bounces back and makes the Bengals one dimensional again this week.
Therefore, reluctantly, I’m taking the Eagles to win and cover. I’m thinking something in the neighborhood of 27-17.
Bets We Like
Miles Sanders to score a touchdown -130 at FanDuel Sportsbook (get it here ).
New players at DraftKings Sportsbook: Get the Eagles (or any NFL team) to win in Week 3 at 100-1 odds (get it here ).
Eagles vs. Bengals Pick
With absolutely no conviction, I’m taking the Eagles -4.5. I guess I’ll grab the under 47.5, too.