Graphic via lineups.com
The Eagles suffered a bitter defeat in Week 2, mounting a second half comeback only to see Julio Jones race to the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown as the Birds' final drive came up just short.
Surprise injuries to DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, and Dallas Goedert put the Eagles offense in a tough spot, and despite a valiant effort proved too much to overcome. Likewise, those injuries put a damper on our picks for the week, as the Eagles were unable to cover the two-point spread. The good news is we improved upon our Week 1 performance, as we hit on our bet of under 52.5.
With that, we move on to a dicey Week 3 matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Lions at Eagles (-5.5), Over/Under 45.5
The line opened at Eagles -7, so we can assume there's more money coming in on the Lions. And it's easy to understand why, considering the injury situation the Eagles are dealing with.
The Lions come in with a record of 1-0-1, playing to a disappointing tie against the Cardinals to open the season before earning a hard-fought victory over the Chargers last week.
Dealing with the spread is difficult in this matchup. The injuries are a serious concern, and we have yet to see the Eagles put together a complete, 60-minute performance. Doug Pederson is 0-1 against the Lions, losing a frustrating matchup during his first season as Eagles head coach.
We had some strong trends to guide us in Week's one and two, but that's not the case this week as the team's don't have a whole lot of recent history. However, the Eagles are 5-2 against the spread at home all-time against Detroit. I think the Eagles will win the game, but 5.5 points is a tough lay with all the uncertainty right now. I'd be much more comfortable betting on the Eagles straight-up to win, but the money line is -252, so there's not a whole lot of value there.
As far as the over/under, I feel much more comfortable. Despite the injuries, the Eagles offense warmed in the second half in Atlanta, and with a full week to practice together with the available players and to game plan for the available weapons, the Eagles should be able to move the ball.
Meanwhile, the Lions favor an offensive battle as well. They currently rank sixth in the league in passing yards per game. Matthew Stafford is a veteran who is comfortable tossing the ball around and has weapons around him like Kenny Golladay. However, they are ranked towards the bottom of the league defensively.
The Eagles have had problems of their own defensively. The defensive line has struggled to create pressure while the secondary has been exposed in each of the first two games. If that continues, Detroit has the tools to exploit it.
45.5 is a manageable number, and if the Eagles receiving corps can step up even a little bit, I think we hit this number comfortably. I see something like a 28-23 Eagles victory. I think the Eagles win, but I think Detroit keeps it close and expect both offenses to put up some points.
The pick: Detroit +5.5 and Over 45.5
Season record: 1-3