The Philadelphia Eagles may have the NFC’s top seed, but they also have Nick Foles under center.
Guess which one Vegas is more concerned about?
Falcons -2 at Eagles
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) January 7, 2018
The Eagles have opened as two-point underdogs in next Saturday’s divisional-round matchup against the sixth-seeded Atlanta Falcons. As far as we can tell, that makes Philadelphia the first No. 1 seed in NFL history to be an underdog in the divisional round.
According to Pro Football Reference’s play index, only six previous home teams have been underdogs in the divisional round since 1975, but all of them were No. 2-seeded teams. The most recent time it happened was the 2013 playoffs when the wild-card San Francisco 49ers were favored by a point over the NFC South champion Carolina Panthers. Both teams were 12-4 during the regular season, but the 49ers went home with a 23-10 victory and an NFC title game date with Seattle that they’d lose.
The Eagles bring special circumstances to the table, of course. Star quarterback Carson Wentz was lost for the season in Week 15 and the fearsome Eagles offense hasn’t looked the same under Foles.
Throw in a matchup against a defending NFC champion who looked impressive during its wild-card win at Los Angeles and you can see why the Falcons are giving up points.
The good news for the Eagles is that they’ll be able to play the “no respect” card all week. Plus, they have some results on their side. Home underdogs in the divisional round are 4-2, straight up.
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