The NFL regular season kicks-off in two days (two!!) and the Eagles will open their season Sunday afternoon in Atlanta against the re-tooling Falcons. While they enter this season without real expectations for the first time since winning the Super Bowl, there are a number of players/storylines to look forward to seeing develop this upcoming year.
With a new quarterback in Jalen Hurts, and a rookie talent like DeVonta Smith in the fold, it’s not hard to figure out where fans will focus their attention on game days this season. Here’s four futures predictions involving the Eagles and each of these players for the 2021 season.
OVER 6.5 wins (-150)
If you’re feeling good, spring for the plus value of the OVER 7.5 (+120), but the 6.5 mark feels very achievable for a team with a could-be top 10 defense, strong offensive line, and relatively easy schedule. I’ve consistently predicted the Eagles finish the season at 7-10 or 8-9, with 10-7 feeling more likely than the 6-11 scenario given the weakness of the NFC East. I’m backing this OVER with confidence.
DeVonta Smith OVER 825.5 receiving yards (-112)
This number could very well be the lowest preseason O/U total of Smith’s career. All indications out of camp suggests that the Heisman Trophy winner is poised for an immediate impact season, and without a premier mouth to feed in this offense he could step into a 1A role for Sirianni from the jump. The only thing that will prevent this total from sailing over is a few missed games to injury and terrible quarterback play—both real possibilities—but otherwise, I love this bet.
Jalen Hurts UNDER 3700.5 passing yards (-112)
If Hurts plays in all 17 games then he’ll go over this number pretty confidently. However, the possibility of either an injury or poor play forcing him to the bench is too much of a likelihood to back the Over here. Even if Hurts were to play in 14 games (missing only 3) that would require him to average 265 yards per game to hit this total—a number only reached by nine QBs last season. Suffice to say, I’m backing this UNDER with as much confidence as any pick listed.
Jalen Hurts OVER 20.5 passing TDs (-112)
Of the four picks, this is the one I have the least confidence in, and it may sound counter-intuitive to suggest after previously backing the under on yardage, but here I am. Opposing defenses will stack the goal line against Hurts more so than other quarterbacks, effectively daring him to make 1-on-1 throws in the short field. I’m banking on him connecting on more than a few with either Goedert, Ertz, or Smith (all vaunted red zone targets). On top of that, given the explosiveness of Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, and the aforementioned Smith, I do anticipate a few more chunk TD throws than we have seen from the Eagles in recent seasons.
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