NFL Preseason Odds – New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles

Written by:
Phil Simon
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Apparently Bill Belichick wants to get a better look at top draft pick Mac Jones in a game-setting before making a decision on who starts the regular season at quarterback. It was assumed Cam Newton had the job and Belichick said that at the start of training camp. Now the job is up for grabs and both players will get another looksie on Thursday when the New England Patriots visit the Philadelphia Eagles for a Week 2 preseason contest. Just a few years ago the clubs where battling in the Super Bowl, now they are hoping to win enough games to make the playoffs.

New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
Date and Time: Thursday, August 19, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Opening NFL Odds: New England -1.5, O/U 37
Patriots at Eagles TV Coverage: NFL Network

Odds Analysis

Belichick never was motivated by the outcome of preseason games; partly because for so long he had Tom Brady and a reliable roster. And he didn’t want to muck things up. That strategy worked with the Pats having the most dominant run in NFL history. That changed when Brady left and the race to find a dependable starting quarterback is more important than who takes the backup job. Both Newton and Jones are expected to see reps after both played in last week’s 22-13 cover win over Washington. The Pats opened as a road favorite of 1.5 points with the number wagered down to -1. Philly closed as a 1-point favorite last week losing outright to Pittsburgh 24-16. The total spiked a point after hitting the board at 37.

New England Patriots

The Pats have a solid roster at most positions with one exception being quarterback. While Belichick said the job is open to competition in reality it’s Newton’s to lose. Always the motivator the coach is playing with his QBs in order to get the best out of them. I do expect to see more of and from Newton this week. He played two series against Washington last week connecting on 4 of 7 pass attempts for 49 yards. The second drive culminated in a field goal ending Cam’s night.

Jones got the most work since he’s the one who needs it the most. The rookie had a strong game, but not spectacular. He finished 13 of 19 for 87 yards. His longest completion was only 13 yards, though. And that’s one thing the Pats would like to improve. They had one of the worst passing games in the NFL last season and they totaled just 150 yards through the air against the team formerly known as the Redskins. Newton is now a few years removed from the injuries that ended his run in Carolina. And Jones dropped bombs all over the field while at Alabama. Of course he also had playmakers up and down the roster.

I would like to see the Pats open things up on offense to see what they have at QB and receiver. And it also gives the rebuilt offensive line a chance to show they can hold up in the passing game. The talent is there, if they can execute points will be scored.

Philadelphia Eagles

Trading Carson Wentz paved the way for Jalen Hurts to be the Eagles starter. While the plan remains in place, new coach Nick Sirianni hasn’t said so publicly. Hurts may be the starter but he has to show more than he did last season after taking over. His numbers were decent despite not having the best support. Hurts started the final four games with two 300-yard passing outings and two with fewer than 200 yards. He totaled 1,061 yards with six TDs and four picks while completing only 52 percent of his passes.

The team brought in veteran Joe Flacco to be a mentor, but things could change quickly. And after last week Flacco might be getting more interest. Flacco was 10 of 17 for 178 yards with a touchdown pass. The Eagles struggled on offense last year because they didn’t have enough play making receivers and the line was in shambles. The plan is to get Hurts more reps with the starting unit and see how he performs while the team is basically healthy at all positions.

One thing we found out in last week’s 24-16 loss to Pittsburgh is that the Eagles need better depth players. When players at the bottom of the depth chart took over in the second half the Eagles were outscored 17-0 and outmatched.

Bet Patriots at Eagles at BookMaker.eu

The stakes aren’t as high as they were a few years ago when these teams met in the Super Bowl, but this a huge game for the Eagles to show their fans things aren’t as bad as last season. However, their lack of depth will again be an issue and I like the Pats to show some offensive ingenuity in getting a victory.

NFL Score Prediction: Patriots 26, Eagles 16

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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