Green Bay Packers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (0-0 SU,
0-0 ATS), NFL Week 1, 4:15 p.m. EST, Sunday, September 12, 2010,
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa., TV: FOX
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: GB -2.5/Philly +2.5
When the Philadelphia Eagles host the Green Bay Packers Sunday in
their National Football League season opener at Lincoln Financial
Field there will be a lot of common themes between the two teams.
It was just a few years ago the Packers were forced to make a
decision on their future at quarterback, dropping everyones favorite
son Brett Favre in favor of the younger Aaron Rodgers. At the time it
caused a lot of turmoil and a media firestorm, but now just two years
later Rodgers and the Packers have grown into one of the best teams
in the NFC and one of the few teams on the short list as Super Bowl
The Eagles were forced to address their situation at quarterback this
past offseason, and just like the Packers they chose a young, strong-
armed slinger in Kevin Kolb to replace the player who was the face of
their franchise for over a decade, Donavan McNabb. The biggest
difference is that the Eagles actually traded McNabb to their NFC
East rival Redskins, instead of watching him retire then un-retire in
order to get some revenge on the old squad.
So on Sunday well get our first taste of the new-look Eagles when
they try to be rude hosts (rude, in Philly? No way.) to the Packers,
who will be looking to take their first step toward what many experts
are calling for a strong season in the tiny town of Green Bay.
Most of the offshore sportsbooks on the Internet currently have the
Packers listed as 2.5-point favorites on the road at the Linc, but
there are a few that have moved the point spread down up the hook to
minus 3-points. 5Dimes.com is one of a small few that still list the
number at 2-points, so you could give or get up to a full point if
Offensively we know what well get from the Packers in this game, we
just arent exactly sure how the Eagles will do under their new
Rodgers likes to spread the ball around to get all of the receivers
involved, but hell also check out of running plays if he sees a
mismatch on one of his wideouts Donald Driver or Greg Jennings. The
Packers also do a great job of moving tight end Jermichael Finley
around in various formations to get him matched up against a
linebacker or smaller corner.
The one facet of offense that has been weak all preseason and is a
bit of concern coming into the opener is the running game, but Ryan
Grant usually gets better later in the game when the Packers are
pounding it and milking the clock.
The Eagles offense with Kolb is a work in progress, since the
preseason didnt really give us any great insight. Philly also sent
longtime running back Brian Westbrook packing in the offseason, so
the job is LeSean McCoys now as the Eagles go with youth in the
The only question is will Andy Reid give McCoy enough carries to get
the running game going, something that caused the Philly offense to
sputter at times last season. If he doesnt run it enough the Eagles
might now get the defense to honor it in order to get DeSean Jackson
deep over the top.
On defense the Packers seem to have the edge on paper. The unit was
one of the leagues best during most of last year, but they wore down
by the playoffs and were taken advantage of in the passing game the
final few weeks of the season. Corner Tremon Williams will be in the
crosshairs this season as he starts in place of the injured Al
Harris. With Charles Woodson on the other side, Williams can
certainly expect to be the focus of Reids offensive game plan this
Phillys defense also wore down towards the end of last season, a
season that was hot and cold week-to-week. The Eagles still have some
talent at linebacker (Stewart Bradley, Omar Gaither and Ernie Sims)
and a playmaker in Asante Samuel on the corner, but in order to
contain the Packers potent passing game the rest of the Eagles young
secondary will have to play big roles.
As far as betting trends go its no secret the Packers have had their
issues playing in Philly (remember 4th-and-26?), as Green Bay is a
lousy 1-4 ATS in their last five visits to the City of Brotherly Love
and just 2-7 ATS against the Eagles in their last nine meetings. The
home team is also a perfect 4-0 ATS in the last four head-to-head.
The under is a strong play when they meet in Philly, as it has cashed
in four of the last five. The under is also 6-1 in the last seven
overall head-to-head, as well as historically strong in both teams
week one openers (under is 4-1 in Eagles last five openers; 5-1 in
Green Bays last six openers).
Badgers Pick to Cover the Sperad: The Packers will be good this year, but start out the season 0-1 as the Eagles will win a tight one straight up.