By Melvin Maxwell
The Eagles have a plum schedule for their playoff run this season, but they have to get past the 8-2 Seahawks today.
Philly opened as a slight home favorite, but with both teams struggling on defense, bettors may want to look at playing on the total.
Seattle Seahawks vs EAGLES
Today, 1 p.m. ET
TV Coverage: FOX
Opening Odds: Philly -3 | O/U 49 (Line History)
The spread opened with Philadelphia as a slight favorite at home, which is somewhat surprising as Seattle is 5-0 on the road and the Eagles are just 3-2 at home. Both defenses have been subpar this year, so with an explosive Seahawks offense, and an Eagles offense that is struggling but still boasts plenty of playmakers, the total opened at 49 points, the second-highest total of all Week 12 games.
Seattle entered its bye week on a high note, winning a thrilling overtime game in San Francisco to hand the 49ers their first loss of the season.
As seems to be the case with the Seahawks, they will only go as far as MVP candidate Russell Wilson will take them. He leads the NFL with 23 touchdown passes (against just two interceptions) and a 114.9 passer rating, and the Seahawks have scored at least 27 points in eight of their 10 games.
With star receiver Tyler Lockett questionable for Sunday’s game following a leg injury in Week 10, Wilson may need to shoulder the load even more if they want to win this week — and hang in the NFC West divisional race.
Thankfully, Seattle faces an Eagles defense that has been weak defending the pass, and historically the Seahawks have strong offensive showings following a bye: the OVER has hit in 14 of Seattle’s last 19 games after a bye week.
There are five teams in the NFC with at least eight wins, including both of the current wild-card teams. Since the Eagles have only five wins, following their 17-10 loss to New England last week, their chances of catching those clubs are very slim.
The silver lining, however, is that they’re only one game behind Dallas in the race for the NFC East division title and the automatic playoff berth that comes with it.
So Phily is still in the thick of a playoff race, and a win today would set up the Eagles well — they only face one team with a winning record the rest of the season.
In order to pull off this big home win, the Eagles will need Carson Wentz and the dormant passing game to awaken. They’ve topped 227 passing yards just once in their past seven games, but perhaps a matchup against Seattle’s 22nd-ranked defense can get them into gear.
Betting Pick: OVER 49