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Eagles 2018 win total: 10.5 (-110 over, -110 under)
Eagles 2017 record: 13-3
Key offseason acquisitions: DE Michael Bennett, CB Daryl Worley, DT Haloti Ngata, WR Mike Wallace
Key offseason losses: TE Trey Burton, CB Patrick Robinson, DE Vinny Curry, P Donnie Jones, RB LeGarrette Blount, DT Beau Allen, QB coach John DeFilippo
Five things to keep in mind before betting the Eagles’ win total
1. Carson Wentz is coming off a torn ACL… that he suffered in the middle of December. Oh, he tore the LCL in his left knee, too. That means that when the Eagles take the field in the season opener against the Falcons on September 6, Wentz will be less than nine months removed from tearing two ligaments in his knee. His Week 1 status is already in doubt. Plan on the Eagles’ franchise quarterback missing some time.
2. Before becoming a Philadelphia legend in last season’s playoffs, Nick Foles was, you know, Nick Foles. He started one game with the Chiefs in 2016 and 11 with the Rams the year before that, with his teams going 5-7 in those 12 games. He lit up the Vikings and Patriots in last year’s playoffs, but struggled mightily in a regular season start against the Raiders, and led the Eagles to just 15 points in their divisional round win over the Falcons. Foles deserves some benefit of the doubt after what he did in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl, but no one should be surprised if he reverts to his pre-2017 form should he have to start in place of Wentz.
3. Wentz isn’t the only big-name player on the offense facing serious injury questions. Alshon Jeffery played through a torn rotator cuff during the Eagles’ Super Bowl run, which delayed the necessary surgery until February. He has yet to get back on the field, and there are rumblings he could start the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list. It would be a whole lot easier to make up for his absence than Wentz’s, but it would still take some serious bite out of Philadelphia’s offense. A Wentz-Jay Ajayi-Corey Clement-Jeffery-Nelson Agholor-Zach Ertz skill-player core looks much better than a Foles-Ajayi-Clement-Agholor-Mike Wallace-Ertz one.
4. The NFC East may not prove to be a significant challenge, but the rest of Philadelphia’s schedule could be a nightmare. The East matches up with the NFC South, which means games with the Falcons, Panthers and Saints, the last of which is on the road. A first-place schedule nets the Eagles a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Rams, and a home date with the Vikings. They’ll cross over to play the AFC South, including games at Jacksonville and Tennessee, and home dates with the Texans and Colts. They’ve got seven games against 2017 playoff teams, plus matchups with Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck.
5. As much as points two through four matter, this all comes down to Wentz. If you bet the Eagles, no matter if you go over or under, you’re likely going to have to do so with incomplete information related to the health of the quarterback. That would typically make this a stay-away for me, but that’s not a fun way to end the column. If Wentz were guaranteed to start Week 1, this would have the feel of an over. Unless the Eagles provide a rock-solid, positive timetable for his return before the season, though, I just don’t see how you can trust them to win 11 games.
PICK: UNDER 10.5 Wins