Eagles 2008 Gambling Preview July 24th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Futures Feature – 2008 Philadelphia Eagles Wagering Preview
While the Philadelphia Eagles, (8-8 SU, 8-8 ATS, 7-9 O/U) took a step backwards in 2007 under longtime head coach Andy Reid, going a mediocre 8-8 last season, finishing last in the NFC East following a 10-6 effort in 2006 and dismal 6-10 mark in 2005, the Eagles have big plans on bouncing back into the elite status normally reserved for the league’s best teams.
With no clear-cut NFL wagering favorite in the NFC heading into the 2008 regular season opener, Philadelphia’s chances of improving are very good, though several NFC teams are in the very same boat, including their NFC East division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, as well as the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
The bottom line for Philadelphia in 2008 will be the health of starting quarterback Donovan McNabb and improving a pass defense that ranked just 17th in the league last season.
Now 31-years-old, McNabb is undoubtedly one of the game’s best quarterbacks when healthy. The problem for Philadelphia is that McNabb has missed 15 of the Eagles’ last 39 regular-season games with injuries, including a torn ACL he suffered in 2006.
Still, the Eagles ranked 10th in passing last season and have pro football’s best all-around running back in the explosive Brian Westbrook, whose 1,333 yards with an impressive 4.8 yards per carry average helped the team rank eighth in overall rushing.
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Once again however, the Eagles are depending on a bunch of mediocre backups to spell Westbrook, in players like veteran Correll Buckhalter and other young rushers like Lorenzo Booker, Tony Hunt, Jason Davis, Jed Collins and Luke Lawton.
While the Eagles will also have a healthy tight end this season in L.J. Smith who was injured nearly all season last year, the Eagles and Reid continue to believe they can reach the pinnacle of NFL football by depending on a bunch of wide receivers that are mediocre at best once the team gets past starters Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think Jason Avant, Greg Lewis, DeSean Jackson and Hank Baskett and Bam Childress are going to get the job done over the long haul.
The Eagles have solid veterans at both tackle positions on the offensive line, but are mediocre at center and guard, despite the fact that right guard Shawn Andrews made the Pro-Bowl last season.
Defensively, the Eagles were not the same dominant until they’ve perennially been under ingenious defensive coordinator Jimmie Johnson. The defensive line has one Pro Bowler in Trent Cole and not much else at all while starting linebackers Chris Gocong, Stewart Bradley and Omar Gaither also leave a lot to be desired.
The strength of Philadelphia’s defense will clearly be their secondary after acquiring All-Pro cornerback Asante Samuel to play across from Sheldon Brown, leaving former starter Lito Sheppard with hurt feelings as the odd starter out.
Kicker David Akers is still one of the best in the business but missed 2 of 10 field goals from beyond 39 yards.
Philadelphia went a respectable 8-8 for the Top Sportsbooks NFL online betting community, but were an inconsistent team in Over/Under wagers, going 7-9 in all O/U bets last season.
The Eagles went a pitiful 2-6 against the spread, (ATS) at home, but a surprising 6-2 ATS on the road. Philadelphia went 3-5 in their O/U home wagers and 4-4 in O/U bets on the road.
Here is a look at the Eagles’ 2008 Draft Picks, followed by their 2007 team statistics and 2008 NFL Odds in the Our best Sportsbooks.
Round 2 (47): Trevor Laws DT, Notre Dame
Round 2 (49): DeSean Jackson WR, California
Round 3 (80): Bryan Smith OLB, McNeese State
Round 4 (109): Mike McGlynn G, Pittsburgh
Round 4 (117): Quintin Demps S, UTEP
Round 4 (131): Jack Ikegwuono CB, Wisconsin
Round 6 (184): Mike Gibson G, California
Round 6 (200):Joe Mays, OLB North Dakota State
Round 6 (203): Andy Studebaker OLB, Wheaton
Round 7 (230): King Dunlap T, Auburn
358.1 total yards per game: Rank 6
234.7 passing yards per game: Rank 10
123.4 rushing yards per game: Rank 8
21.0 points scored per game: Rank 17
311.4 total yards per game: Rank 10
215.9 passing yards per game: Rank 18
95.5 rushing yards per game: Rank 7
18.8 points allowed per game: Rank 9
2008 NFL Odds in Our best Sportsbooks
+300 to win NFC East
+800 to win NFC Championship
+2000 to win Super Bowl XLIII
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