Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) -7, 43 O/U at Seattle Seahawks (2-5) +7,
43 O/U, Qwest Field, Seattle, Wash., 4:15 PM Eastern, Sunday, FOX
by Badger of Predictem.com
Two teams both looking to build off of solid wins last week meet for an
NFC clash on Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles make the long trip across
the country to take on the down-but-not-out-yet Seattle Seahawks at Qwest
The Eagles are sure glad to have running back Brian Westbrook back. Westbrook had over 200 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in
the Eagles 27-14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. The
Eagles will need to continue to win if they want to keep pace in the
NFC East, as they are currently sitting in last place in the division
despite being above .500.
The Seahawks also won last Sunday, a 34-13 drubbing of the San Francisco 49ers, which quickly became overshadowed when new 49ers head coach Mike Singletary went off on his team in the post-game
press conference. Even though it was only the Seahawks second win of
the season, they still are just two games behind Arizona in the weak
NFC West and could make another big step toward getting back into the
playoff race with a win versus the Eagles.
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Sportsbetting.com opened the game with Philly as strong 7-point favorites on the road at Quest Field, and the spread has only dropped to 6.5-points at a few of the more popular offshore sportsbooks. The opening
total of 44.5 has moved more, dropping down to 43 at most books, with
a few bookies moving it all the way down to 42.5. The
moneyline lists the Eagles at -300 favorites, with the Seahawks as
+250 home underdogs.
As mentioned, the Eagles offense got back on track quickly with the return of Westbrook last week. The running back has missed a few
games with ankle and rib injuries this season, but its no surprise
the Philly offense becomes much more dangerous with him toting the
ball. Quarterback Donovan McNabb has the Eagles passing attack
clicking on all cylinders (260.1 ypg 4th in NFL), but the scoring
average has dropped in recent weeks without Westbrook from the
mid-30s per game to the current level of 27.7 points per game (5th).
Seattles offense on the other hand is a shadow of itself, mainly due
to the loss of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and a majority of the
Seahawks receiving core. Hasselbeck continues to miss time due to a
bulging disc in his back, and the Seahawks offense is struggling
without him (31st in total yards 258.7 ypg; 32nd in passing 146.4
ypg). Both Charlie Frye and Seneca Wallace have taken turns running
the unit, but neither has been effective up until last week when
Wallace was able to lead them past the 49ers and snap their three-
game losing streak.
Defensively this game looks like it could be a mismatch.
Philly enters with one of the leagues best run defenses (9th 89.4
ypg) and an above average pass defense (12th 197.9 ypg) which has
allowed them to become the NFLs 7th-best unit overall.
Seattles defense is near the bottom of the league in every category,
including the 30th-ranked pass defense (245.3 ypg), which does not
line up well with McNabb and Co. coming to town. The Seahawks best
hope is for the famous 12th man of Quest Field to show up big time on
Sunday and play a huge role on defense.
Seattle beat the Eagles last December in a big game in Philly, 28-24,
a game that had playoff ramifications for both teams. The Seahawks
have now won two straight in the series (both covers too), and five
of the last 10 games head-to-head. However, they havent met in
Seattle since 2002, a game the Eagles won 27-20.
Philly continues to be one of the best road teams in the NFL, as they
are not only 8-1 ATS in their last nine games on the road, but they
are also 6-2 ATS in their last eight games versus an NFC opponent.
This should make things extremely interesting, since the Seahawks are
7-2 ATS in their last nine home games at Quest, although they are
just 1-2 ATS this season.
As far as other betting trends to watch, it looks like the over is a huge play in this game. The over is 4-0 in the Eagles last four road
games, and 4-1 in the Eagles last five games on a field turf surface.
Meanwhile, the over is 8-1-1 in Seattles last 10 games overall,
5-1-1 in their last seven games at Quest Field and 4-0-1 on the same
field turf surface.
Badgers Pick: I think the Eagles win this game as they are clearly the better team here, but something in my gut tells me that 7 points
is too much of a spread. Theyre going to the West Coast, in a
hostile environment against a desperate team I dont like it. So if
you must bet, take the solid bet of the over in this game and pray
that the Seattle offense gets back on track after a strong win last
week. Take the over of 43.