Eagles Still NFC Favorite to Make Super Bowl: But Are They the Best Bet?

Eagles Still NFC Favorite to Make Super Bowl: But Are They the Best Bet?
Image ©Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Ty Bronicel
Author:
Ty Bronicel
Updated: 
November 15th 2022 - 07:08 PM

The Philadelphia Eagles’ first loss of the season sure was ugly.

Miscues, turnovers, and crushing penalties did the Eagles in at home Monday against Washington.

After an 8-0 start, Philly finally fell. But c’mon, nobody expected its first setback to be against the 11-point-underdog Commanders, led by quarterback Taylor Heinecke.

It was a startling defeat and one that bookmakers duly noted with their adjusted Super Bowl odds.

The Eagles remain the favorite (+250) to represent the NFC but three teams are closing the gap fast.

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After the Eagles, the betting choices to reach Super Bowl 57 are the Cowboys and 49ers (both at +400), followed by the surging Vikings (+500). This odds bump comes after Minnesota’s wild overtime win over Buffalo last Sunday, a shootout that’s been the game of the year so far and also a Super Bowl preview.

At the start of Week 1, Sept. 8, 2022, the Eagles were listed at +2200 to win the Super Bowl while the Vikings were +3500.

Remarkable.

Could Philadelphia’s stunning loss actually be a blessing in disguise, now that the pressure to go undefeated has been lifted?

Maybe. Or maybe Washington gave the rest of the league a blueprint on how to beat Philadelphia: Keep Jalen Hurts off the field.

The Commanders ran the ball 49 times Monday night and had a total of 83 plays to the Eagles’ 50. Washington held the ball for 40:24; Philadelphia had it for only 19:36. Washington also converted 12 of 21 third downs.

At 8-1, the Birds are still the No. 1 seed thanks to their tie-breaking early-season victory over the 8-1 Vikings, but are just one game ahead of the New York Giants (7-2) and two up on the Dallas Cowboys (6-3) in the NFC East.

In terms of strength of schedule for the rest of the season, the 49ers have the seventh-easiest slate the rest of the way but they’re only 5-4. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have the sixth-toughest schedule remaining and have a huge game Nov. 20 at Minnesota.

I still think it comes down to the Eagles and the Vikings. In the next three weeks, Minnesota plays three straight home games against tough opponents: Dallas, New England, and the surprising Jets. Then, four of their next five will be against teams with losing records. The only formidable foe is the Giants (on Christmas Eve) and that’s also at home. Merry Christmas, Minnesota. That’s a pretty sweet schedule down the stretch.

Memo to Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: Just keep throwing it up to Justin Jefferson, who is on pace to break Calvin Johnson’s 10-year-old record for most receiving yards in a season (1,964).

As for the Eagles, they’ll be fine after their flat wake-up call flop against the Commanders. Still, Philadelphia’s final eight games look a bit more daunting than some of the other NFC hopefuls. The Eagles host the Titans then play three straight road games (against the Giants, Bears and Cowboys). After that, they host the Saints and the season-finale is at home against the G-Men on Jan. 8.

I’m still sticking with Philadelphia to reach the Super Bowl, as I wrote about here, but there’s a long way to go sports fans. But if you really like the Vikings (+1200 to win the Super Bowl) jump on that ship now before the solid odds sail away for good.

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