The city of Philadelphia is on top of the sports world right now. The Philadelphia Phillies are in the World Series, the Philadelphia Union are in the MLS Cup, and the Philadelphia Eagles are the NFL's lone remaining undefeated team. They can move to 8-0 this Thursday night against the Houston Texans.
The Phillies gave the Houston Astros a beatdown in Game 3, and Vegas is expecting the Eagles to destroy Houston's football team as well. The Texans are on a two-game losing streak, with the most recent loss coming to a team that virtually didn't have a quarterback. Malik Willis attempted just 10 passes in his first career start as Derrick Henry carried the Tennessee Titans to a 17-10 victory with 219 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Everyone knew the Titans' game plan on offense, but the Texans simply couldn't stop it.
As for the Eagles, they are coming off of a dominant victory over their Pennsylvania rival Pittsburgh Steelers, as A.J. Brown's three first-half touchdowns propelled Philly to a 35-13 win. Jalen Hurts threw for 285 yards and four touchdowns, and was pulled with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Could another Eagles blowout be on the horizon? Below, we will break down this matchup from a gambling perspective and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here's how you can watch Thursday's matchup.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
- Eagles: DT Jordan Davis (ankle), CB Josiah Scott (ankle) OUT
- Texans: DB Grayland Arnold (quad), DL Maliek Collins (chest), WR Nico Collins (groin), LB Neville Hewitt (hamstring), DL Justin McCray (concussion) OUT; LB Christian Harris (thigh), Desmond King II (heel), WR Brandin Cooks (wrist, not injury related) QUESTIONABLE
Davis and Scott are the only two players listed on Philadelphia's final injury report of the week, and both have been ruled out due to ankle injuries. Neither practiced all week. As it relates to Davis, the first-round rookie was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.
Houston ruled out wideout Nico Collins after he was unable to practice all week due to a groin injury. This offense could be without even more firepower on the offensive side of the ball due to the club also listing Brandin Cooks as questionable. He did not participate in practice Tuesday and Wednesday, but the final session of the week was merely a walkthrough, so the injury report is an estimation. Still, Cooks' status is worth monitoring after he wasn't dealt at the trade deadline and seemingly upset with that outcome.
This line opened at PHI -9 on Tuesday, Oct. 25. It received a huge bump when it reopened Sunday night, flying up to PHI -13. On Tuesday, it moved up a full point to PHI -14, but ended the day at PHI -13.5. On Wednesday, it did the exact same thing -- but again ended the day at PHI -13.5
The pick: Eagles -13.5. This will not be one of my top five picks of the week, but I'm going to lay the points with Philly. Teams that are favored by at least 11 points are 22-0 SU & 18-4 ATS on Thursdays since 1970. The Texans have never beaten the Eagles (0-5) and are just 1-4 ATS.
Apart from the Eagles being one of the best teams in the NFL, the Texans may be falling apart. They were just embarrassed by Henry a few days ago, and now have to face another elite rushing offense. The Eagles are ranked in the top six in rush yards per game, rushing touchdowns and rushing first downs. The Texans are ranked in the bottom four in rushing yards allowed per game, rushing touchdowns allowed and rushing first downs allowed. Quarterback Davis Mills hasn't looked good, and now . This team is trending downwards.
The total opened at 43 on Tuesday, Oct. 25. It bumped up to 43.5 last Saturday, but fell back to 43 by Sunday. On Monday, it began to rise, hitting 44, then 45 on Tuesday and 45.5 on Wednesday.
The pick: Under 45.5. When discussing a potential blowout, betting the total is probably not something everyone is chomping at the bit to gamble on. While the Eagles could win by 20 points, that does not guarantee they fly over the total. The Texans scored just 10 points last week, and their lone touchdown came with 17 seconds remaining in the game. Houston averages 16.6 points per contest, and I don't think it gets to that number Thursday night. Philly statistically has the fourth-best defense in the NFL, so the lean is to the Under.
Jalen Hurts props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -121, Under -113)
Passing yards: 233.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
Passing attempts: 28.5 (Over -125, Under -109)
Passing completions: 19.5 (Over -108, Under -127)
Longest passing completion: 36.5 (Over -123, Under -111)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +129, Under -179)
Rushing yards: 41.5 (Over -127, Under -108)
The juice on Hurts' passing touchdowns number has been moving towards the Under in the past 24 hours. Still, I'm going to bet the Over. It's true that Hurts has failed to throw a single touchdown pass in three games this season, but he's thrown at least two scores in two straight contests now. Have you noticed that he's passing more instead of running as of late? I won't be touching his rushing yards number because of that.
I lean Over on Hurts' passing yards prop, as he averages 257 passing yards per game this year. Vegas apparently created Hurts' passing completions and attempts numbers from last week's win, because he completed 19 of 28 passes against the Steelers. Those props really come down to how you see the game script playing out. Could he be pulled in the fourth quarter again?
Davis Mills props
Passing touchdowns: 0.5 (Over -264, Under +184)
Passing yards: 219.5 (Over -129, Under -106)
Passing attempts: 34.5 (Over -131, Under -104)
Passing completions: 21.5 (Over -137, Under +100)
Longest passing completion: 33.5 (Over -123, Under -111)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -189, Under +136)
Rushing yards: 1.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
I wouldn't touch Mills' passing touchdown number. Mills is averaging 214.6 passing yards per game this season, but I can't say I love the Over or Under on this line. I lean to the Under on Mills' passing attempts and love him to throw an interception. Yeah, it's a bit juicy at -189, but maybe throw that into a same-game parlay. Mills isn't some dual-threat quarterback, but he rushed for eight yards on three carries last week vs. Tennessee. Take a flier on his Over on rushing yards. When things break down, maybe he tries to escape the pocket and gain a few yards with his legs.
Dameon Pierce rushing attempts: Over 15.5 (-129). With the uncertainty surrounding Cooks, Pierce is probably Houston's best offensive weapon. The Texans would be smart to feed him. The rookie running back has crossed this line in two out of the past three games.
DeVonta Smith receiving yards: Over 51.5 (-117). Smith has caught at least five passes in three straight games, but hasn't averaged more than 8.8 yards per reception in those contests. The Heisman Trophy winner has crossed this receiving yards number in just three of seven games this season, but I'm calling my shot. He gets past 51 Thursday night.
Jake Elliott made extra points: Over 2.5 (-174). To me, this prop is "will the Eagles score three touchdowns on Thursday night?" It's juicy, but you could also throw it into a same-game parlay on your Caesars Sportsbook app.