Co-host of THE HERD and FOX Sports Betting Analyst
The Philadelphia Eagles are returning to the Super Bowl, making their second trip in the last six seasons. But they have a tough task ahead of them if they plan to get past the Chiefs in the Big Game.
We’ve heard all the talk about the easy road the Eagles have had to the Super Bowl. Yes, they played a young Giants team and then a 49ers team that was their fourth quarterback. But here they are, one of the last two teams standing. Regardless of how we got to this point, there are 30 other teams that wish they were in this position.
Forget all that, though. Let’s get to the point at hand: How should you bet on this powerful matchup?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are three reasons why you should bet on the Eagles to “Fly, Eagle Fly” on Sunday night (with odds via FOX Bet).
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts’ best moments from Super Bowl opening night
Check out Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts’ best moments from Super Bowl opening night in Phoenix, Arizona.
The battle of the trenches
If you’ve been reading this space for the past four years, you know I love to bet in the trenches. The last time the Chiefs were in the Super Bowl, they got pushed and the Buccaneers rolled.
In this matchup, the Eagles are better on the offensive and defensive lines. They have arguably the best offensive line in the NFL, and the defense ranked second in pressure rate and first in sacks. Keep in mind that this is while shooting at a league average pace.
You can argue all you want about the team’s schedule, the soft NFC and the inferior QBs the Eagles have faced. But always bet in the trenches, and if the Eagles control the line of scrimmage, they’ll win this game.
Special teams of bosses in difficulties
Special teams have been a nightmare for the Chiefs at times this season, despite being ranked fourth according to Football Outsiders.
Kicker Harrison Butker is struggling, missing a career-high six field goals at a career-low percentage (75%). If that wasn’t bad enough, Butker also missed three extra points. And he missed kicks at key times: in regular-season losses to Buffalo and Cincinnati.
Also, special teams cost the Chiefs the game against the Colts, but they bounced back nicely in the conference championship with a big fourth quarter return by rookie Skyy Moore that helped set up Butker’s game-winning kick.
Fortunately, Butker has improved in the postseason, still not missing any. And while he had a blocked kick in Week 17, he hasn’t missed since Week 15. But can he keep it up under the bright lights? It’s a question worth asking.
Boss defense is unreliable
I still don’t trust the bosses defense. Yes, their game plan was great against the Bengals, who went down three offensive linemen, but Cincinnati still had two chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter. And that was no accident. The Jaguars got off to a horrible start in the divisional round and still came back in the fourth quarter to make it interesting.
Those games were at home, but this one is in Arizona and the Chiefs are facing a diverse offense that looks fully healthy. KC has had trouble stopping No. 1 receivers (ranked 31st in the NFL) and AJ Brown should be in line for a monster game (also a fun MVP splash) as the Chiefs have to ‘go heavier to try to stop the race. Give me the Eagles to cover!
PICK: Eagles (-1.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 1.5 points
Jason McIntyre is a betting analyst for FOX Sports and also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on all of the network’s shows. In 2017, McIntyre began producing NFL, college football and NBA betting content for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, “Coming Up Winners,” in 2018 and 2019. Before coming to FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.
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