The season opener between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions on Sunday features two long-shot teams who are popular with bettors to win Super Bowl LVII.
The Lions, coming off a 3-13-1 season, were a trendy Super Bowl pick, thanks, in part, to appearing on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
After trading for receiver A.J. Brown, bettors backed the Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII after Philadelphia was 9-8 during the 2021 regular season
Here’s everything you need from a betting perspective on the Eagles-Lions game, from the point spread, moneyline, total over/under and expert pick (odds via FOX Bet):
Why Dan Campbell’s Lions are a sleeper team this season | THE HERD
Episode 1 of HBO’s Hard Knocks premiered this week, featuring the Detroit Lions and highlighted Dan Campbell and Jamal Williams’ emotional leadership qualities. The Lions are coming off a hopeful season despite finishing 3-13-1, with many close games, but will they be more successful down the wire? Colin Cowherd predicts how the Lions will finish, including why it is time to not sleep on them.
RELATED: NFL Week 1 lines, odds
Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
Point spread: Eagles -4 (Eagles favored to win by more than 4 points, otherwise Lions cover)
Moneyline: Eagles -200 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $15 total); Lions +165 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $26.50 total)
Total scoring over/under: 48.5 points scored by both teams combined
The Eagles are 9-2 in their past 11 season openers.
Philadelphia was 9-8 against the spread (ATS) last season.
The Eagles hit the over in the over/under (O/U) 10 times in 17 games last season.
Detroit’s Amon-Ra St. Brown has eight or more catches in each of his past six games. If he does so against the Eagles, he will become the fifth player in NFL history with eight or more catches in seven consecutive games.
By beating the Eagles, the Lions would be Lions would be above .500 for the first time since Week 4 of the 2019 season
The Lions won their last threes home games in 2021 after losing the first five at Ford Field. Detroit has not won four straight home games since 2016.
Philadelphia beat Detroit 44-6 on Oct. 31 to take a 17-16-2 lead in the all-time series.
Pick via FOX Sports Betting Analyst Warren Sharp:
Last season the Eagles played the Lions. The total sat at 48 points for almost the entire week, attracted minimal sharp action, and closed at 48 points.
Heading into the game, Philly pivoted massively to the run. Against the Raiders the prior week (Week 7), the Eagles ran the ball on 59% of their early-down plays in the first half. A 17-7 halftime deficit forced the Eagles to pass more in the second half, but it was clear this team was looking to run early and often, a considerable change in approach from the first six games of the season. Despite being a pass-first team, the Eagles had been a big under team, going under the total in four of their first seven games.
The Lions were struggling headed into the game. They were 0-7 and had not even hit 20 points in their previous six games, recording point totals of 11, 14, 17, 17, 17 and 19 points. As a result, the Lions were a massive under team as well. They went under the total in five straight games heading into their game with the Eagles.
So, the Week 8 matchup featured a winless team that couldn’t score 20 points to save their life and off of six straight unders, against a team who just embraced the running game and who likewise went under at a solid rate entering the game.
And the total was 48 points. And guess what? The game went over.
These teams are very different from that Week 8 meeting last year.
Late in the 2021 season, the Lions changed play callers and became more aggressive offensively. And they actually went over the total in four of their final six games, scoring 29 or more points in four of those contests.
The Eagles embraced the run — against very bad opponents — and had a ton of success scoring points. They went over the total in eight of their final 11 games of the year. But do we really think the 2022 Eagles will pick up where they left off with one of the highest run rates in the NFL?
Their quarterback was playing his first season as a starter in the NFL in a brand-new offense. The 2021 Eagles’ No. 1 WR was a rookie in DeVonta Smith, their No. 2 in receptions was TE Dallas Goedert. It made sense to run more due to the light boxes they were facing, thanks to the extremely high pass rate they started the season with.
But this offseason, the Eagles made the aggressive move to trade for of the NFL’s best WRs in A.J. Brown. They also added WR Zach Pascal.
QB Jalen Hurts is now in his second year as a starter. More importantly, Hurts is in the same offense with the same play caller in consecutive seasons for the first time since high school.
And this team has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.
The Lions’ defense is likely to be highly problematic again in 2022, just like in 2021 when the Eagles put up 44 points against them. The Eagles’ offense has shown the desire to operate with tempo at times this preseason, and Detroit was the NFL’s 32nd defense on early downs last year.
The strength of the Eagles’ defense is their defensive line, which hasn’t changed. But the Lions’ offensive line is their team’s best unit, as they rank top-five in pure talent. It might not neutralize the Eagles, but it will give Jared Goff a better chance to find success.
With both of these offensive lines being among the best in the NFL, what seals the play on the over is the aggressiveness of both coaches. They will go for it on fourth down. They will rarely punt. They will onside kick early. They will never wave a white flag. Regardless of whether the Eagles are up late, the Lions will keep coming on offense and won’t stop. And finally, we also know this game is in a dome, and thus rain won’t cause problems for Goff’s hands.
This total sits at 48.5 points, and I would recommend waiting for it to drop and then grabbing a 48 later in the week and going over.
Skeptics may worry about the potential for a lot of running in this game from Philadelphia, but it would be impossible for the Eagles to be more run heavy than they were in this game last year. They ran it 46 times, passed it only 16 times and still scored 44 points. As I mentioned, I think the 2022 Eagles will be more balanced than in the last meeting.
Additionally, I would be shocked if the Lions came out and put up just six points offensively like they did last year, considering their more aggressive offensive strategy. The Eagles’ defense tends to force shorter passes underneath – they forced opposing offenses to average 6.4 air yards/att, 32nd in the NFL. But that’s exactly what this Lions passing attack led by Goff emphasizes. His target depth was 6.4 air yards/att, which was the lowest of any NFL quarterback last season. And these targets were extremely accurate as Goff averaged the eighth-best on-target rate of passes thrown within 10 yards out of 40 qualifying quarterbacks.
Thus, we’re left with a strange symbiosis that could benefit Detroit, where the Eagles’ defense wants the Lions to throw underneath and plays to take away deep passes. The Lions will gladly oblige because it’s their preferred offense, and they don’t care to throw deep often.
PICK: Eagles-Lions over 48 total points scored combined at FOX Bet
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