- The injury-riddled Eagles have stumbled to a 2-3 start
- The Eagles are the team most likely to benefit in the underachieving NFC East
- A challenging second-half schedule is likely to determine the Bears’ playoff fate
The Philadelphia Eagles have encountered a rocky road in their bid to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Hobbled by injuries and disappointing performances on the road, their odds to make the playoffs now sit at -110 at Bovada. That’s considerably worse than the Chicago Bears (-140) and the Carolina Panthers (-180).
Odds to Make the NFL Playoffs in the NFC
|Team||Odds to Make the Playoffs at Bovada||Odds to Miss the Playoffs|
|Green Bay Packers||+130||-170|
|Los Angeles Rams||-10000||+1400|
|New Orleans Saints||-400||+250|
|New York Giants||+700||-1600|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1000||-5000|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+215||-330|
The absence of quarterback Carson Wentz was evident during the Eagles’ first two outings of the season. The team eked out an 18-12 win over Atlanta with Super Bowl hero Nick Foles at the helm in Week 1 despite generating just 232 total yards. They were outclassed in a 27-21 loss to Tampa Bay a week later in a matchup that was not as close as the score indicated.
Wentz produced mixed results in his first game back, tossing for 255 yards and one touchdown, but also threw one interception and fumbled once in a 20-16 win over the hapless Indianapolis Colts. He showed improvement in losses to Tennessee and Minnesota. Compounding matters is the news this this week that rusher Jay Ajayi will be sidelined for the rest of the season due to a knee injury that will require surgery.
— NFL (@NFL) October 8, 2018
While the Eagles’ troubles have dumped their Super Bowl odds to +2000, and left the squad as a -130 bet to miss the playoff after being pegged at -135 just a week ago , all is not lost in the City of Brotherly Love.
NFC East Emerges as NFL’s Weakest Division
The NFC East has quickly emerged as this season’s weakest division. Both the Giants and Dallas Cowboys are off to shaky starts and enter Week 6 with losing records. The Washington Redskins hold a tenuous lead atop the division standings following a solid 2-1 start, but were exposed as pretenders in a lopsided 43-19 loss in New Orleans on Monday night.
However, the Eagles must contend with a challenging schedule the rest of the way. With just two wins in their past five regular-season outings away from Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles must find ways to win on the road. That will prove to be a tough task with a schedule that includes road dates with Jacksonville, New Orleans, and the Los Angeles Rams.
Running the table against divisional rivals may prove to be enough for the Eagles to reclaim the top spot in the NFC East.
But with six contests remaining against underachieving NFC East opponents, running the table against divisional rivals may prove to be enough to reclaim the top spot in the division and a return trip to the postseason.
Bears Build Early Success on Ferocious Defence
While the Eagles have struggled, the Chicago Bears have emerged as the surprise story of the season, while marching to the top of the NFC North with a 3-1 record. The Bears have built their fast start on a ferocious defence, which currently ranks second in total yards and points per game surrendered.
The team also flashed some impressive offence in a crushing 48-10 win over the Buccaneers in Week 4. But unlike the Eagles, the Bears are unlikely to benefit long from the underachieving performances of divisional rivals.
Slow Start Positions Vikings as Attractive Bet to Make Playoffs
The Vikings showed signs of rebounding from their early-season slumber with last week’s win in Philadelphia, and remain a solid +165 favorite to repeat as NFC North champions, but have also emerged as an intriguing -105 longshot to make the playoffs. In addition, the Green Bay Packers have struggled to find consistency early on, but remain undefeated on home turf, and provide significant value as a +130 wager to return to playoff action.
The Vikings showed signs of rebounding from their early-season slumber with last week’s win in Philadelphia, and remain a solid +165 favorite to repeat as NFC North champions.
The Bears have built their early record with wins against three non-playoff teams. Chicago will likely show their true colors in their Week 7 visit to New England, followed by a challenging second half that features two dates with the Vikings and a Week 14 visit from the undefeated Rams, which will likely determine their value as a +100 bet to miss the postseason.