Alive and kicking, the Eagles (7-7) return home to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday with a small but legitimate opportunity to get into the postseason. They need to win and need help.
After upsetting the Rams, Nick Foles will start for the second straight game as Carson Wentz remains sidelined with a back injury. There’s no timetable for Wentz’s return, which puts the team’s playoff fate in the hands of Foles, the reigning Super Bowl MVP who took over for Wentz around the same time last year.
The Texans (10-4) are looking to wrap up the AFC South title, which they can do with a victory. They’ve won all 10 of their games in their last 11 after starting off 0-3. Here’s how NFL betting fans should approach the game:
The Texans are 4-1 on the road this year against non-AFC South teams but strength of schedule tells a different story. Three of those wins came against Washington (with Colt McCoy starting), and four-win teams Jacksonville and the Jets. The other came against the Broncos, who were in the midst of losing six of seven games.
The wins against the Jags, Skins and Broncos were all one-possession games.
The Eagles are 2-2 at home against non-division teams, including an impressive 20-16 win over the Colts in Week 2. They’re also healthier than they’ve been in recent weeks, even with Wentz sidelined. Pleasant surprise rookie corner Avonte Maddox gave up just one reception and picked off a pass against the Rams after being out three weeks.
Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan and linebacker Jordan Hicks are inching closer to returning. After a midyear slump, the Eagles have won three of their last four and their last two at home.
Defensively, the Texans have feasted off some bad offensive teams, including Jacksonville (30th-ranked scoring offense), Buffalo (31st), Tennessee (27th) and Dallas (26th). They’re not especially stout on third down (20) and stink in the red zone (30th). They’re banged up at corner, which opens the door for another Alshon Jeffery eruption. He had 160 yards against the Rams.
The Eagles and Texans are somewhat similar. Neither team is known for lighting up the scoreboard. The Texans have the NFL’s 11th-ranked scoring offense but 14 of their 32 touchdowns came in three games, including six at home against Miami. In their other 11, the Texans averaged just 1.27 touchdowns.
Houston averages 22 points in road games against non-division teams, about three points off their season average.
The Eagles have underperformed offensively for most of the season. Even in scoring 30 against the Rams, just the second time this season they’ve hit or exceeded 30, Doug Pederson’s offense converted just four third downs and was helped out by a turnover inside the Los Angeles red zone.
The problem Houston faces is slowing down the Eagles’ pass rush. The Texans have struggled to protect Deshaun Watson, who also doesn’t get the ball out very quickly. Watson is the league’s most-sacked and most-pressured quarterback, which doesn’t bode well for them against an Eagles defensive line that overwhelmed the Rams up front.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (7.5 sacks) will be a headache for the Texans interior line. Defensive end Michael Bennett (8 sacks), who lines up inside and outside, has caused major disruption up front all year.
He’ll give fits to Texans right tackle Kendall Lamm, who has struggled all season. Cox and Bennett ranked second and third, respectively, among NFL defensive players in quarterback hits. Expect a low scoring contest, and bet the under with Karamba.
The Texans haven’t scored more than two touchdowns on the road against a non-division opponent this year. In general, they’ve done it just once – a four-TD road game against the Colts earlier this Week 4. They’ve since scored just two in every road game.
The Eagles have scored more than three touchdowns just once this year, on the road. At home, they’ve scored more than two touchdowns just once. So, don’t expect an explosion from either offense.
The Eagles have allowed just six passing touchdowns in seven home games, a major threat to the Texans, who live by the air. Houston has 24 passing TDs this year compared to just eight rushing.
Up to €50 Wager Free Bonus
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+ T&C's Apply. New customers only. Begambleaware.org|
50% First Deposit Bonus up to €100 Promo Code: SNW100
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+. T&C Apply|
Bet €10, Get €30 in Free Bets Promo Code: 30fb
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+. T&C Apply|
Be the first to receive the latest welcome offers, free bets, tips and strategy