This week's Thursday Night Football game is an NFC East matchup between two teams with their backs against the wall early in the season, including the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (2-3). The New York Giants (1-4) host the Eagles, who are listed as three-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
But Philadelphia just lost starting running back Jay Ajayi for the year with a torn ACL in a 23-21 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Eagles have dropped two straight games and three of their last four, and they did not suffer consecutive defeats all of last season en route to winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The bigger concern right now is finding a replacement for Ajayi that can carry a solid load and help balance the offense to support quarterback Carson Wentz, who is also coming off an ACL injury.
Two running backs on the Philadelphia roster that might be able to do the job are Wendell Smallwood (25 carries for 150 yards) and Corey Clement (27 for 112), as they have combined to score as many touchdowns (three) as Ajayi had as the team leader. Veteran Darren Sproles may also be an option, although he is still dealing with a nagging hamstring injury that has limited him to playing only one game this year.
Smallwood looks to be the best bet to do the job, and he is also the best bet to score a touchdown anytime for the Eagles at odds of +237 (bet $100 to win $237). His ability to make plays in the passing game is invaluable to Wentz and the offense as well, as he had three catches for 44 yards and scored a receiving touchdown last week.
The top two players on the betting board to score a touchdown anytime are actually Giants, rookie running back Saquon Barkley (+183) and wide receiver Odell Beckham (+210). They are followed by Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz (+225) and Smallwood on those NFL betting lines.
Ertz has scored just one touchdown this season as has Beckham. Barkley has hit paydirt five times (three rushing and two receiving), making him another good wager.