The Eagles travel to Las Vegas beset with questions about whether this season should be considered a lost cause already and the front office should be thinking about trading whatever valuable assets are on the roster, or if the year can be salvaged and the franchise should focus on actually making the NFL playoffs.
The Raiders game should give the 2-4 Birds an answer. Most Pennsylvania sportsbooks have the Raiders as 3-point favorites, including BetMGM and DraftKings.
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With a win and a good performance by QB Jalen Hurts, the Birds can think about making this season try to count with a wild card run (there’s probably no catching the 5-1 Cowboys in the NFC East). But with a loss and a mediocre performance by Hurts, they’re on the cusp of thinking ahead to 2022 and beyond given the boatload of draft picks they have in the next draft.
The NFL trading deadline is Nov. 2 and there are still marketable veterans on Philadelphia's roster, especially on defense, who can be traded to load up for the future.
The Eagles players can figure out all of this, too, so it’ll be interesting to see if they respond with a big effort in a must-win game in Week 7.
The 4-2 Raiders have their own issues. Well, one. Jon Gruden. They put aside the Gruden mess, resulting from the head coach’s ugly emails and his subsequent resignation, to win 34-24 at Denver last week. Under any circumstances, that would be impressive. But given the trauma of the preparation week, it qualified as a near miracle.
The Raiders have been surprisingly strong this season, tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for the lead in the competitive AFC West.
Both 3-3 Against the Spread
For gambling in Pennsylvania, both teams are 3-3 against the spread. Philadelphia needed a quirky backdoor cover to make winners of their backers in a 28-22 loss to Tampa Bay last Thursday. The Eagles (6.5-point underdogs) converted a two-point conversion on their third TD.
This week, the Birds are 3-point underdogs to the Raiders. The Over-Under is 49 or 49.5. There hasn’t been much line movement on the spread or the over-under. The early betting favors the Raiders against the spread by about 2-to-1 and the moneyline wagering is fairly even, 53%-47% tilting toward Las Vegas. The over-under is 60-40 for the over.
Eagles fans travel well, especially to desirable away games, so there will be a Philly contingent making noise at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas.
Who Will Win?
Prediction: This one might have more to do with head coaches than players. The Raiders’ Rich Bisaccia, in his first game ever as head coach, showed he can lead a team under trying conditions. Eagles rookie head coach Nick Sirianni, in his seventh game, hasn’t shown he has a direction for his offense. Raiders 24, Eagles 20. Las Vegas wins and covers.