Despite dealing with major injuries to key players, the Eagles and Steelers are big betting favorites going into their respective games.
The Philadelphia Eagles (12-2) and Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) are listed as big favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for their Christmas games to close out Week 16 of the NFL season.
But the health of the Eagles and Steelers is definitely a concern for both after each lost their best player over the previous two weeks of action.
Pittsburgh saw Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown go down with a torn calf muscle in a 27-24 home loss to the New England Patriots last week, hurting the team’s chances to earn the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage through the AFC Championship Game. Still, the Steelers have the same record as the Patriots and are expected to have Brown back for the playoffs.
Pittsburgh visits the Houston Texans (4-10) as 9.5-point road favorites on Christmas Day and must rebound to stay on track for a first-round bye.
The Steelers are 3-1 straight up and against the spread in the past four meetings with the Texans, who are riding a four-game losing streak overall. Down to third-string quarterback T.J. Yates, Houston was routed 45-7 by the Jacksonville Jaguars last week as 10.5-point road underdogs. Jacksonville is chasing Pittsburgh for the No. 2 seed.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia has moved on after quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL in a 43-35 road win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14, replacing him with Nick Foles. The Eagles edged the New York Giants 34-29 last week to retain the top seed in the NFC.
However, they did not cover the spread as 7.5-point road favorites and host the Oakland Raiders (6-8) next as 9-point home chalk on Monday Night Football.
The Raiders have lost two in a row with little chance of making the postseason as they ride out a disappointing campaign. Oakland was supposed to challenge for the AFC West title with a healthy Derek Carr, but the team has struggled mightily on defense.
That said, the Raiders have covered four of the past five meetings with Philadelphia, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, although the Eagles have gone an impressive 4-1 straight up and against the spread in their last five prime-time appearances.