After opening as 1.5-point home favorites against the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles are now 2.5-point favorites in the NFC Championship Game. That’s according to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The original spread had the 49ers as 1.5-point favorites on a neutral field. Now the line has San Fran as 0.5-point favorites in that hypothetical situation.
Make no mistake, the Niners are a great team. We covered as much in our Divisional Round Roots Guide where we made the case for the Dallas Cowboys coming to Lincoln Financial Field.
The 49ers are better than the Cowboys. Any relevant objective measure would suggest as much. San Fran leads the NFL in scoring margin (+48 over Dallas). They are a number. 1 overall team ranking in Pro Football Focus. They are the top-ranked team in weighted DVOA. Dallas ranks 10th and second in offensive EPA per game and first in defensive EPA per game. Some argue that facing Brock Purdy is preferable to facing Dak Prescott… But in this case, it’s not just about the quarterback. Also, the Eagles came very close to beating the Ducks on Christmas Eve with Gardner Minshew. The thinking here is that the Birds generally match up better against the Cowboys, but the 49ers may have an answer for Philly’s offense.
You can bet the 49ers are going to bring a fight to The Linc. They are a tough, physical team riding a 12-game winning streak. On October 23, the Kansas City Chiefs went undefeated after beating them by 21 points.
That being said, shouldn’t the Eagles get a little more respect? The way they crushed the New York Giants was amazing. The Birds won’t have a significant talent gap working against them against the 49ers like they did against the G-Men. But they will do Have the benefit of a quarterback and powerful in-house people working to support them.
The Eagles’ win over the Giants in Despite their recent win over the Minnesota Vikings in January 2018, the feeling here is that this 49ers matchup with the Atlanta Falcons will closely resemble the Phillies’ divisional round battle. Things were tense in the game with the Eagles needing a goal to finish with a 15 to 10 victory in what could be another low-scoring affair at The Linc.
In the end, I’m not sure Jalen Hurts is one of those who are against it right now. This Eagles team has generally gotten the benefit of the doubt. It won’t be easy… but I think they will cover the distribution.
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